The Earth Auger Toilet: urine-diverting composting toilet (Fundacion In Terris, Ecuador) - updates on progress

  • chuckhenry
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Re: Much improved Wikipedia page on composting toilets

Note by moderator: This post was originally here in a thread about composting toilets on Wikipedia:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/70-com...osting-toilets#11587


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Hi Elisabeth,

Great effort! A couple modifications to the EarthAuger post... our first production run of 650 of the new injection molded model EA-X have recently been produced; 435 were delivered to Ecuador in October for installation, of which about 100 will have been installed by the end of January. Others have been installed in the US, and are planned for installation in Cambodia, Nepal and South Africa.
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  • muench
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Re: Much improved Wikipedia page on composting toilets

Dear Chuck,

Thanks for your reply.
What does EA-X stand for or is that just the name of your model?

Also on second thoughts I am wondering now if your toilet really classifies as a composting toilet or is it more of a hybrid between UDDT and composting toilet? I mean how do you ensure you have enough moisture and aeration in your composting process? How does the air geht into the pipe, just from each "flush" and addition of new material? Maybe I should rather move it to the UDDT page of Wikipedia rather than the composting page, what would you say?
( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urine-diverting_dry_toilet#Ecuador )

Also, could you please provide some information about composting toilets and UDDTs in general in Ecuador. Are there any, apart from yours now? (and the ones by Chris Canada which are mentioned in the Wikipedia article here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urine-diverting_dry_toilet#Ecuador )

And where in the US have they been installed by now?
Why Cambodia, Nepal and South Africa in particular?

What about helminth eggs in the compost, is this something you test for regularly? I would not expect that you get much reduction there as you probably don't have much of a temperature increase in your process or do you?


Greetings,
Elisabeth

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  • chuckhenry
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Re: Much improved Wikipedia page on composting toilets

EA-X simply stands for (about) our tenth version of the Earth Auger - just a little designation difference to celebrate an actual production model!

Yes, I totally agree about EA-X being a hybrid. AS you know, fairly rapid composting takes place at solids percentages between 40-60; composting definitely takes place while being mixed and moved through the horizontal tube. And it's easy to tell, as the material that comes out the end has a typical musty odor of rich earth rather than a fecal smell. But drying definitely occurs as well, with end material varying between a low of 30% and a high of 90% - this is presumably dependent upon number of users and effectiveness of the urine diverter.

Air gets into the pipe via the black vent tube - as solar radiation heats up the tube, air is drawn upwards and out. as the toilet seat is not totally air tight, air enters from there and passes through the horizontal tube.

In the US I test all versions at my home in the mountains outside of Seattle. Currently I have three still available for use! EA-X is my current toilet of choice as it's attached to my house!


Then, an organization in Oregon is in the process of developing a "Go & Grow" concept - where EA-X is the centering point of a greenhouse - the 'compost' and urine/greywater is used for edible garden crops. They have four toilets.

Also, my wife and I were recently written up in the University of Washington Columns magazine www.washington.edu/alumni/columns-magazi...-2014/features/soil/
That has stirred a fair amount of interest from UW alumni and we've gotten a number of requests for toilets in our area in the US. Our plan is to choose three local sites (in addition Go & Grow) for extensive monitoring for certification of the toilet.

Why Cambodia, Nepal and South Africa in particular? Opportunity! Live and Learn from Cambodia has long been interested in the EA - because my wife and I had the conference in Hanoi (and our partner Roger joined us) we each carried a toilet US-Vietnam-Cambodia and had a wonderful visit/installation to the Angkor World Heritage site.


In South Africa, as mentioned earlier in a post, we were invited as one of five technologies for large-scale demonstration. This project may start in June this year. In Nepal we were asked to co propose for a small ADB grant that was approved, but not yet started.

The fate of Ascaris is being investigated by the University of Washington for us. As there are few incidences of Ascaris found in Ecuador, they are pursuing this by lab studies in Seattle. You are correct - we don't expect to find much reduction in the horizontal tube UNTIL compost reached the outside of the structure, where you can see it's all black (this is a new design change). Temperatures increase about 20°C above ambient due to solar radiation in the black bucket - with moderately high ambient temperatures we expect to see good results.
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  • mtfioravanti
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Re: Much improved Wikipedia page on composting toilets

Hi,

The attached PPT that we used in the FSM3 in Hanoi, Vietnam can be illustrative for the current status of our activities in Ecuador. We should have strong results by the mid of 2015 regarding to the technology assesment in Ecuador.

Cheers! Marcos

Marcos Fioravanti B.
Taladro de la Tierra Project
Fundación In Terris / Critical Practices LLC

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  • JKMakowka
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Re: Much improved Wikipedia page on composting toilets

Thanks for the update!

One remark regarding the UD part: Seems a bit unfortunate that the design doesn't allow for urine division when the faeces compartment is open (the opening is too small to hit I think).
I do like the idea of having a lid that allows clean urine division, but the specific design doesn't allow it to be used as a standing urinal. Wouldn't it be possible to shape it in a way that there is a splash protection for the seat and with a more rounded interior that one can actually use the lid for urinating while standing?

Last but not least: do you already ship samples? What would be the approximate price?

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  • chuckhenry
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Re: Much improved Wikipedia page on composting toilets

Yes, i agree! It would be elegant to be able to accomplish urine diversion when the seat 'seal' is up. Some thing to work on, but it's always a trade-off between making the urine diversion part big enough to accomplish this, yet keep inadvertent feces from entering. When I have tried larger urine diversion components, I've had some testers 'miss' and then we've had to clean feces out of the urine diversion area.

We do recommend a separate urinal next to the toilet. Yet, at the same time, we're always trying to improve the design - changing the seal is a possibility to act as a stand-up urinal. Each change, however, is relatively expensive!
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  • chuckhenry
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Re: Much improved Wikipedia page on composting toilets

Our goal is to be able to have the following price structure (FOB China):
100-499 units $150USD
500-999 units $125USD
1000+ units $110USD

This is based on complete kits for the current model, with reductions of price achievable by reductions of production and handling costs with higher quantities.
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  • ben
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Re: Much improved Wikipedia page on composting toilets

Dear all the team,

This is great to see your progresses, your new model and the low prices you managed to reach. Congratulation, I've been following you for a while and you showed that innovation is a long path. Looking forward to see how they're perceived outside ecuador.

Just for curiosity, are you working on some decentralized production, mean a way to ship molds and technical guides rather than actual products from china. Chinese production could spread all over asia and pacific for cheap though. Would local production everywhere be the next step of your development or the price difference will make it cheaper from china for a long time still ?

Wish you best of luck in your prospects, and thanks for sharing all the updates.

Ben
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  • chuckhenry
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Re: Much improved Wikipedia page on composting toilets

Yes, we are definitely interested in local production - where there is significant demand and it saves money to manufacture locally and justify the tooling costs. Our approach would be to do a fairly large demonstration, then work with a company that wants to take it the next step in a country/region. We started manufacturing in China as it was less than other options we looked into, and were really fortunate in finding a group there that greatly helped us in making the manufacturing easier.
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Re: The Earth Auger Toilet: urine-diverting composting toilet (Fundacion In Terris, Ecuador) - updates on progress

The video from Marcos' presentation at the FSM3 Conference in Hanoi in January 2015 about the progress with the Earth Auger Toilet in Ecuador (and the question and answer session afterwards) is now also available online here:


Or fast forward to time: 52 min. 14 s here:


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  • vishwanathdalvi
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Re: The Earth Auger Toilet: urine-diverting composting toilet (Fundacion In Terris, Ecuador) - updates on progress

Hi!

I really like the work you have done and shared so generously. Could you share what particulate materials you used in the toilet?
Thanks!
Vishwanath

Vishwanath H. Dalvi
R. A. Mashelkar Assistant Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering
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  • chuckhenry
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Re: The Earth Auger Toilet: urine-diverting composting toilet (Fundacion In Terris, Ecuador) - updates on progress

Hi Vishwanath,

Thanks!

The EA-X (Critical Practices 10th generation over the last 14 years of development!) is currently made mostly of injection molded polypropylene. The horizontal pipe is currently PVC irrigation pipe, but we'll start extrusion molding that soon as well. Then, of course, there are the screws, bolts, etc. For corrosion resistance as many of these are stainless steel as possible.
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