Photo of Ariane Pelicioli

Nanotechnology & materials

Ariane Pelicioli

Reducing water use for urine disposal in toilets by up to 100%.

Year Honored


Latin America

Hails From

Toilets are the largest water expense in homes, accounting for about 30% of water consumption, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "In offices and commercial buildings it can be up to 80%. A single person flushes the toilet more than 1,500 times in a year, wasting an average of 40 liters a day," stresses young Brazilian entrepreneur Ariane Pelicioli (32 years old). At the same time, 46% of the world's population will not have access to safely managed sanitation services by 2020, according to the United Nations. One of the Sustainable Development Goals set by this organization for 2030 is to achieve universal access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and to significantly increase the efficient use of water resources in all sectors.

Faced with this water waste in a world threatened by a climate crisis that increases water scarcity, Pelicioli (a graduate in Psychology from the University of Caxias do Sul) decided to take action. The young woman explains: "The toilet has been the same for more than two centuries. Even with the creation of the two-button toilet, we still use and waste too much water. When we invented the toilet, water scarcity was not a problem. Today the world has shifted to a new reality."

To address this problem, Pelicioli has co-developed through her start-up, Piipee, a biodegradable substance with nanotechnology that eliminates the need to flush every time we urinate. This technological breakthrough to save water and protect the environment has made her one of the Innovators under 35 Latin America 2023 chosen by MIT Technology Review in Spanish.

Her initiative consists of a spray that with a single use replaces a water flush and a device that attaches to any type of toilet without any reform. To eliminate urine, instead of ten liters of water, one milliliter of a liquid with natural extracts and biodegradable components enhanced by nanotechnology is used. It also perfumes and cleans the toilet, and saves both water and money, says its creator.

Piipee has more than 4,000 customers, both in private households and in large multinationals. So far it reaches more than 200,000 people daily and in one year has saved its customers more than 65 million liters of water. Now Pelicioli wants to expand Piipee's presence in European and Latin American markets to revolutionize how we go to the bathroom every day, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.