Indian Railways on 18 September 2015 announced that it has developed a prototype of Hybrid Vacuum Toilet. It is hybrid because the design is based on both vacuum toilets and biotoilets.
It was developed by the Development Cell of the Indian Railway Board and is considered as the first of its kind to be used in any railways in the world. At present, the technology is only seen aircrafts.
It was installed in the Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani train on trial basis.
Features of Hybrid Vacuum Toilet
• The prototype was built by modifying the standard flushing protocol of a vacuum toilet so as to create water seal and additional post flush cycles.
• The vacuum toilet evacuates its discharge into a biodigester tank is fitted underneath the coach.
• The biodegester tank contains anaerobic bacteria that convert human fecal matter into water and small amount of gases before discharging the same on the ground or track.
Significance of the technology
It will result in saving very precious natural resource as it uses water to the tune of at least 1/20th of the quantity (500 ml) that is used in the current design of biotoilets or conventional toilets (15-20 litres) per flush.
Further, it will eliminate the need to create separate ground handling installations to evacuate holding tanks that contain untreated human fecal matter.
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Where: Developed by Indian Railways
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