Kolhapur Adopts Biogas Toilets

20 February 2023
Compressed Biogas

The city of Kolhapur, geographically located in Maharashtra, is highly benefiting from its progress in the adoption of biogas toilets. Generally, people in India have several reasons, including old beliefs, to deny the concept of biogas-linked toilets (BLT). However, Kolhapur has become an example, with at least 60 out of 100 houses having BLT.

Let’s understand the journey of biogas-linked toilets in Kolhapur.

How did it Begin? 

In 2014, during the launch of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a mission to clean India, the district authority of Kolhapur took the initiative of establishing biogas-linked toilets. Since then, around 1,19,780 from the total of 5,30,000 toilets in the district are linked to biogas plants, accounting for approximately 25%.

Currently, around 12 of 1186 Kolhapur villages have 100% installations of biogas-linked toilets, which produce biomethane gas. However, to reach here, the authorities had to face various challenges, out of which the most troublesome was changing the mindset of the people. This involves a lack of knowledge, cultural or psychological beliefs, and upto some extent, even religious beliefs.

The Benefits of Establishing a BLT 

People in India have a certain mindset. Some, if not all, are disgusted by the name of the biogas-linked toilets. However, the myths or taboo about the foul smell, faeces visibility, and contaminated food cooked on BLT is absolute gibberish.

With constant biogas generation, the villagers of Kolhapur have significantly reduced their dependency on firewood, a source of cooking food. Now, people have their stoves connected to digesters, reducing their efforts on arranging firewood and eliminating the need to visit a public toilet for daily requirements.

Apart from benefiting the cooking process, it has also allowed the villagers to spend more time and energy in increasing their sources of income. One such situation is of a woman named Rupali Chaudhary, who can now devote more time to fields. Also, the slurry released by biogas plants acts as manure and has successfully reduced the expenditure of urea.

How is Fuel Generated?

A biogas plant uses cow dung as its primary raw material in India. However, a mix of human excreta and cow dung can produce more biogas efficiently. The plant comprises an inlet, a digester, and an outlet, all connected to the slurry tank.

The biowaste mixed with water flows through the inlet to the digester. It then decomposes in the digester, which generates biogas supplied to the kitchen via an outlet. Biogas produced in this process can also be refined or purified through a process known as Biogas Upgradation, which then allows the biogas to be used in tractors, or transported long distances through pipelines.

A Kolhapur Update 

A village named Dhundawade, located in Gaganbawada, Kolhapur is fully equipped with biogas-linked toilets. They were to achieve the 100% ratio in 2021. One primary reason behind BLT installation is heavy rainfall, and frequent flooding, as Gaganbawada receives the highest rainfall after Meghalaya. Thanks to the slurry produced from biogas plants, people now use around 150 kg of urea in an acre of paddy field compared to the 500 kgs earlier.

Talking about Sangarol, almost 2000 families out of the total 3000 have biogas-linked toilets. The remaining 1000 families had no option but to stick to septic tanks because of space constraints.

People in Kolhapur believe that in the agricultural community, every family or house can assist a biogas plant with the help of their cattle.

Also, this year Kolhapur aspires to install 1000 biogas-linked toilets compared to 250 BLTs in different geographical locations of Maharashtra.

Wrapping Up 

The biogas production system uses organic matter to produce biomethane, which highly benefits the lives of people residing in Kolhapur and, at the same time – the environment. Similarly, BLT installations on a macro level can encourage sustainable development in the country.

Please contact us if you want to know more about the biogas purification system or biomethane.

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