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Composting with hot box method (Howard-Higgins system)

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Composting with hot box method (Howard-Higgins system)
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TOPIC: Composting with hot box method (Howard-Higgins system)

richard higgins - 17 Oct 2011 20:58
Re: Windmill-driven ATADS
(note by moderator (EvM): I have now grouped all the posts by Richard Higgins and replies by others that belong to the "hot-box composting, Howard-Higgins system" into this one single thread, so that it is not scattered around the forum in different spots. I hope this helps with clarity.)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Hello Jim,
I have developed a thermophilic system that is one cubic metre and can render the sanitation waste, MHM and household waste of up to 42 families pathogen free in 14 days - cost (minimal), developed without any funding.
We are trialling this system again in Kampala later in the year. So we will have more details.
This is the Howard Higgins system as demonstrated daily at our london micro-farm.
blackburn - 17 Oct 2011 22:01
Re: Windmill-driven ATADS
Greetings Richard,

I am not at all surprised of your success. While aerobic thermophilic technologies have been around for a while, they are not taught to practitioners one-tenth as much as are anaerobic approaches. However, the do have some advantages. Can I gain more details of your London system on the internet? Best Regards, Jim
muench - 18 Oct 2011 09:14
Howard-Higgins composting system Re: Windmill-driven ATADS
Dear Jim,
This is something we all regularly ask Richard Higgins but unfortunately, he hasn't put all that much online yet... (?)
At least here you can see a presentation he gave at the 13th SuSana meeting in Kigali:
www.susana.org/lang-en/meetings/july-2011-kigali-no-13

Scrol down to working group 5, or see the direct link to the ppt:
Total Nutrient Recovery (TNR) in Sanitation to Agriculture (pdf) or (ppt) as well as an updated presentation (pdf)
Richard Higgins, New Directions Foundation, United Kingdom

www.susana.org/images/documents/04-meeti...ggins-composting.pdf

By the way, did you see the information on the sludge pelletiser in Durban which I put one level up on this forum (also under "faecal sludge management"). I think you might find that interesting, too (although it just works on heat, not on composting). But this is the crowd with a lot of experience with faecal sludge management.

Regards,
Elisabeth
blackburn - 18 Oct 2011 16:34
Re: Howard-Higgins composting system Re: Windmill-driven ATADS
The "hot box" Richard refers to I am slightly aware of. It is true that it has been used by farmers (in the US, but probably for a very long time many places in the world) to start seedlings in the late winter. A box, perhaps with a transparent cover is filled with soil, seeds and some raw (green) manure. The manure "matures" (aerobically degrades and much of the heat released is contained in the box, giving seedlings an early start in cold weather.

By the way, I greatly value the knowledge of this group.

Best Regards, Jim
richard higgins - 08 Nov 2011 21:33
Re: Benefit of Dry Fecal Matter Reuse- is it worth the cost/effort of processing?
Dear Florian,
In response to your reply to Chris.....as was posted on Ecosan Res conference.

Our Howard Higgins system does operate for small scale operations efficiently, reliably and cost effectively, or at least it does here in the UK. (15 years)
Our particular system is 1m cubed Hot Boxes that are used in detailed thermophilic system. All results have been analyzed and will be re trialed again in Kampala again this fall. As far as I can determine it is the best system I have seen or heard about. Ascaris eggs - no problem.
Richard Higgins
Co chair WG05
secretariat - 18 Nov 2011 21:52
Thermophilic system, Australia
Note from moderator: I have moved the posting of Richard Higgins to here under composting systems as it did not fit with Dena's question on end user engagement. Please continue the discussion here.

ThermoFactory.jpg


Hello Dena,

It would be great to try and introduce our thermophilic system into the ether of Australia.

So far we have had no response from anyone we have written to in Australia...IE., Permaculture people.

Lets hope there is some interest there.

[posted by Richard Higgins]
richard higgins - 05 Jan 2013 09:50
possible addition of up date for factsheet WG5
This is a request to add the findings of our trials in Uganda, January 2012, at the farm of Makerere University on the effect of composting human effluent with MHM and Peepoo bags.

We successfully composted the human effluent of 720 people, 300 MHM pads and 200 Peepoo bags in a 1.5 cubic meter Hot Box with the Howard-Higgins system. No pathogens were found in the biological testing at 90 days.

Richard Higgins
New Directions Foundation
barisot - 06 Jan 2013 07:07
Re: possible addition of up date for factsheet WG5
Regularly I dropped on the Hot Box and the Howard Higgins composting method. It seems to be a simple and efficient method for faecal treatment. The Howard Higgins method on pallets as applied in Haiti might be very useful in an emergency situation but hardly under normal circumstances. Therefore it would be interesting to get more information on the Hot Box, how they are operated and on what principles they are based in order to figure out the pros and cons.

Among different options for faecal treatment terra preta sanitation (TPS)with the application of a microbial mix after defecation are an interesting way to stabilize faecal matter and to circumvent the problem of ventilation.

Sanitization of faecal matter with ammonia (urea) seems to be a safe and simple method with the additional advantage that sanitizing and composting could be done at different sites. Furthermore less stringent rules could be applied in composting as the base material is safe.

The combination of both methods has to overcome an obstacle. Faecal stabilization in TPS is based on keeping low the pH. On the other hand ammonia treatment works only at a relatively high pH.

The missing link would be a cheap method to raise the pH.
christoph - 06 Jan 2013 16:43
Re: possible addition of up date for factsheet WG5
Hi Richard,

as you concluded your trials in Uganda, could you post the results? I would be especially interested in systematic data about the helminth eggs removal, do you have before - after combined with temperature?
Thanks in advance.

Christoph
JKMakowka - 06 Jan 2013 20:40
Re: possible addition of up date for factsheet WG5
barisot wrote:
Regularly I dropped on the Hot Box and the Howard Higgins composting method. It seems to be a simple and efficient method for faecal treatment. The Howard Higgins method on pallets as applied in Haiti might be very useful in an emergency situation but hardly under normal circumstances. Therefore it would be interesting to get more information on the Hot Box, how they are operated and on what principles they are based in order to figure out the pros and cons.

Among different options for faecal treatment terra preta sanitation (TPS)with the application of a microbial mix after defecation are an interesting way to stabilize faecal matter and to circumvent the problem of ventilation.

Sanitization of faecal matter with ammonia (urea) seems to be a safe and simple method with the additional advantage that sanitizing and composting could be done at different sites. Furthermore less stringent rules could be applied in composting as the base material is safe.

The combination of both methods has to overcome an obstacle. Faecal stabilization in TPS is based on keeping low the pH. On the other hand ammonia treatment works only at a relatively high pH.

The missing link would be a cheap method to raise the pH.


Hmm, the waste-product of biodiesel production glycerin/glycerol is at a quite high pH after leaving the biodiesel production. In addition it would probably be a nice power-boost for thermophilic composting as it is a form of sugar that can be utilized by most bacteria.

One problem I see is that after sanitizing with urea you will have a lot of NH3/NH4 in the feacal material, that will make it very unpleasant (and even toxic) to work with if you plan to put that stuff into a composting site afterwards. Especially at higher temperatures it will degas and thus produce an extreme smell.
rob# - 07 Jan 2013 09:39
Re: possible addition of up date for factsheet WG5
Dear Richard,

Thank you very much for your post. The WG5 factsheet is probably not the best medium to make the findings of your trials known as the factsheet is a lot more generic in nature and it is probably too early to include your findings in the chapter on reuse examples.

However I am sure that many people in the group would be interested to get more in-depth information on the trials you did. So if you could share you results via this forum or if you have a corresponding paper that we could circulate via the WG5 mailing list, that would be marvellous.

Thanks and best regards

rob
joeturner - 22 Feb 2013 10:30
Re: possible addition of up date for factsheet WG5
Interested to hear this, be curious to know exactly what is was that you measured.

Richard's linkedIn page says

The system safely digested the sanitation of 36 houses, 300 MHM pads and 200 Oxfam PeePoo bags in the first 14 day period and went on to prove negative in the testing for harmful pathogens according to the ABP regs/2011 for pathogen testing in sewage sludge. A world first in Environmental waste management.


I'm not sure what the ABP regs are, but it sounds like the Animal Byproducts Order in the UK. I don't know why you'd be treating sludge to meet a British standard for animal byproducts.

I am not familiar with this standard, does it even measure Helminths? Why have you not tested it to a sludge standard?
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