At a time when there is a growing awareness about the use of toilets and personal hygiene, a village in Kerala has come up with a model that could revolutionise the way toilet waste Pulluvila, a village in Thiruvananthapuram district has the world’s first e-toilet which uses technology that turns waste into fertiliser, generates power and even makes potable water.The initiative was developed by a local firm called Eram Scientific Solutions using a Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation grant.It also received technical support from University of South Florida (USF) called NEWgenerator, which is also supported by the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation. The eToilet see the convergence of electronics, mechanical, web-mobile technologies to control the entry, usage, cleaning, exit and remote monitoring of the toilet. And NEWgen is a machine in a box that recycles water, harvests energy, creates fertilizers and, ultimately, turns waste into profit.is processed.
In simple terms, said Anvar Sadath, CEO of Eram, what NEWGen does is to process the entire waste from the two eToilets.“The water that comes out as waste from the toilets is recycled and goes back in and is used for flushing, while the solid waste is converted into nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium which can be stored and used as fertilizers. The gas from waste is converted into methane and can be used for burning,” Sadath added.“We’re mimicking what nature does very efficiently, but in a very compact, engineered system, so nothing goes waste and everything is re-purposed,”Daniel H. Yeh, associate professor at USF’s Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, who first came up with the idea of a “resource-recovery machine” said.The eToilet itself is revolutionary. A coin opens the door for the user and switches on a light, thus saving energy and directs the person with audio commands. It is programmed to flush 1.5 litres of water after three minutes of usage or 4.5 litres if usage is longer. They are also programmed to clean the platform with a complete wash down after 10 or so uses.
Eram is the sole manufacturer of eToilets in India and has set up more than 1,600 eToilets in around 19 states.The pilot project was launched in January, at a local church-run school where over 150 students use two eToilets.