If you want to know about how composting toilet works, first you must know about how composting occurs. Composting occurs in organic decomposition when organic waste is converted to water vapor, carbon dioxide, and humus. The resulting humus is a useful fertilizer for most inedible plants.
Composting is the process of bio-degradation of organic matter. The presence of aerobic microorganisms is essential. This means that composting requires air.
Compost is a stable humus-like product with a characteristic odor. It is used in gardening and agro-culture as soil improvers and fertilizers.
The basic difference between the composting process and natural decomposition is that the composting process controlled. Besides raw materials, oxygen, water, and microorganisms also required. An indicator of the success of the process is the development of heat in the compost pile. Here comes the need of a composting toilet.
You are probably wondering how Composting toilet work so read about this topic below.
The principle of operation is simple. Peat, fine sawdust and other absorbents are used instead of water. The design of the composted toilet provides a handle that presses the required amount of sawdust into the sewers and completely covers them, preventing odors from spreading.
The role of microorganisms in composting
The most active organisms in the composting process are bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes. Composting is based on the succession of the microbial population. Different microorganisms are active at different stages of composting.
Composting toilets use aeration in the sewage treatment process, with or without water consumption. The presence of air in the process enables much faster processing than conventional systems such as traditional septic tanks or most wastewater treatment plants.
The waste that goes through this process can be used like any other compost, as a fertilizer for gardening or crops. The first toilets of this kind were made in Sweden 30 years ago.
Composting toilets offer several benefits:
- composted toilets are eco-friendly,
- reduce water consumption for flushing,
- prevent the release of potential pathogens into ecosystems,
- use nutrients from sewage,
- well-suited for remote and inaccessible areas.
Rapid aerobic composting is the process by which thermophilic bacteria break down waste into components by oxidation. Some components also serve as food for bacteria, which reduces waste and eliminates potential pathogens.
It is also possible to drain and separate the liquid from the bottom of the composting pan. In aerobic composting, it is important to keep the humidity level under control – 50% +/- 10. When too dry, the mass decomposes slowly, and when too wet, anaerobic organisms multiply and create odors.
Often a dry toilet is also used – one that separates urine. When solar technology applies to this type, it is a solar toilet.
The key ingredient for activating germs and for draining is oxygen. During installation, the air is usually drawn out of the room, passed through a container in which the process is carried out, and then discharged through a ventilation pipe that exits on the roof. Also, this movement of air (triggered by convection or fans) extracts carbon dioxide and odors.
The discharge rate of the plant depends on the capacity of the container and the speed of the processing process – from several months (active, hot composting) to several years (passive, cold composting).
Standalone composting toilets – although larger than ordinary toilets, they occupy a uniform floor area in the bathroom. Some products of this type use fans, including heaters, which maintain the best temperature for the processing process and additionally serve to drain urine and other liquids.
After each use, add a small number of absorbents containing carbon, such as wood shavings, coconut felt, garden humus, ash. This creates air pockets for better ventilation during the process, absorbing fluid and preventing unwanted odors.
Remote, central, floor units – drainage lead to the main unit, flushing is anhydrous or with little water. They are used when the frequency of use of toilets is higher or several toilets need to be connected and maintenance can do annually.
Vacuum-flush systems – with a small amount of water, the rinsing is carried out horizontally or upward, depending on the height at which the central plant is installed.
The secret of the composting toilet, which is increasingly popular in the world of eco-technology, is aerobic composting, which prevents the development of harmful microorganisms from human waste.
Nature is arranged in such a way that matter circulates because it constantly creates and then uses by-products of various processes. Composting toilets also provide an opportunity for people to use their by-products eco-friendly while conserving water resources that are scarce on our planet.