Definitions

ash-pan

Incinerating toilet

An incinerating toilet is a toilet that burns the excrement instead of flushing it away with water.

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Systems
There are two types of incinerating toilet: electric and gas powered. Some major manufacturers of electric incinerating toilets are Incinolet and New Zealand based Eco Toilets. Gas powered toilets are made by Storburn, Usenburn, Eco John, and Scanlet, a Danish company.
Electric Incinerating Toilet:
Incinolet currently manufactures four different types of electric incinerating toilets for applications ranging from home use to portable RV use. All of their toilets use a similar system. Before use, a bowl liner is dropped into the toilet to catch all waste. After use, the toilet is “flushed” by pushing a foot pedal. This drops the bowl liner and its contents into a lower chamber that is sealed off from the outside. The incineration cycle is then initiated with the push of the “start” button. This cycle takes 60 minutes, but the toilet can be used at any time during the cycle. The incineration process involves a heater and a blower. The electric heater raises the temperature of the storage chamber to about 650 °C (1200 °F). and then shuts off until the temperature falls to below 540 °C (1000 °F). the heater cycles twice per minute. The blower goes on when the temperature inside the toilet reaches 55 °C (130 °F). and stays on after the incinerator shuts off until the toilet falls below 55 degrees Celsius. The ash left over is collected in the ash pan and should be disposed of when the ash is about ½ inch deep.
Gas Incinerating Toilet
Storburn International is the largest manufacturer of gas powered incinerating toilets, they offer two versions, a propane powered toilet and a natural gas powered toilet. The Storburn gas powered toilet is more like conventional water using toilets than the electric toilet. The toilet can be used between 40 and 50 times, or until the holding tank is full, before incineration. The incinerating process uses no electricity and reduces all waste to sterile ash and water vapor. The heat from the gas burner causes water to boil, which dissolves the solids. As water evaporates, the remaining solid matter falls into the flame and is turned into sterile ash. The interior chamber never needs to be cleaned because it sterilizes itself with each incineration cycle. Storburn is also developing a portable Usenburn model, which incinerates after each use. Eco John manufactures toilets that perform another important role in waste disposal. Their WC5 and WC16 models incinerate grey and black water created from showers and sinks. These systems are separate from the toilet, and normal low water flush toilets can be used.
Advantages:

  • Uses no water
  • Gas powered toilets use no electricity
  • Produces a fine sterile ash that can be safely disposed of
  • Portable, simple to install, and easy to use. Can work in freezing conditions and remote areas
  • Relatively odorless, compared to common storage outhouses and portable toilets

Disadvantages:

  • Incineration destroys nutrients in waste, making ash less valuable for replenishing soil
  • Requires energy—results in higher energy costs for users
  • Not entirely pollution free, electric energy use leaves a carbon footprint, and gas energy use releases some air pollutants

Applications:

  • Rural areas where sewage systems are not practical for financial or geographic reasons.
  • Job sites where permanent toilets are not available
  • Marine vessels operating in areas that waste discharge is prohibited
  • Areas where water is scarce
  • Areas where water contamination is an issue.



References

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