Incinerating toilets are first mentioned as patent in the early 1900 to counter the need for more public toilets. (Patentfeuerklosett mit Löhnholdtscher Patentsturzflammenfeuerung – Germany). Today, they are used as self-contained single units consisting of a common seat connected to a holding tank. Gas-fired or electric heating systems are used to incinerate waste products deposited in the holding tank. The incineration products are primarily water and fine ash.
Boards of Health´s recommendation is to consider incinerating toilets in situations where all other standard options have been exhausted, and in which there is limited area available for a leaching facility. Examples of such situations are barrier beaches, tiny lots near the shore, dune shacks, and living units on piers or docks.
Further, in rural areas where no municipal sewage system exists, or where installation of septic systems is impractical or due to shallow soils, steep slopes, high groundwater levels or extreme cold weather conditions. In remotely located roadside rest areas, where connection to a piping system is impractical and the cost unjustifiable. Also for work crews which are operating in areas where permanent toilets are not available, in marine vessels and in areas where water is scarce due to environmental conditions.
Incinerating toilet systems
– No water required
– Incineration cycle produces fine ash
– Small amount of ash only (one tablespoon of ash is generated on average per use)
– Incinerating toilet systems are portable and easy to install
– Can be installed in remote areas, either for temporary or permanent use and in unheated shelters, even in freezing temperatures
– Low odor creation in comparison to storage-in-disinfectant portable toilets
– Incinerating process destroys nutrients
– Requires energy
– Minor air pollution during incineration cycle
– Additives are typically required for use
– Few models can not be used during the incineration cycle
Specific designs of models depend on the type of energy used for incineration. Incinerating toilets are mainly designed with a chamber that receives and stores human wastes until ready for incineration process. The incinerating chamber is typically made of stainless steel or cast nickel (alloy). The vapor / products of combustion are fed by blower fan to a venting system which can be an exhaust pipe or an afterburner or other odor control system.
Note: All types can not be used during the incinerating cycle.
The electric toilet systems are relatively easy to install, because the systems do not require water / a plumbing connection. Setup involves placing the unit in the desired area, connecting an exhaust vent and the building’s exterior and plugging the unit into an electrical outlet (12 / 120 / 240 volts).
Some electric toilets require a bowl liner to be placed into the stainless steel toilet bowl before each use. This liner protects the bowl surface from waste and unpleasant cleaning. Waste is collected into a liner, which drops through the hinged bowl into a lower holding/burn area. The holding tanks can keep 2 – 6 uses (depends on model) before incineration is necessary.
Process: A start button activates a heating coil to begin the incineration process. The holding area is subjected to temperatures of up to 1400 F. The smoke within the incineration chamber is filtered through an odor catalyst and out the exhaust vent. The incineration system has an exhaust blower, which continues to extract heat after the heating coil has shut off. The incinerated debris, about a tablespoon, can be discarded after a cooling down period.
Many manufacturers do not recommend using the toilet multiple times between incineration cycles, but the toilet can continue to be used while incineration is in progress. A complete incinerating cycle takes from 1.5 to 1.75 hours. The smaller capacity units are designed for 120 volts service, while the larger units require 240 volts. These larger units are equipped with a three gallon storage chamber which can accommodate up to 60 uses before initiation. A complete incineration cycle takes longer (approx. 4.5 hours) for a full chamber.
Natural Gas and Propane incinerating toilets do not rely on the use of water, plumbing but some on electricity. These incinerating systems can be installed any place where a natural gas or propane cylinders is available. According to the manufacturer lStoreburn®, these systems have the ability to accommodate the needs of about 6 to 8 persons cottage or residence where the daily use would be about 16 hours.
Gas incinerator toilet parts and controls
The gas powered incinerating toilets can look as a common toilet bowl or they would appearance more like a portable outhouse. The holding chamber is located directly below the toilet seat. Liner or aerosol masking foam is may required before / after each use to blanket or cover over stored waste deposits.
Depending on the load capacity the system may burns for 1.5 to 4 hours. Manufactures recommending to burn off the loads at times when the toilet will not have to be used such as at the end of the day or at night.
Gas incinerator toilets require more installation considerations than electric toilets. All gas fixtures should be inspected annually for integrity. The Venting of gas systems must be observed with real care. An air space / opening must be maintained under the bottom of the unit to assure proper airflow during an incineration process. No rugs or carpets should be placed under the unit. The units require an airflow all the times and should be not installed in a airtight room.
The price range is around of $2,200. Further, is a venting system (approximately $150-$200) and aerosol masking foam and antifoam required.
Incinerating toilet systems are generally very simple to operate, either involving a button to begin the operating cycle or the activation of a burner. The degree of maintenance involved is depends on the model in use. Many gas-fired toilets have no moving parts and routine maintenance involves periodic cleaning of the burner and regular removal of ash only.
Maintenance for the electric incinerating toilet involves regular emptying of the ash and cleaning of the outer stainless steel surfaces. Further, a periodic (every 90 days) cleaning of the blower motor, an occasional replacement of blower wheels and an annual inspection of the catalyst.
Example: According to Incinolet product literature (Research Products/Blankenship), a four-user electric incinerating toilet costs $1,900; an eight-user toilet costs $2,100. Domestic energy prices can vary from $0.05 to $0.15 per kilowatt-hour.
The Incinolet electric toilets are claiming a consumption of 2 kw-h per cycle. Assuming 4 users, each using the toilet every 1.5 hours for a use period of 10 hours, the electric toilet would need approximately 53 kw-h of energy per day, or about 1,600 kw-h per month. At $0.10 per kw-h, this sums up to $160.00 per month or $1,920 annually.
The maintenance costs for the Incinolet include $0.09 per bowl liner used (one per use), a heating coil every 1 – 3 years ($89.10 each), and a blower fan every 2 years ($8.95 each). Using the same assumptions for frequency of use and spare parts every 2 years, the annual maintenance cost is approximately $830.
Ritz and Schroeder performed a life-cycle cost analysis for the Storburn propane toilet (1994.) The authors calculated the annual operational cost per person (adult) to be $233.60 and the annual maintenance cost to be $150 operation under cold-weather conditions. Assuming a purchase and installation price of $4,000..
A diesel- burning Storburn with cost of operation is about 8 cents per burn based on Diesel fuel cost of $4.00 per gallon.
Extra: Cabby Loo (Sweden) – mobile
Company: Research Products/Blankenship has manufactured the INCINOLET product for over forty years. INCINOLET is used in many countries all over the world The office and manufacturing facility are located in Dallas, Texas.
Model: Model CF
Application: home or cabin, workshop, barn or basement
Capacity: 4 people
Power: 120 volts
Warranty: one year
Price indication: $1,799.00
Model: Model RV
Application: Motorhomes and other moveable structures
Capacity: 4 people
Power: 120 volts
Warranty: one year
Price indication: $1,829.00
Model: Model TR
Application: Fulltime heavy use
Capacity: 8 people
Power: 240 volts
Warranty: two years
Price indication: $1,849.00
Model: Model WB
Application: Houseboat, Workboat – USCG certified for marine use
Capacity: 8 people (120 volts for 4 people)
Power: 120, 240 or 208 volts
Warranty: two years
Price indication: $1,899.00
Company: STORBURN was first introduced in 1976. The company was later purchased by the Gabriel Family in 1989. As a manufacturer of gas-fired incinerating toilets STORBURN has sold approx. 10,000 units since 1976 and operates from a 5,000 square foot facility in Brantford, Ontario, Canada and maintains a complete inventory of parts on-site.
Model: USENBURN water-free toilet
Consumption: Diesel, Kerosene or Aviation Jet Fuel
Power: 12 Volt
– No chemicals required
– Cost of operation is about 8 cents per burn based on Diesel fuel cost of $4.00 per gallon
– Creates sterile ash from waste
– No needs of cleaning as it works like a self-cleaning oven
Price indication: $ 4000
Company: ECOJOHN® toilet waste combustion systems were developed in the early 1990’s. They clientele of disaster organizations, military application, refugee camps, oil rig and construction companies.
Model: SR series
Consumption: Propane, natural gas and diesel
Power: 12V DC, 120V AC, and 240V AC
SR5 – 4 people full time; cabin, summer house, lower capacity usage areas
Price indication: $ 6,495
SR12 – 8-10 people full time; residential and smaller commercial applications – oil rigs, construction sites, camps, military, refugee camps, disaster relief, house boats
– Minimal residue (sterile ashes) and meets emission regulations
– Easy operating display with 2 flush buttons
– Commences incineration process immediately after starting the toilet
– Includes small water reservoir for cleaning purposes
– Circuit board controls burn cycles and operation
– Can be used during incineration process (process stops if toilet lid opens)
– Included vent pipe
– UL approval, CE mark, DEQ (IDAHO)
– Withstand harsh environments
Company: Selzam AG the leading gas specialist in Switzerland. As SOCAR PRINCIPAL GAS supervised Selzam AG 250 distributors in the area between Lake Zurich and Lake Constance with hundreds of commercial and industrial establishments are directly operated with propane gas.
Consumption: Propane / butane Propane, natural gas and diesel
Power: 24V DC
WHD: 60 x 45 x 40 cm
Weight: 35 kg
Price indication: CHF 4130
Company: Sirius Eco International is part of Sirius Eco Group AS. The whole product range is supplied by its sister company Ecotech AS, which is the manufacturing part of the group. Sirius Eco International AS is selling and marketing its products internationally. The combustion toilet Cinderella has established itself as the most popular combustion toilet in Scandinavia.
Model: Cinderella Motion / Classic / GAS
– No septic tank and no water
• Minimal pure ashes
• Capacity up to 5-6 persons.
• Energy: Propane
Cinderella Classic – 220 V edition
• No water, no tank, no bark or chemicals
• High environmental standards. No odor.
• High capacity (up to 12 people)
• Special: Clearing Alert
• Heating element/burner power 2000 W.
• Power: 220-240 V AC, 10 A.
Cinderella GAS – solution with access to 12V and propane
• High quality. High capacity, up to 10 people.
• Energy consumption / use – Up to 2 Ah. • Power Requirements 12 V DC / 4 amp (11 to 14.5V) source from eg. solar, leisure battery, converter 230, etc.
The Cinderella toilet systems are very modern incinerating toilets. The waste products are converted into sanitized ash by combustion at high temperatures.
High quality product of Norway
Odorless and attracts no flies
Minimal of waste and free of bacteria
No requirement for composting agents or chemicals
Cleaning Alert – indicates when to empty ash
Modern software “Sense” ensuring complete combustion and saving of energy
Approved by NEMKO (Electric) and DBI (Gas) and CE marked.
Company: The company has manufactured toilets for 30 years. The family business Separett was founded in 1976. It is today one of the world’s leading manufacturer of urine separating toilets. Separett is based deep in the forests of Småland – Sweden.
Model: Flame 8000 AC Electric
Application: family home
Capacity: 6 people and 3 people can use the toilet after each other, then allow 30 min for the next user
Toilet can be used during incinerating cycle
Power: 240 volts
Warranty: 3 Year
Price indication: $ 4600
Product: CabbyLoo – carefree toilet further developed for caravans
Company: Cabby (Sweden) first to introduce a separate toilet compartment wagons in the 1960s. Innovations have followed one another and in this most recent innovations – the incinerating toilet CabbyLoo.
Toilets with CabbyLoo technology, has been installed in more than 30 000 homes and leisure at home in Sweden and Norway. It is the highly popular and frequently tested incinerating toilet on the market. The same technology is now being further developed to suit caravans. CabbyLoo started the toilet option on all 2013 cabby models.
CabbyLoo is a patented, completely waterless toilet that burns clean. The ash is completely odorless, clean and germ free of all chemicals.
1. Lake Geneva A & C Corp, 1977. Store and Burn Incinerating Toilet and Method.
United States Patent US4051561.
2. Research Products/Blankenship. Incinolet Electric Incinerating Toilet product
literature. Internet site at http:/www. incinolet.com, accessed June 1999.
3. Ritz, P. and Schroeder, H.P., 1994. “Life Cycle Cost Analysis of a Storburn Propane
Combustion Toilet.” Paper presented at the 8th International Cold Regions Conference, Fairbanks, Alaska.
4. Storburn International. Storburn International Inc. Gas-Fired Incinerating Toilet product literature. Internet site at http://www3.sympatico.ca/storburn/, accessed June 1999.
5. U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment,1994. An Alaskan Challenge: Native Village Sanitation OTA-ENV-591, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.
6. U.S. EPA, 1980. Evaluation of 19 On-Site Waste Treatment Systems in Southeastern Kentucky . EPA 600/2-80-101, U.S. EPA, Washington, DC. The mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
8. All above mentioned manufacturers
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