Here's an idea (free for anyone to adopt!) for organizing biochar sanitation for a festival like Burning Man:
Charring Woman Biochar Camp
Purpose: To demonstrate ways that Burning Man (or any festival) can turn wood sculptures to biochar using top-lit burning methods and graywater to quench burns and save biochar. Biochar is then used to deodorize and sanitize human waste that can be taken home and used in gardens.
Inspiration: Charring Woman is the Great Goddess of the Soil. She is known as Cybele, Kali, Isis, Oya, Matka, Black Artemis, Black Tara and the Black Virgin. She asks for biochar to renew her fertility. She brings joy to those who recycle their waste to build soil.
- Biochar Pee Buckets – 5 gallon buckets filled with biochar, sawdust and bokashi that are distributed to campers for personal use and transport back to home gardens.
- Biochar Poo Bucket Toilets – a bank of toilets based on the 5 gallon buckets. Contents will be emptied into 55-gallon drums and transported to a humanure composting facility.
- Pyramid Kilns for demonstrating top-lit burn methods that can be used in all burns for maximizing char production. Biochar produced is used in Poo and Pee Buckets.
- Graywater Utilization System – graywater collection tanks that are used to quench Pyramid Kilns. Graywater will mostly vaporize on quenching. What does not vaporize will be re-used.
1. Distribute Biochar Pee Buckets and educate about their use
Charring Woman will prepare thousands of 5 gallon buckets with a mixture of biochar, sawdust and bokashi (a lactic acid inoculant that ferments urine, preserving nitrogen and drastically reducing odor). We will also disseminate information about how to use the buckets and how to add the contents to garden soil for increased fertility. The goal is to eventually have every camper collect and transport all of their urine back home in biochar pee buckets.
2. Provide Biochar Poo Bucket toilets and educate about their use
Charring Woman will construct a small bank of biochar toilets using 5 gallon buckets – about 20 toilets. We will produce information on the proper use of the toilets. Volunteers will empty the buckets into 55 gallon drums that will be hauled offsite for composting with a humanure composting system using straw and other bulking materials. The goal will be to gradually transition the entire festival from chemical toilets to the Biochar Poo Bucket/Humanure Composting System over several years.
Biochar Poo and Pee Buckets at home. Open Poo Bucket shows how the combination of biochar and bokashi ferments and stabilizes poo and kitchen waste, producing a kind of “Poo Cheese.”
3. Pyramid Kiln demonstrations
The Pyramid Kiln is a brazier that serves as a container for top lit debris fires. Using wood debris or small sculptures, we will demonstrate the top lit method of burning that minimizes smoke and maximizes char production.
The Pyramid Kiln in action. It can produce biochar while disposing of MOOP (Material Out Of Place). Once the initial stack has burned down to hot coals, add additional material one or two layers at a time until the kiln is full, and then quench with water.
4. Graywater beneficial use
Charring Woman will establish a graywater collection system to use for quenching the Pyramid Kilns and biochar stoves. Water quenching is essential for saving the biochar. It will also help dispose of graywater as much of it will vaporize during quenching.
Learning to Burn and Make Biochar, Not Smoke. Kelpie Wilson. Tree Care Industry Magazine. February 2014.
Kelpie Wilson Keynote Presentation: The 19th Century Roots of Modern Biochar, 2013 US Biochar Symposium, Amherst, MA, Oct. 13-16
Terra Preta Sanitation Initiative, Hamburg University of Technology, http://www.terra-preta-sanitation.net/cms/index.php
Terra Preta Sanitation Video
Here is a wonderful video from Valentina Karga and friends showing a public toilet they created in a public park using the Terra Preta Sanitation principles:
Humanure Festival System Video. A good example of how to set up a whole system. Could be slightly improved by adding some bokashi and biochar.