Waste biomass recycling
- 1 Bone
- 2 Urine
- 3 Plant Remnants
- 4 Miscellaneous Biomass
- 5 References
A settlement's initial supply of bone will be low, as the majority of farming will be plant-based.
Crushed bone is used as a fertilizer.
Collagen and Gelatin
In extreme emergencies, urine can be used as an antiseptic.
Plants grown primarily for food and life support can provide several side benefits.
Compost and Feed
Much of the waste biomass of a settlement will be used to feed the organisms in the greenhouses. Plants, algae, and certain fish and insects feed directly on waste biomass. A compost heap is easy to maintain, even in a Martian settlement. Decayed plant remnants and feces, combined with charcoal and lactic acid fermentation, mixed with regolith, gives a high value humus, called Terra Preta. This would be an excellent soil for the greenhouse.
Lava Stone Column
A glass cylinder, filled with spongy lava stones, can decompose most organic wastes, including urine, feces, leftover food and plant parts. It uses bacteria, that are normally living in terrestrial soil. The columns are rinsed with a steady stream of water. The DLR (Jens Hauslage) is working on the optimization of this principle for space stations and planetary missions.