Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Operating process for toilets

Operating process DIY unit with cover material compartment although there are many different specific designs, the principals involved are basic, and universal to natural biochemical processes.

Rapid aerobic composting will be thermophilic decomposition in which bacteria that thrive at high temperatures (40-60 °C / 104-140 °F) oxidize (break down) the waste into its components, some of which are consumed in the process, reducing volume, and the eliminating potential pathogens. Partial urine diversion, where excess urine is redirected via a separate drain in the collector tray, is found in some commercial units, as the aerobic composting process requires moisture levels to be controlled (ideally 50% +/- 10): too dry, and the mass decomposes slowly or not at all; too wet and anaerobic organisms thrive, creating undesireable odors (cf. Anaerobic digestion).

This separated liquid may be diverted to a gray water system or collected for other uses. Urine contains approximately half of the available plant nutrients (usually more than 80% of the N (nitrogen), 60% of the P (phosphorus) and 70% of the K (potassium))[9] in human waste, and in healthy individuals is microbially sterile, although undiluted it may contain levels of inorganic salts and organic compounds at levels toxic to plants.

A slightly different approach that is becoming more common is the "dry" toilet, or total urine separation system, also known as the "solar" toilet where solar heat gain is leveraged to aid the process.[10] These systems depend on dessication to achieve sanitation safety goals[11], and make use of the separated (nutrient rich) liquid fraction for immediate area fertilization

The other requirement critical for microbial action (as well as drying) is ample oxygen. Commercial systems provide methods of ventilation that move air from the room, through the waste container, and out a vertical pipe, venting above the enclosure roof. This air movement (via convection or fan forced) will keep room odors from developing in a properly functioning unit. Most units provide/require manual methods for periodic aeration of the solids mass such as rotating a drum inside the unit or working an "aerator rake" through the mass.

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Compost toilet brands have different provisions for emptying the "finished product", and supply a range of capacities based on volume of use. Frequency of emptying will depend on the speed of the decomposition process and capacity, from a few months (active hot composting, self-contained) to years (passive, cold composting, large chamber).

With a properly sized and managed unit, a very small volume (around 10% of inputs) of humus-like material results, which will be suitable as an organic matter/fertilizer for agriculture - depending on local public health regulations? Many vendors will provide help regarding regulations and permitting, where required.

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