A scientist has developed an automated and less expensive alternative to the bio-toilets used in Indian railways.

automated technique for collecting toilet waste that will be used to maintain the Indian Railways' toilet system
New innovation in Indian Railway Bio-toilet. (for presentation purpose)

ANDHRA PRADESH, (Metro Rail News):  A scientist from Andhra Pradesh has devised an automated technique for collecting toilet waste that will be used to maintain the Indian Railways’ toilet system. This automated device is simple to maintain and seven times less expensive than bio-toilets.

Existing bio-toilets in trains use anaerobic bacteria to convert human waste to gas, however, those bacteria are incapable of decomposing plastic and fabric materials placed into restrooms by passengers. As a result, maintaining and removing such non-decomposed items inside the tank is tough.

Dr. R V Krishnaiah of Chebrolu Engineering College created a mechanism that collects toilet waste from moving trains, separates different elements, and processes them into useable items.

The technology, which was developed with help from the Department of Science and Technology’s (DST) Advanced Manufacturing Technologies program and is associated with the “Make in India” goal, has been given five national patents and is currently being tested.

A septic tank is part of the automated system (which is placed under the track, i.e., train line). When a train reaches the sewage tank location, its top lid opens using a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) sensor and reader located at the engine and septic tank positions, respectively. When the toilet tanks and the septic tank are synchronised, the sewage material in the toilet tanks is dumped into the septic tank. Finally, when the train moves away from the septic tank, the cover is closed.

The collected sewage material from train toilets is separated such that human waste is stored in one tank and other items such as plastics, cloth, and so on are stored in another.

Separately, human waste is treated to convert it into useable material. Separate processing is performed on the plastic and fabric materials.
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“This technology has been developed exclusively for the Indian Railways with the goal of cost reduction and the elimination of the need for time-consuming anaerobic bacteria generation,” according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.

“In comparison to Bio toilets, which cost one lakh rupees per unit, the new technique reduces the cost to fifteen thousand rupees. Dr. R V Krishnaiah has partnered with MTE Industries to further this technology,” it stated.

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