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4:34 AM
@kimholder Absolutely fascinating video! My goodness you've put so much careful thought into this!
4:44 AM
including items near the end of the article.
7 hours later…
12:14 PM
so far so good. I shared it and had few discussion, but nothing super problematic surfaced.
I would probably go different route with gray water and solid waster processing - by just burning, do disrupt any microbiological cycles which may include harmful stuff, and considering short loop, to guarantee good conditions for food crops and such.
there are questions about ladder - but I do not consider it like an issue.
energy part will be more questionable, but you know my position in the question(more or less)
3 hours later…
2:52 PM
@uhoh And i'm very glad you think so, too. And again, any input would be much appreciated.
@uhoh That's an interesting update. What i've done at this point is posit that during construction, the ground around all installations is fused into a solid sheet that is a centimeter or two deep. There are a couple of possible approaches to that.
Thinking about rovers, robots, and spacesuits is harder with my limited knowledge, but for now i imagine joints being shrouded in multiple sleeves, and axles being configured behind baffles.
@MolbOrg burning, huh? Interesting...
i did play for a bit with putting material in a vessel and taking it out of the airlock at dawn, and leaving it in the sun, and bringing it back in after dark once it has cooled down completely. If the contents stayed at 120 C for a while, like the temperature the ground reaches, that's enough to sterilize.
yes, energy is a big issue, and i'll handle it next.
3:07 PM
the biological path is quite short in the case, potentially, and bets/win/lose are quite high. I mean if something happens, it's bad, and better to eradicate any possibility for it to happen.
And it does not have that much to have the cycle closed with composting. Composting is good for earth case, and there are options for long cycles easy available.
*It does not give that much if there is composting
do you think roasting it on the surface like i suggested would be enough? is that what you had in mind?
it may be enough, but you can't guarantee it will be always enough. If something can go wrong in a process it will go wrong one time and if there are unlikely situations to happen they will and do happen.
plants fo need CO2 - you just literally burn the sht, extract CO2, clean it and back in the system
have more nitrogen-fixing bacterias, or make fertilizers artificially
i don't know how much that would affect the oxygen supply, or the size of the radiators cooling the habs.
not much, most of the food will be converted in CO2 anyway, through breath so, it just a fraction
and oxygen, in general, is not a problem on the moon.
heat again it will be a fraction of what needs to be removed, and there is a whole night cycle
it wouldn't be hard to put reflectors around a vessel on the surface to focus more sun on it, so it gets hotter - 200 C, 300 C... but what you are saying is the products also aren't as useful as burning it?
3:17 PM
with easy means to remove and accumulate any amount of heat with easy means, and accumulate any amount of cold
>200 C, 300 C... but what you are saying is the products also aren't as useful as burning it?
that's possible, it will produce charcoal and fraction of gases. But your main goal is basically to resupply system with carbon, return it back, and only input source for plants is CO2.
Gases which will be produced by cracking - they basically have no use, or if one needs them it is a different cycle
one of the goals of composting is to grow soil. Those hard to digest materials which will last long and be a buffer and medium for bacteria and all that. In the system with a potential short supply of carbon, it may be a problem to use carbon to create soil, and there are other means to grow things which we consider more productive.

potentially it is possible to use compost and all that - but it needs more materials, bigger carbon buffer, long time when carbon is out of business(years), multiple stages through different living organisms - quite complex system. Too much complexity which may
but first thought for me is microbiological control, better shoot than sorry, and to not overcomplicate things and guarantee a result, doing what happens naturally but faster
Hm. I have to think about how to incorporate this. I recall seeing these designs for production of a sort of charred product, but not exactly charcoal, that was supposed to optimize the amount of product and minimize the release of gasses... i can't remember what it was called.
yes - biochar they called it.
and which use has the charcoal later in the situation?
i thought that is what you meant by burning it.
Biochar is charcoal used as a soil amendment. Biochar is a stable solid, rich in carbon, and can endure in soil for thousands of years. Like most charcoal, biochar is made from biomass via pyrolysis. Biochar is under investigation as an approach to carbon sequestration. Biochar thus has the potential to help mitigate climate change via carbon sequestration. Independently, biochar can increase soil fertility of acidic soils (low pH soils), increase agricultural productivity, and provide protection against some foliar and soil-borne diseases. == History == The word "biochar" is a combination of ...
oh, no, i see...
let me read a bit, i need to understand the difference in the products.
3:33 PM
it is what happens when you heat it to 200-300C
I meant literally fire show - the goal is to gasify the waste making water and carbon dioxide.
Which is easy to filter and bacteria and viruses won't survive that, but even if they will be filtered out
the part on soil amendment seems relevant
i wonder if the ideal thing would be to do a mix of the two. these first habs aren't that large, i still wonder about air quality if stuff is being burnt. you'd have to filter all the smoke, and control the humidity.
you should create enough growing medium before you can use any of that. so you already have growing medium
but if you need to create it that way, better to use separate cycle, which you can control and where human waste is not involved
you do not burn the stuff inside the main living volume ))))
yeah, that just crossed my mind... you'd have to have a separate structure with an atmosphere, and do it there.
which isn't hard to do. it wouldn't need a full atmosphere. it adds complexity but from what you say, it's worth it.
Just have a usual a box made out of anything, blow oxygen in, suck hot gases out - refine clean them - CO2 back in the system, H2O back in the system
Hm. Alright, this is on my list of things to do now.
3:40 PM
you can have the box outside so waste heat would not be a concern - at 500C temp of gases it will cooldown quite fast on its own even if it is in direct sun
In order to control odors, i'd already put a system on the toilets that heats the solid wastes to dry them out. I don't know if that is the best approach, but it's what i put in for now. It does that each time the toilet is used.
and it runs the released gasses through a filter, charcoal i suppose.
Incineration is a waste treatment process that involves the combustion of organic substances contained in waste materials. Incineration and other high-temperature waste treatment systems are described as "thermal treatment". Incineration of waste materials converts the waste into ash, flue gas and heat. The ash is mostly formed by the inorganic constituents of the waste, and may take the form of solid lumps or particulates carried by the flue gas. The flue gases must be cleaned of gaseous and particulate pollutants before they are dispersed into the atmosphere. In some cases, the heat generated...
after burning it needs some liquefaction process as one of potential means to separate gases including trace ones like Cl, F, NOx, CO, etc.

odors - ventilation, filters.
And closing the door in toilet ))
this seems like it would release more CO2 than would be good for the habs. It's been a while since i looked at material about this, but as i recall, a level of more than 0.5% starts to impact people's health.
I had been thinking of aiming for a level of about 0.2%.
which is still 5 times the level on Earth.
i'm going to start writing the blog post about this now.
3:59 PM
I feel some misunderstanding. but, after you burned and separated gases, you have a bottle full of CO2 and you completely under the control of what do next with it, and how much to release, where to release, how to release. Target destination plant growing compartments. Whatever it is, if we consider that food for those people is grown on the base then release where it is grown.
Those places would be isolated, should have microbiological control and should be protected by other means to prevent any sort of mishap
100% controlled environment - because they are critical.
The rest of the greens - for recreation and looks - they are not critical
burning is implemented as a usual industrial process, in a controlled manner, preventing gases escape where they not needed, pump them where they are needed and all that.
Alright. I thought about the inconvenience of a bunch of stored CO2 slowly building up. And then i thought - oh. Carbothermal reactions. Those are handy...
>of a bunch of stored CO2 slowly building up.
why should it build up - apple in apple out
if you have a positive input of carbon in the system - make that charcoal, from plant matter, which is clean, and use it where you wish to use.
yeah, because it seemed to me the food the people eat has a lot of carbon in it, and it would surprise me if the plants and algae could fix all of that again in carbon chemicals if the process was sped up by burning it.
make a liquid from it - C2H5OH - store it in case of emergency.
if there is so much of carbon(which is a problem on the moon) vent it out
waste carbon??? bite your tongue :P
you're right, charcoal is one solution. Using carbon dioxide in chemical reactors is another.
4:09 PM
whats the problem then - if you didn't named where to use it does nont mean it is nowhere to use.
>yeah, because it seemed to me the food the people eat has a lot of carbon in it, and it would surprise me if the plants and algae could fix all of that again in carbon chemicals if the process was sped up by burning it.

this one I did not understood it.
burning it is like speeding up the process, right? instead of the carbon remaining solid in compost, it is released as carbon dioxide quickly by burning it.
> the food the people eat has a lot of carbon in it
if we do not count water, yes that's true - everything is about 1/5 carbon by mass
> it would surprise me if the plants and algae could fix all
they will fix any amount you give to them - by incorporating in their plant bodies.
>carbon chemicals if the process was sped up by burning it.

ah, I see
but the question is how fast they would. or put a better way, how much plant mass do you need to handle that in a short enough time.
hm, we are back to how wasteful humans are. I would say we digest about at least 80% of what we consume.
So once you at the apple, one hour later 80% of the apple are back in the air in form of carbon dioxide and water and methane
but next day we again need an apple, but as we did nothing with the waste we will get 80% of the apple, because there was not enough of carbon dioxide to be incorporated in an apple we grow
so if we in the same hour we needed to gasify an apple by our digestive system would also gasify 20% of the apple, it will just allow us to get the whole apple the next day.
If the system can't consume the same amount of carbon dioxide produced by our digestive system and by burning the wast - it means each cycle amount of carbon incorporated in plant bodies shrinks - it means the system has not enough production capacities.
we digest 80%? that's more than i thought. But, our bodies are also shedding solid waste all the time. Maybe it doesn't come from that apple, but it comes from somewhere... the solid waste we produce is roughly equal to the mass we eat...
4:19 PM
to produce an apple each day you need to supply an apple worth of carbon into the system for the system to not shrink in size
yes, but not all as carbon dioxide.
>we digest 80%?
kinda random numbers, I guessed it from the frequency of my food intakes and outtakes :DD not scientifically accurate and it depends on the food
>yes, but not all as carbon dioxide.
hm, we do not talk about fertilizers and all that at the moment?
i was sort of hoping creating charcoal from part of the waste would mostly handle that. and maybe extracting chemicals from urine.
generally, if needed plants will take mass from carbon only(100%), except minerals, and what can be considered as fertilizer - nitrogen-containing chemicals
urea from urine can be used, right?
4:27 PM
And honestly, I not aware of any other significant mechanisms for plants to get matter for their growth(besides parasitic plants, and besides not plants but those like mushrooms), but I just do not know that much to say there is absolutely none. But I guarantee they aren't main things by any means, which can be seen on any aquaponics setup.
yes, it can be used, but it is against the ideology of isolation of potential microbiological cycles, disrupting them. _ but I guess stuff can be filtered, dried, cleaned, sterilized more controllable etc
it more a chemical which needs to be extracted so it can be an industrial-like process.
but I do not know it so easy to produce so idk
@MolbOrg exactly, that was the plan
what it would take is indeed a significant open question.
2 NH3 + CO2 ⇌ H2N-COONH4 (ΔH= -117kJ/mol at 110 atm and 160°C)
but i'm again tempted to just take a vessel of it out of the hab once a month, and set it up so the sun will boil it and the steam be directed in such a way that it condenses away from the urine vessel, until only solids are left.
@MolbOrg oh, interesting. but it looks like there is 9 grams of the stuff in a typical liter of urine.
4:44 PM
things can be done in multiple ways, I can't say it is not a way.
one human produces a lot of solid waste a day, it is not only sht and piss - those things should be processed.
there are bacterias which use urine and release ammonia, which can be easily separated as output, it may make sense to use those as means to gasify the stuff.

or it can be extracted as chemical - by distillation and using right solvents. the rest I would burn.
basically, I would incinerate all human-produced waste
yep, i generally agree with that now.
the processing unit for solids i think i have enough information to model now. the urine stuff will take more examination.
i'm still inclined to just extract the solids from at least part of the urine. It stands to reason that plants will naturally know exactly what to do with that and it doesn't need more processing to work as fertilizer.
you just have to make sure it's sterile.
i'm pretty sure i won't get around to modelling this for a few months, though. i have to finish the phase 2 colony with the main things, which include power infrastructure and a large number of new habs.
for now, i can only note it down. i should star this in some appropriate spot to refer back....
urine is the same urine you may produce, also it is not the best nitrogen-containing fertilizer.
but generally it possible, I just not sure it worth the effort, but the water has to be extracted, so it may be a part of the process, so the last resort do we treat plant compartment as a true isolated thing or not, I would be inclined to keep it isolated on those matters, especially as there are other means to sort the problem out and keep the isolation
isolation by means of inputs, not necessarily in a more strict sense
generally it worth two boxes in plans of modeling - there is an evaporator and filter, there is an incinerator box
and there probably are interesting solutions as the problem is not new - space stations
5:02 PM
oh yeah, that's true. i need to check the ISS system, in particular. there is probably good documentation for that.
But, in the toilets i modeled, i just put in a couple of boxes that stand for whatever process that is. It doesn't need more than that for now.
>It doesn't need more than that for now.
that's for sure
3 hours later…
8:36 PM
posted on February 24, 2018 by noreply

A new 36 minute video has been posted here on YouTube, and is also now at the top of the video list at the bottom of the website's main page. In it I talk about the equatorial moon colony's radiation barriers, light funnels, heat radiators, moon stairs, and various other things. The colony was rendered with realistic lighting to really get across the tremendous impact of having a glaz

2 hours later…
11:03 PM
@kimholder I spent the whole first viewing just listening, just watching a little bit. I'm really fascinated by all of the things you describe. You walk people through so many important differences between living here and living there.
I'll have to listen again, and then watch the third time. :-)
11:16 PM

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