Woodco took home the Green Product Award at the Green Awards 2019 on Tuesday, 26th February for the Biogenic Processor.

With a global population of over 7 billion people, the world has a poop problem. It is estimated that 2.3 billion people, more than 30% of the world’s population – primarily in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean – still lack access to basic sanitation, i.e. a toilet.

Woodco employees celebrating their win at the 2019 Green Awards

In 1999 the United Nations acknowledged that the development gap between rich and poor countries was widening – about three-fifths of the world’s population lacked access to basic sanitation and one-third did not have access to safe drinking water. To address this problem, in 2015, the global community adopted a Sustainable Development Goal dedicated to clean water and sanitation (SDG 6). One of the targets of this goal calls for, “by 2030, achieving access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and ending open defecation”.

Woodco’s team of expert sustainability engineers, automation engineers, manufacturers and researchers decided to come up with a solution to combat this crisis, and developed a portable Biogenic Processor customised to treat human solid waste through a process called pyrolysis. It can be operated completely off-grid, processing sludge from communities, reducing pathogens, volume and providing odour control. In off-grid applications, the refineries would be run off on-board battery storage during start-up Woodco uses a combination of technologies that can refine these Biogenic materials and create new outputs. These outputs, such as biochar, are safe, reusable, sustainable and beneficial for human health and the environment.

Safe sanitation must include treatment to protect the environment and global human health. Many communities are open defecation free but still lack and pathogen free option. Our solution operates in the Circular Economy where toilet resources, i.e., human waste, are processed to provide valuable outputs.

The Biogenic Processor is due to be introduced to market later this year, but we will have several units installed in pilot sites from May 2019. This project is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.