Incinerating toilet

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An example of an early (1904) incinerating toilet from the Lexikon der gesamten Technik
Example of incineration toilet under development by RTI International. The blue section to the right contains some of the drying and combustion components.

An incinerating toilet is a type of dry toilet that burns human feces instead of flushing them away with water, as does a flush toilet.[1]

Incinerating toilets are used only for niche applications, which include:

  • Apartments with limited or difficult access to waste plumbing.
  • Houses without access to drains, and where building a septic tank would be difficult or uneconomic.
  • On yachts and canal barges, as an alternative to a "black water" holding tank, which needs to be pumped out occasionally.
  • On mobile homes, RVs and caravans/(trailers).

Incinerating toilets may be powered by electricity, gas, dried feces or other energy sources.[2][3] Incinerating toilets gather excrement in an integral ashpan and then incinerate it,[4] reducing it to pathogen-free ash.[5] Some will also incinerate "grey water" created from showers and sinks.


In 2011 the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge" to promote safer, more effective ways to treat human excreta. Several research teams have received funding to work on developing toilets based on solid waste combustion.[6] For example, a toilet under development by RTI International is based on electrochemical disinfection and solid waste combustion.[7] This technology converts feces into burnable pieces and then uses thermoelectric devices to convert the thermal energy into electrical energy.[citation needed]


  1. ^ [1] "Water Efficiency Technology Fact Sheet - Incinerating Toilets", EPA 832-F-99-072 (1999)
  2. ^ "Enviro Composting Toilet Systems NZ". Enviro Composting Toilet Systems NZ. Retrieved 2016-11-28.
  3. ^ "Cinderella Forbrenningstoalett - Forsiden". Retrieved 2016-11-28.
  4. ^ As in the "Incinolet" toilet: [2]
  5. ^ "Composting Toilet Systems". Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  6. ^ Elisabeth von Muench, Dorothee Spuhler, Trevor Surridge, Nelson Ekane, Kim Andersson, Emine Goekce Fidan, Arno Rosemarin (2013) Sustainable Sanitation Alliance members take a closer look at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s sanitation grants, Sustainable Sanitation Practice Journal, Issue 17, p. 4-10
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 17, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) RTI Reinvent the Toilet Project Team - Technology Overview

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