Banka BioLoo Limited
The Banka BioLoo combines toilets with anaerobic digesters to contain and process fecal waste.
Banka BioLoo provides environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions for sanitation. The manufacturer specializes in human waste management, using bio-digester technology patented and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) (a government agency). The BioLoo disposes of human waste in a low-cost, and low-maintenance manner, utilizing anaerobic digestion, with bacteria activated in cow dung. This set of bacteria “eat away” human waste, leaving biogas that can be made into for fuel and water that can be reused for gardening. The company’s offerings include bio-toilets (or BioLoos) for families, public and community bio-toilets and bio-toilets for schools and institutions, bio-tanks for Indian Railways, bio-digesters (the bacterial culture) and bio-tanks, and upgrade of septic tanks to bio-tanks. They also service bio-toilets, and have entered into annual maintenance and operations contracts with different Railway zones.
The BioLoo can also be upgraded with additional fees. With this, they can add pumps, glossy paint, tiles, mirrors, and water tanks.Interview with designer
Toilet type: flush toilet, biodigester
Basic model for the system is $700. With upgrades, the price can rise to $1500.Interview with designer
Alternatives include pit latrines or open defection.
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
The Banka BioLoo targets low-income populations in India that don’t have access to fecal waste management solutions in-home. They also target organizations and companies that sponsor the BioLoo by becoming customers, such as India’s national railway company.Interview with designer
The target market for this sector includes schools, villages, small communities, resorts, and industrial factories.
The main components of the BioLoo are the toilet shelter, biodigester, and the bacterial culture, or inoculant. The shelter is made of reinforced concrete panels. It also has the option to incorporate reinforced plastic or steel. It is made to the preference of the customer. The biodigester is a multi-chambered tank with stainless steel on the walls. They manufacture these items in their own place.Interview with designer
The inoculant that treats the fecal waste is certified by the Defense Research and Development Lab. They rest the culture every quarter. The system gives out water and a small amount of biogas. Water is tested for totally dissolved solids.
Patented by Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). The technology is licensed to Banka BioLoo.
Banka BioLoo is installing bio-toilets and 750-litre bio-tanks in public schools and individual households in rural areas of Andhra Pradesh, funded by an NGO or a sponsoring company. This sanitation system aims to be installed at places where conventional toilets facility cannot be made available. Banka BioLoo built, promote, manufacture and supply ELOO – The BioDigester toilets. They also provide this product to laborers and workers at the Railway Corporation, paid for by companies.Interview with designer
Interested customers can contact to Banka BioLoo on their website to discuss purchasing products.
Additional information gathered from this source.
10,000+ BioLoos. 16,500+ tanks or toilets installed on trains or at schools.
Type of toilet
Method of evacuation
How the fecal sludge is stored
The holding volume of the containment
Time until emptying is estimated to be needed
Capacity for the tank to function is 500 L to 20,000 L. The treatment occurs in the bio-tanks beneath the toilets, which are underground. The tank is fitted with bio-digesters, which decomposes 99% of waste in short time compared with conventional toilets. The manufacturer is also working towards converting traditional septic tanks into bio-tanks, to lessen environmental degeneration and create better health conditions. BioLoo uses the bio-digester technology and its various applications to provide eco-friendly sanitation systems and solutions across India, and notably to the Indian Railways to transform the night soil laden rail tracks to waste matter free tracks. Toilet shelters also guard users from temperature and rain.Interview with designer
Additional information gathered from this source.
At the heart of the ‘bio-digester’ technology is a cocktail of bacteria, or ‘bio-bugs’. When added to the septic tanks, this suspension speeds up degradation of bio-waste. The process converts septic tanks into ‘bio-tanks’ that do not contaminate groundwater. The recycled water can be used to water the garden and for other non-potable use. The bio-digester tank is a cylindrical structure with the provision of inlet for human waste and out let for bio gas, maintained at a temperature of 5-30 degree C. Night soil degradation occurs through microbial reaction which converts it into bio gas. On the basis of dry waste weight, 90% of the solid waste is reduced. The gaseous effluent (bio-gas) is continuously let off to the atmosphere. Bio Gas can be used for various energy incentive activities like cooking water and room heating. Liquid effluent can be drained to any surface or soak pit with out any environmental hazards.Interview with designer
The bacteria are cultivated in cow dung, which is placed inside ‘bio tanks’ at Banka BioLoo’s manufacturing plant in central India. The tanks can then be fitted to new toilets or retrofitted to existing facilities, including septic tanks. ‘No replenishment of bacteria is required and very little sludge is created, which makes these toilets virtually maintenance free.’
Components are available in country.Interview with designer
25 years, though estimated to be life-lasting without the need to replenish. Interview with designer
Internal quality control check system involves a sample testing of the inoculant. When they supply the BioLoo to the railway, they get certified by an external agency, which includes testing the quality of the metal as it needs a certain grade of stainless steel. In their warehouse, inoculant is testing every 3 months.Interview with designer
The designer claims it is maintenance free, eliminates all pathogens, water can be reused for irrigation, doesn’t need to dispose of sludge, and can be installed anywhere independently of a septic or sewage tank.
Primary checks are done qualitatively through observation.Interview with designer
There are no other standards and testing parameters referenced.
Testing was done internally by the manufacturer.Interview with designer
A possible hazard includes cross contamination if digester is not maintained properly.
This standalone system does not need any other devices to operate; it acts as a full replacement for a sanitation system and can be added where no current system exists.Interview with designer
Some case studies have been done by IIT Madras, which was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.Interview with designer
Rosca, Agarwal, Brem. Women entrepreneurs as agents of change: A comparative analysis of social entrepreneurship processes in emerging markets. Technological Forecasting and Social Change.
Evaluation is primarily qualitative observance. The inoculant is tested quarterly. Interview with designer
Check out their contributor article on the Engineering for Change platform here.
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