If you need a toilet but you don't have plumbing, the time to compost your waste or a way to dispose of chemical waste, your only option may be an incinerating toilet. It routes your waste to a compartment where the waste is consumed by heat generated by an electric or gas burner.
Various models on the market more or less effectively address the issues of odor, energy use and safety.
Incinerator Toilet Basics
People who may need incinerating toilets include those who live or work in areas where septic systems aren't feasible and are also commonly used by boaters. An incinerating toilet typically has a stainless steel tank to contain waste, a source of gas or electric power to burn it, and a venting system to control odors.
The incineration process produces sterile ash and water vapor as by-products. Unlike the residue from composting toilets, the ash isn't suitable as a fertilizer -- you must discard it as waste.
EcoJohn SR and WC Series
The Ecojohn SR series is a stand-alone toilet that connects to an incinerating tank, whereas the WC series connects multiple toilets to a single incinerating unit. The WC series incinerators are powered by natural gas, propane or diesel fuel; the same options exist for the SR series tanks, with the addition of battery or 120-volt AC power.
You use an SR series by first inserting a liner. After you flush, an auger feeds the waste to the tank, where it is immediately incinerated.
It can take up to 30 minutes to burn the waste, but you can still use the toilet while incineration is in process.
Incinolet Electric Incinerating Toilet
The only power options for Incinolet toilets are 120- or 240-volt AC electricity. Each burn cycle, which occurs immediately after you use the toilet, consumes 1 1/2 to 2 kilowatts of electricity.
The incineration chamber is directly under the toilet, and when you flush, a timer begins the incineration process, during which the temperature in the chamber rises to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. A blower comes on at the same time.
The incineration process takes 60 minutes, and you can use the toilet at any time during the process, although you may not want to. You must use a special tank liner each time you use the toilet.
Storburn Pollution-Free Toilet
Storburn toilets are available with two fuel options: natural gas and propaneThe tank can accommodate 20 to 30 uses of the toilet before you have to run the incineration cycle, which makes the Storburn model suitable for use on construction sites or campgrounds, where many people will use it in succession. The incineration cycle requires the addition of a packet of anti-foam chemicals, and it takes 4 1/2 hours if the chamber is full.
You can't use the toilet while incineration is in progress; the burner automatically shuts off when the toilet is in use.