Aerobic / Anaerobic
Aerobic / Anaerobic (adj.) Aerobic originates from an English word “aero”, which means air, and a Greek word “bios”, meaning life1. Aerobic is an adjective to describe the needs of the presence of oxygen2. Oppositely, anaerobic means living without oxygen. When composting toilets were designed, there were two major systems to produce energy in digesters, aerobic systems and anaerobic systems. Compared to an aerobic composting system, an anaerobic system has a few disadvantages: 1, only an insignificant amount of heat is produced; 2 the range of proceeding temperature is so limited that only summer temperatures may be sufficient.3 Therefore, an aerobic, closed-bin, batch composting system was applied to the Clivus Toilet in 1970s. Due to those critical advantages of this system, the Clivus Toilet was economically and ecologically advanced among all contemporaries. Clivus Multrum toilets relied on no water, but solely on the natural activity of aerobic microorganisms for the stabilization of wastes. Therefore, it significantly reduced in water and heat use, which in other words, helped to decrease the human’s impact on the environment. In sum, the invention of Clivus Toilet indicated the tendency of “Appropriate Technology” or “Soft Technology”4, which reflected the doubts and reassertions of the role of technology.