Bio Toilets: Minute Alteration Leads to Drastic Hygiene Change

Human waste disposal in high altitude and low temperature areas, moving railways coaches, buses, big cities, mines, remote areas, beaches, rural areas, long distance buses is a burning problem. The remedy to this problem lies in the new innovation of bio toilets which are used on a vast scale now a day to keep hygiene level high and utilize the waste in one or the other ways.

Bio toilets allow bacteria to decompose the human waste in a vacuum, creating a source of gas that can be stored energy or burnt as fuel. This can be used on any terrain or topography of human settlements. This technology is suitable for any area application in India. The process under this technology culminates in to treated effluent which is free from pathogens and is also environmentally acceptable. A consortium of anaerobic bacteria has been formulated and adopted to work at temperature as low as 4 degree Celsius. This is the component which acts as inoculums (seed material) to the bio digester and converts the organic waste into methane and carbon dioxide. The anaerobic process in-activates the pathogens responsible for water borne diseases. Bio digester serves as reaction vessel for bio machination and provides the anaerobic conditions and required temperature for the bacteria. The optimum temperature is maintained by microbial heat, insulation of the reactor and solar heating. (SHARMA 2010).

Benefits of Bio Toilets

  • Water use reduction up to 20 – 25 % less than traditional toilets.
  • Recycling of end products.
  • Decreases the odor coming from toilets.
  • Bio toilets can also be used to generate electricity.
  • The reduction in water in bio toilets accounts for about 20 – 25 % of the conventional use that has been done till now of a flush system having usage of around 2 – 3 liters of water per flush.In India a well to do family in urban region can use up to 500 liters of water per day while on the other hand it generates 30 liters or more as sewage.

    The bio toilet diverts the liquid waste to a processing facility where components like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium can be removed for its utilization as fertilizer purpose.

    The solid waste can be sent to bioreactors where it can be digested to release bio gas which contains methane. Methane being an odorless gas can be used an alternative to natural gas for cooking purpose.Methane one of the gas of the process can be utilized as electricity to be used to fuel power plants or fuel cells through the method of conversion.


    As of October 2016, more than 48000 bio toilets have been installed with plans for a complete system overhaul of all India Railways Trains by 2019. The aim of this multi-million project, funded through a grant from the Central Government of India is to create a discharge free “Green Corridor” wherever Indian Trains runs.

    In Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has announced plans to install 362 public bio toilets in slum where sewage network do not exist.

    The use of bio toilets in slums gives a different identity to the areas while it also gives a proper sanitation and fecal disposal management and solid waste management becomes easier, on the other hand this can generate a lot of energy and by products for agriculture sector of India which is mainly known to a country of farmers.

    Due to the number of residents in a sum it can be a potential site for generation alternate energy through bio toilets which can help enlighten them and others.

    Mohammad Ehtesham Arzoo