Temperature Controlled Biodigester

Temperature controlled biodigester

The disposal of human waste is a very big problem in high altitude areas. In non-glacier regions the waste is collected and used as fertiliser in the field. Incineration and chemical treatment of human waste has also been attempted to overcome the problem. However, all these methods are either unhygienic or not practically viable alternatives. Biological treatment is an attractive approach for solving the problem, but decreased metabolic activities of the micro-organisms, freezing of the substrate, non-availability of conventional energy sources and hilly terrains are some of the hurdles which need to be solved to make the process practically possible.

DRDO has developed an innovative technology for disposal of human waster in eco-friendly manner at high altitude locations where temperature drops to -40 0C or lower. The process culminates into treated effluent, which is free from pathogens and is also environmental friendly. During waste treatment colourless and odourless, and inflammable biogas (methane) is generated as a byproduct, which can be used for various energy intensive activities like cooking, and water and room heating. The technology has two major components, low temperature active inoculum and temperature-controlled biodigester.

A consortium of anaerobic bacteria has been formulated and adopted to work at temperature as low as 5 0C. This acts as inoculum (seed) and converts the organic waster into methane and carbon dioxide. The anaerobic process inactivates the pathogens responsible for water-borne diseases.

Biodigester serves as reaction vessel for biomethanation and provides the anaerobic conditions and required temperature for the bacteria. The optimum temperature is maintained by microbial heat.

Salient Features

  • Suitable for subzero temperature of Himalayan region as well as glaciers

  • No dependence on the limited and costly conventional energy sources

  • Easy to transport and install in hilly terrains

  • Maintenance free, continuous biological process

  • Eliminates the pathogens

  • Generates odourless and inflammable biogas

  • Economically viable