Biodigester in MAHA-METRO: A Sustainable Alternative


The Government of India and the State Government of Maharashtra are jointly working toward water conservation and environment protection. The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and the Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation (MAHA-METRO) have come together under this joint venture. They are installing DRDO’s eco-friendly Biodigester Units in Metro facilities in Maharashtra.

Featured Image: Courtesy Rail Analysis India

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between MAHA-METRO and DRDO for the purpose brought the proposal to life. Through this MoU, DRDO will provide technical support for the venture toward implementation of its advanced MK-II Biodigesters. The aim would be the treatment of human waste in the metro rail network before disposal.

dal lake
Houseboats in Dal Lake use DRDO Biodigesters

What is a Biodigester?

DRDO’s Biodigesters are indigenous, eco-friendly and cost-effective technology which comes handy when treating human waste. In the past, the DRDO Biodigesters also proved useful in Houseboats in the Dal Lake, Jammu & Kashmir, demonstrated successfully by DRDO.

The Biodigester system puts organic waste to use by processing them into fertilizer and biogas from human and animal excreta. It comprises an airtight, high-density polythene container. Here the excreta is diluted with water, circulated continuously in the presence of microbes and fermented anaerobically. The microbes produce Methane from this decomposition, also known as biogas. The remaining organic manure is rich in elements like Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium, which can hence be used in agriculture.

Features of Biodigesters:

  • No bad odour in toilets from the tanks
  • Faecal matter not visible in the tank
  • Non clogging type, hence suitable for Metros
  • Effluent is free from off odour and solid waste
  • Reduction in pathogens by 99% and also organic matter by 90%
  • Maintenance Free
  • No requirement of adding bacteria/ enzyme and removal of solid waste
  • Use of phenyl permitted up to certain extent
  • No infestation of cockroaches & flies

Biodigesters are viable for both the plains and hilly regions. Other interested industries can also apply for Biodigester License with the DRDO.

Featured Image: Courtesy Rail Analysis India

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Sakshi Singh
Sakshi Singh

Sakshi is an Architect and Content Consultant, working towards bridging the gap between the AEC Industry and their need for strategic Digital Communications. She offers Content & Communications services for Architects, Designers and others in the Construction Industry as a freelancer.


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