ECO-FRIENDLY TOILET ( Toilet attached Biogas Plant )

 

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The different kinds of bio waste including human excreta causing serious threat to human health and cleanliness of the surroundings can be converted to bioenergy and bio manure by treating with the application of biogas technology. This write up is intended to throw some light for imparting preliminary information about the working of the eco - friendly toilets.

In view of the ever increasing population and the scarcity of housing facilities, people particularly those belonging to the below poverty line are compelled to dwell in areas where the modern facilities required for maintaining cleanliness are far beyond their reach. These people are even unable to construct good toilets for attending to the calls of nature. The main reasons attributable for this state of affairs are scarcity of suitable land, financial difficulties and above all the ignorance of the people as well.

Some people use open spaces for finding a convenient place for passing urine and for related primary needs. In the city areas in some places it is seen that people are connecting the pipes coming out of their toilets directly to the waste water drains and canals for flushing out the waste water and human excreta. All these tendencies will lead to the problem of serious contamination of water and pollution of the atmosphere. In high water level areas in the cities, it will not be possible to construct septic tanks. If, however, septic tanks are built in such places, the cost may be very high.

If the contamination of drinking water is continued as at present, the non availability of pure water may become a global phenomenon in the near future. The poisonous gases produced by the human excreta which are flushed out indiscriminately may linger in the atmosphere, and this may lead to such of the havocs as global warming, climate change etc.

Plant size selection

For a family of five member it is sufficient to have a treatment plant of 2 Cum size, that can be used for the treatment of human waste and other bio waste generated in the household.  There is need to ensure that the plant is not over fed with more than the required quantity of waste daily in order to keep the working condition of the plant in good condition. If, however, the plant is overfed by the deposit of more quantity of waste, the working efficiency of the plant will gradually become deteriorated. In such situations the gas produced from such plants may not be ignited, and in some cases stink odour may also come out from the plant in a large measure. But if the plant is fed with the bio waste in accordance with its treatment capacity, the plant will work very efficiently for a pretty long period. Even if the quantity of waste fed into the plant is a little less than the prescribed limit, or the plant is not fed at all for a few days the working of the plant will not be affected. But the quantity of bio gas produced will be found to be a little reduced in proportion to the quantity of waste fed into the plant. Apart from households, the public institutions like hostels, convents, hospitals etc where people are coming in for short stays, the toilets can be attached with large sized plants for treating the human wastes for the production of energy. The size of such plants is determined in accordance with the total number of inmates of those institutions. If the plants of the required size are not selected correctly, the working of the plant may be in trouble.

Operation of the Plant

After the plant has been installed, anaerobic bacteria is allowed to grow and multiply with in the plant. After a period of two or three days the plant will be in working condition and the production of biogas will commence in full scale. A pipe from the toilet can be attached to the plant. The required facility for this will be provided in the plant. The food waste generated from the household and the waste water can be treated in the plant. Separate inlets for depositing these wastes are available in the plant. The bio waste and the human excreta that reach inside the plant will be decomposed by the work of the bacteria and transformed into biogas and bio manure. The biogas produced is collected in the gas chamber of the plant. This gas can be taken as fuel for cooking purposes by connecting the gas to the stove in the kitchen using separate pipe line. The stoves required for the purpose will be made available along with the plant. The biogas obtained from the waste treatment plants installed in the houses having a total number up to five family members, will be sufficient for meeting 70% to 90% of energy required for cooking purposes. In the meantime if the toilet is also attached to the plant more than 90% to 100% of the fuel requirement of the family can be met from the biogas produced in the plant.

Financial benefits

By constructing eco friendly toilet, although numerous benefits can be derived, the main achievement is the financial gain of this project. By utilizing the biogas produced by the waste treatment plant attached to the toilet, the entire expenditure incurred for the installation of the plant is seen received back within a period of nearly one and a half years. This is a very useful project, according to which, even if the expenditure incurred for the construction of the toilet is also taken into account the whole amount spent for the purpose can be fully retrieved within a limited period of nearly two years. Apart from this, the amount to be invested for the construction of the septic tank can also be saved, and this is yet another financial benefit. In brief, it can be realized that this is a programme by which substantial amount of avoidable expenditure can be saved.