By building up the Soil Organic Matter with the composted humanure, the resulting humus will sequester more carbon than soils fertilized with processed nitrogen. It will certainly be adding to the carbon layers of the soil, rather than being flushed into water and probably lost to the ocean in a polluting way.
how do you get humanure to be a source of carbon?
I think that neither of us were being super clear at first. Thanks for clarifying both what you were thinking and your perceptions of mine. When I think humanure, I do not think of urine, I think of manure human style, so therein lies the primary divergence in our perspectives. Yes I mean that humus itself is sequestered carbon; the living processes (wastes) as well as the dead bodies of microbes/fungi/and plant roots in a healthy soil food web lock carbon into the soil structure. The darker mineral topsoil that one sees as a result of humus buildup is because of the carbon sequestering, from my understanding.
Sorry Roberto - I don't quite understand. Do you mean that the presence of humus in the soil encourages more carbon to be sequestered, or that the humus itself is the carbon that is being sequestered or both? It seems that from what I read, urine needs to be composted with something high in carbon in order to develop into humus. Should we only consider calling it "humanure" after it's been through the composting process - before that it's urine and feces?
Most large cities have a massive amount of woody debris that is accumulated that would be a great place to begin. It would be best to source separate, but even if the effluent was forced through this chipped woody material as a sponge and then maybe having any excess liquids fed through cattail and bullrush beds to draw moisture up through transpiration while oxygenating it with their aerobic bacterial colonies on the roots.
But if you're trying to compost all the human raw material from a large city, that's a lot of nitrogen that needs balancing!
Or a pond could be put out of service after a time and be drained and then used for the purpose of farming, or it's contents removed and exported for farming.
I wonder if for cities, the woody debris could be in large tanks in such a way that there would actually be useful high-carbon fertilizer captured for farm use.
In my little Ecotopian pipe dream, a bioreactor at the Swamp would be creating methane to fuel the chipper, and hauling trucks.
It would require some energy to chip and shred the woody material and to move that material to the areas that need it
Roberto pokachinni wrote:
I've been brainstorming this sort of thing for my own greywater system for a while. My humanure system will be mostly separated--meaning that there will be enough absorptive material added to the bottom of the manure containers and with each addition of waste, that the system can handle the odd error addition of urine. There will be a drain going to a biochar pit.
I think there is a problem when someone sees the addition of urine to the mix of solids and cover material (carbon substance such as sawdust, a waste product which needs to be utilised), as an "error".
Sawdust, solids & liquids provde the perfect mix to aerobically, thermophilically compost, so sequestering carbon into the lucky soil to which this wonderful stuff is applied.
Urine in biochar sounds nasty to me.