Bill Gates appeared on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” Wednesday night to talk about the “Omniprocessor,” the latest project from the philanthropic Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Omniprocessor is a machine that turns human waste into clean water and electricity.
Gates invited Fallon to taste-test two glasses of water: one that came out of a bottle, and the other that came from the Omniprocessor. Fallon picked glass #2, which he said tasted “pretty good.” He was pretty sure he had drank bottled water, but Gates revealed both glasses contained “poop water.”
Gates says at least 2 billion people around the world don’t have access to clean water and sanitation. “We challenged engineers to make something that could take sewage and very inexpensively get rid of sewage,” Gates explained to Fallon.
“Sewage is bad — it causes a lot of diseases, like diarrhoea, because people don’t have good sanitation systems. We said it’s way too expensive, the way the rich countries do it. Make something we can put throughout Africa and get rid of all that sewage.”
The Omniprocessor, with development led by Seattle-based engineering firm Janicki Bioenergy, is solving this problem by extracting water from sewage that arrives at its facility. When the sewage is dried, it’s incinerated to create steam, which powers the Omniprocessor.
Earlier in January, Gates posted about the Omniprocessor on his blog, with a video featuring him drinking the purified water. In the video, Gates says the Omniprocessor processes water as “good as any he’s had out a bottle” and he’d “happily drink it every day.”
You can watch the whole video below: