The Biofil Digester
Biological Filters and Composters Limited (Biofilcom)
The Biofil Digester is a decentralized wastewater treatment system that uses anaerobic digestion.
The Biofil digester is a passive decentralized wastewater treatment system that uses aerobic decomposition and macro-organisms to break down waste. The typical digester accommodates 10 users and can be scaled to meet larger waste demands. The digester can also be modified to treat waste from existing septic tanks or treat sludge from other toilet systems. Efficiency of treatment and user capacity can be maximized by adding a “microflush” option which uses hand-washing greywater for flushing.
Ghana, India, Bangladesh, Senegal, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Liberia
Approximate pricing as of 2014 includes the transportation, installation, and a 2 year guarantee:
Standard flush unit (digester connected to existing toilet) = 500 USD
Standalone toilet (digester, superstructure, hand washing facility) = 880 USD
Institutional digester (retrofit) = 450 USD per seat
Institutional digester (including superstructure) = 1000 USD per seat
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
Users seeking a hygienic, off-grid, passive wastewater treatment system; users in areas with no sewer system and minimal to no water supply for sanitation; users seeking to upgrade a pit latrine or replace a septic tank system.
Designed in Africa for Africa, Biofil relies entirely on local manufacturers and local materials.
Stand alone digester and toilet models are available in flush and microflush units, which are precast and typically installed in two days.
Users can obtain a Biofil Digester from Biofilcom.
Users can also obtain the Biofil Digester through various distributors including Geothermal management Services.
The Global Sustainable Aid Project (GASP) is a humanitarian aid organization that offers a version of the Biofil Digester, the [Microflush]. Users can obtain a Microflush-Biofil through GASP’s MAKER-LENDER Microfranchise model, contact GASP for micro-franchising information.
4,500 (as of 2013)
Flow rate of the equipment
Type of wastewater treatment process
How effective is the process at BOD removal?
How effective is the process at COD removal?
How effective is the process at NH4-N removal?
How effective is the process at total suspended solid removal?
How effective is the process at total phosphorus removal?
How effective is the process at fecal coliform removal?
The basic digester is 2ft X 2ft X 6ft (600mm X 600mm X 1800mm). Each digester operates as a filter via rapid separation of solids and liquids, aerobic composting of solids, and bio-filtration of wastewater.
Designed for a lifespan of 20 years with an assumed maximum household size of 15 users per day.
All organic degradable matter is treated through the natural process of aerobic decomposition. No odorous gas emissions.
The digester is suitable for all soil conditions including heavy clay soils, shallow or exposed rock beds and soils with high water tables. The digester can be laid above ground or below ground depending on the groundwater level of the location. Groundwater is not affected.
Requires minimum maintenance and needs no mechanical or electrical aeration of solid mass to achieve decomposition.
The typical digester (2ftX2ftX6ft or 600mm X 600mm X 1800mm) can accommodate 25 users in the micro-flush setting and 10 users when operated as a flush unit.
Maximum solid retention in the digester is 14days
Effluent Quality Analysis was performed by CSIR Water Research Institute. Analysis results in the linked pdf tested (2) Biofil systems for the following parameters: pH, conductivity, BOD, COD, temperature, ortho-phosphate, nitrate as nitrogen, ammonium as nitrogen, and nitrite. Influent concentrations are unknown.
No contact with human excreta occurs, keeping the user safe from harmful pathogens. Vector control is maximized due to no odor or sludge produced by the system.
The Biofil Digester can be paired with a hand-washing station which uses the greywater from hand-washing to flush the toilet. This design reduces water use and promotes hand-washing by requiring greywater to flush the toilet.
Knutson, J (2014); “Evaluation of innovative decentralized sanitation technologies in Ghana”
Testing performed in Amoah et al (2016) showed pollutant concentrations in the Biofil effluent exceeded both Ghana EPA and WHO standards for discharge.
A video from the Global Sustainable Aid Project promoting the Microflush-Biofil toilets can be viewed here.
A Biofil Technology Validation Report was conducted with the Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate.
3rd party slideshow and presentation transcript is available here
Biofilcom Facebook page
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