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The Zerodor way

Ekam Eco Solutions has come up with Zerodor, a technology related to waterless urinals. Zerodor is a patented technology, the rights of which rest with IIT-D. Ekam Eco Solutions holds the rights to disseminate this technology nationally and internationally. It is a mechanical system with a valve, which allows the urine to go through and blocks the ammonia present in the urine in the urinal pipe. It can be retrofitted in existing urinals and is available in three different materials—the water flush is uninstalled once the system is installed. No chemicals are used, and no electricity is required, making the kit low maintenance. All that needs to be done is to wash the urinal with running water once a day to keep it clean.

Sensing the need for an intervention - a system which was eco-friendly, non-polluting, sustainable and saves water, as after using the flush, urine and water get mixed and all this lands up in the river bodies, whether treated or untreated - the idea of Zerodor materialised. With waterless urinals, upto 1.5 lakh litres of water could be saved per urinal each year. Zerodor costs between Rs. 2,500-4,500, depending on the material used and accompaniments such as pipes, and connectors. The life of one system is guaranteed for three years.

The first official order was from IIT-D in December 2013 and since then Ekam Eco Solutions has retrofitted about 6,000 pieces across the country. A major impediment during the initial stage was convincing people about Zerodor. For the majority, it was not about conserving water but more about odour control; hence, the name Zerodor.

The company is also undertaking waterless urinal solutions for the submarines and warships of the Indian Navy. The company has installed urinals near a garden at the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Hyderabad. The urine is collected in a tank. Nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium present in the urine can be used in farming through a process called fertigation. The land is drip-irrigated few inches below the surface by urine so that there is no smell. The urine can be used directly without dilution. It is completely safe and nutrient rich.

Zerodor concept was born in the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. Having done Masters in Industrial Design from the institute, Uttam Bannerjee, Director and CEO, Ekam Eco Solutions was toying with ideas in the field of sanitation when he came across the Ph.D. thesis paper of Associate professor Vijayaraghavan M. Chariar, which talked about waterless urinals. Chariar, now Chairman and Director, Ekam Eco Solutions, did not pursue this further at that time because IIT-D, being an academic institution, didn’t allow commercialisation any of its innovation. In January 2013, the duo collaborated and formed form Ekam Eco Solutions and the company was formally incorporated in May 2013.

 

 
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