Updated Jun 28, 2018

change:WATER Labs

We are developing the iThrone, a low-cost, portable evaporative toilet to extend safe, private, dignified sanitation into homes and communities with no power or plumbing, leverage a novel material that passively evaporates 95% on daily onsite sewage.

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Diana Yousef

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Stage 3: Proof of Concept

We are currently finalizing our first scale prototype and will be deploying that to field pilots later this Spring with partners in the US, Panama and MENA. We plan to launch our toilets to the market in Q1 2019 and already have LOIs of 6000 toilets.

Focus Areas:

Agriculture Water Management, Climate Change and Resilience and Gender-based Violence

Agriculture Water Management, Climate Change and Resilience and Gender-based ViolenceSEE LESS

Funds Raised to Date


Globally, 2.6Bn people lack safe, private toilets, leading to disease, high child mortality and rampant sexual assault. Even in rich countries, millions lack sufficient sanitation infrastructure. By 2030, 50% of us won’t be able to flush, due to lack of toilets or pipes. Flushing, trucking or dumping sewage are all costly, dangerous and unsustainable. We need a new way to “flush”--smart, low-cost, low-carbon, waterless, distributed sewage management solution.



Our iThrone is a portable evaporative toilet to extend safe, private sanitation to homes with no power or plumbing. It evaporates (or “flushes away”) >95% of daily household sewage volumes without added energy or heat. Our core innovation is a novel yet low-cost membrane pouch used tocollect and “shrink-wrap crap”—converting liquid sewage to clean water vapor. The iThrone is compact, keeps things clean, installs anywhere and is ideal for cramped urban dwellings.

Target Beneficiaries

2.6Bn people lack access to safe, dignified toilets, specifically 1Bn people in non-sewered urban slums. Sewage pollution in their communities and water sources inflicts chronic disease, malnutrition and poverty. Women and girls suffer particularly, risking high rates of violence and sexual assault when they go out to relieve themselves. Also, for many displaced communities in “temporary” camps or other informal settlements, no good solutions exist for emergency- or drop-in sanitation.

Mission and Vision

We hope to effect broad, systemic social and environment impact. When families have access to private toilets in their homes, their children have 35-40% reduced likelihood of diarrheal disease and girls and women are 50% less likely to be raped by a stranger; >500 of their neighbors are less likely to be exposed to vector-borne sanitation-related diseases. Also, just one of our toilets conserves 40K-75K gal fresh water/toilet/yr and avoids methane emissions equal to driving 1500mi/yr.

Innovation Description

change:WATER Labs is developing a disruptive approach to sanitation and decentralized sewage management. We’ve developed a low-cost composite membrane that rapidly evaporates the water content of sewage, getting rid of 95% of daily outputs onsite—essentially a “shrink-wrap for crap”. Using this technology, we’ve developed the “iThrone”, a portable, waterless, evaporative toilet to extend safe, private sanitation to homes and communities with no power or plumbing. This “self-flushing” toilet works by collecting waste solids and liquids in a sewage-evaporating pouch of our membrane, which rapidly evaporates 95% of daily onsite sewage volumes without need for added energy, heat or flush-water. All that’s “flushed” out of our toilet is clean water vapor, leaving behind only a few grams of dried solids hygienically contained inside. Because our toilet is essentially “self-powered” and designed to eliminate onsite sewage almost as fast as it accumulates, it can be compact, keep things clean, install anywhere and is uniquely suited for crowded communities, cramped spaces and drop-in deployments. Our solution is an enabling tool for sanitation-servicers to improve service-delivery while lowering costs. Our toilet is the only non-sewered option to effectively replace flushing and the only scalable, sustainable option to support a planet of 10Bn people.

Competitive Advantage

No other no-flush sanitation option can achieve rapid onsite sewage elimination without significant use of water or energy or waste discharge. CONTAINER-BASED toilets are collection buckets that fill up fast so must be emptied frequently, imposing high collection costs. COMPOSTING TOILETS are low-cost, but are messy, slow, fail often, spread disease, thus are not suited for crowded communities or in-home use. “HIGH-TECH”/Re-INVENTED TOILETS use sophisticated technology to rapidly process waste onsite, but often require significant energy and are too expensive to be scalable (>$1500/ea). For decentralized sanitation, our toilet is the ONLY scalable, sustainable, low-cost alternative to flush toilets. Our membrane uniquely eliminates sewage at a rate on par with daily accumulation, so our toilet can be compact, clean and reduce odor. This also means our toilet is uniquely suited to cramped spaces and crowded communities, andeasy to install anywhere.

Planned Goals and Milestones

Short Term our focus is to work with agencies working already to service toilets in urban areas. This includes organizations such as Sanivation who are already servicing toilets, and whom we have already spoken with. They recognize that their OPEX and ability to scale suffers from the existing solutions in the market place. Long Term: We will explore introducing our servicing models in markets where it does not exist, but also look to be selected as the vendor of choice with large NGOs
Our immediate target is the successfull pilot of the toilet and membrane in the summer of 2017 in different pilot markets. We are actively working on the testing of the membrane, and the design of the pouch and toilet.
Funding Goal250,000


Jun 2018
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May 2018
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Apr 2018
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Feb 2018
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Oct 2017
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