Sunday January 21, 2018

Pulluvila: a sleepy Kerala hamlet has earned place on global sanitation map

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www.americanbazaaronline.com

Thiruvananthapuram: Pulluvila, a sleepy hamlet located close to the airport here, has earned a place for itself on the global sanitation map — it boasts of the world’s first eToilet, which also uses technology that turns waste into fertilizer, generates power, and even makes potable water.

Since January, a local church-run school here is successfully hosting a pilot project where over 150 students use two eToilets that have incorporated technology developed by the University of South Florida (USF) called NEWgenerator — with NEW standing for nutrients, energy and water.

This is the first time that the award-winning automated electronic toilet, or eToilet — developed by local firm Eram Scientific Solutions using a Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation grant — has been married to the NEWgen technology, also funded by grants from the foundation.

Eram’s eToilets see the convergence of electronics, mechanical, web-mobile technologies to control the entry, usage, cleaning, exit, and remote monitoring of the toilet. And NEWgen is a machine in a box that recycles water, harvests energy, creates fertilizers and, ultimately, turns waste into profit.

In simple terms, said Anvar Sadath, CEO of Eram, what NEWGen does is to process the entire waste from the two eToilets.

“The water that comes out as waste from the toilets is recycled and goes back in and is used for flushing, while the solid waste is converted into nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium which can be stored and used as fertilizers. The gas from urine is converted into methane and can be used for burning,” Sadath told IANS.

The eToilet itself is revolutionary. A coin opens the door for the user and switches on a light — thus saving energy — and directs the person with audio commands. It is programmed to flush 1.5 liters of water after three minutes of usage or 4.5 liters if usage is longer. They are also programmed to clean the platform with a complete wash down after 10 or so uses.

Eram is the sole manufacturer of eToilets in India and has set up more than 1,600 eToilets in around 19 states.

“With our experience in successfully inducting high technology into the sanitation sector and simplifying it for the user, we are confident that this integrated system will be adopted for its simplicity and mass scalability,” said Sadath.

The Pulluvila pilot project is part of an India-specific program modelled on the Gates Foundation’s global Reinvent the Toilet Challenge and is called RTTC-India.

Daniel H. Yeh, associate professor at USF’s Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, first came up with the idea of a “resource-recovery machine” while he was working on his post-doctorate at Stanford University.

“So what that means is it converts the waste materials — either human waste or food waste, various types of wastewater,” Yeh is quoted as saying on the USF website. “We will convert that to beneficial products: nutrients, energy and water.”

“We’re mimicking what nature does very efficiently, but in a very compact, engineered system, so nothing goes to waste and everything is repurposed.”

“Both Eram and USF are hopeful that the system would promote sustainable sanitation services for both the poor and urban regions. It is a truly inspirational next generation product that everyone will want to use in developed as well as developing nations,” said Yeh.

For these two organizations the biggest impetus was a statement that Bill Gates made in January 2015, after drinking a glass of recycled water.

“I watched the piles of faeces go up the conveyer belt and drop into a large bin. They made their way through the machine, getting boiled and treated. A few minutes later I took a long taste of the end result, a glass of delicious drinking water,” Gates had said.

“These words of his really pumped us and now this pilot project at Pulluvila is going to run till the end of this year, when we will sit down to take this to the next step of commercialization,” said Sadath. (Sanu George, IANS)

  • gauri

    at last some serous efforts in india find aplace on global map.

Next Story

Top 10 Malayalam movies you should definitely watch

Mollywood has some great cinematic pieces to its credit. India's first Rs.1000 crore film was also announced in Mollywood only.

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Maayalam movies are some of the best movies produced in India. Wikimedia Commons
Maayalam movies are some of the best movies produced in India. Wikimedia Commons
  • Kerala is one of the best states in India to live, and their movies are some of the best too.
  • Malayalam film industry or Mollywood is said to be superior in terms of screenplay and plots than other film industries in India.
  • The new and old Malayalam movies, all are equally beautiful and some of them are nothing short of a thrilling ride for the audiences.

Malayalam film industry or Mollywood is highly underrated, we don’t hear much about it. Every year, this industry produces some of the best films which are not only appreciated by audiences but also by critics. Malayalam movies are a great example of sensible cinema.

Mollywood has some great cinematic pieces to its credit. India’s first Rs.1000 crore film was also announced in Mollywood only. Malayalam movies are said to be superior in terms of stories, screenplay and direction when compared to other Indian language movies. For how truth it holds, let us take a look at top 10 best Malayalam movies one should definitely watch :

Drishyam

Everyone knows about this movie. It was critically acclaimed and won audience’s hearts with its amazing dialogues and performances, especially by Mohanlal. The movie was a thrilling murder suspense, which had all of us at the edge of our seats. This Malayalam movie has been dubbed into various languages and even after years from its initial release in 2013, is still one of the audience’s favourite suspense movies to watch. It’s Bollywood remake of the same name was equally successful.

Guru

Guru was a fantasy movie which used mythological characters like Yamaraj and Chitragupt, to shine the light on the otherwise ignored topic of communal violence. This movie has a universal appeal as it is relevant even today. Guru became a landmark Malayalam movie because of its experimental plotline, and Ilayaraaja’s brilliant music composition. Guru was also India’s official entry to the Oscars’ in the year, 1997.

Loudspeaker 

Loudspeaker, directed by Jayaraj, is the story of an uneducated man who always carries an old tape recorder with him along with his strong opinions. As an organ donor for an old man, he came as a ray of hope and happiness who swipes the sadness away. This is one movie where Mammootty is seen as a simple man and he is also at his best. The story may not be the most original but it will surely give you a warm feeling inside.

North 24 Kaatham 

A story revolving around a man who is a germaphobe and is a patient of OCD? The characters, storyline, and almost everything about this Malayalam movie is different and new. The man who along with three others experience a lifetime worth of troubles is an adventurous ride for the audience. By the end of the film, a happy feeling can be experienced by the viewers.

ABCD

 

ABCD or American Born-Confused Desi is a comedy which portrays the story of an NRI boy who is sent to his hometown in Kerala in order to make him more responsible. One thing leads to another and he ends up being a face of a revolution.The movie’s title is a satire on the term ABCD which is used as an insult to the Desi people.

Rathinirvedam 

Rathinirvedam is the remake of an old Malayalam movieofh the same name. This movie deals with the taboo topic of a young man falling for an older woman. It is one of the boldest films which showcased a love story forbidden by families and societies. It is definitely a must watch for those who are searching for something new.

 Salt N Pepper

This 2013 Mollywood movie directed by Ashiq Abu has an interesting theme and plot line. This Malayali movie mixes up food and love, and there can be no better combination than that for a successful film. This film is a modern day love story of two people who share a mutual love for food. The film will appeal to both foodies and romantics. It is funny, genuine, and a break from all other action and drama flicks we see releasing everyday.

Amen

Amen is a combination of romance, fantasy, comedy and music, which is about small village situated in the backwaters of Kerala. It is the story of a struggling musician. The film stars Fahadh Faasil, Swathi Reddy, and Indrajit Sukumaran in lead roles and is directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery. However, the film’s USP is its convincing story and the smartly written script.

Manjadikuru  

Anjali Menon’s Manjadikuru is an ode to all women who hold their own in a male dominated society. The story is all about childhood  nostalgia and make-believe we often indulge in as children. The film will take you on a beautiful adventure which will make you smile and think at the same time. This beautiful film evoked equally beautiful emotions and presented Kerala in a very pleasing light.

Thira

This movie by Vineeth Srinivasan will take you on a thrilling ride. It deals with the sensitive topic of human trafficking and prostitution.  Thira is a captivating watch which will keep you on the edge of your seat at all times.