Like aquaponic and hydroponic systems, anthroponic systems can be made of different system components. The most common ones in aquaponics include Media Bed systems, Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) systems, Deep Water Culture(DWC) or Raft systems and hybrids containing two or more of these types. Unlike aquaponic systems however, anthroponic systems can be further broken down into two main systems:
- urine-based anthroponics systems (u-anthroponics) and
- feces-based anthroponics systems (f-anthroponics).
While it may be possible for future anthroponic systems to combine both urine and feces in the same system, currently such system has not been devised.
Current constructed and idealized anthroponic systems are very similar in most of the system components to aquaponic systems, making them easy to understand by those knowledgeable of aquaponic systems.
Let’s start with analyzing a simplified diagram of a u-anthroponics system. Inputs are colored in yellow, the main system with recirculating water in a soilless environment is colored blue, and the output is colored green (click to zoom).
U-Anthroponic system overview
Unlike aquaponics, the main nutrient is human urine, which must be placed in a sealed container and aged until it is safe for used. The aged urine is then placed in the water reservoir or sump tank of the system, where the pump is located (remember, there is no fish tank in this system as there are no fish). The urine is diluted and converted into nutrient rich water after passing through the biofilter, where nitrifying bacteria convert the urine to plant fertilizer. The water is then recirculated over and over again, feeding the growing components of the system and allowing for plant growth, coupled with light.
F-anthroponics, to the best of my knowledge, have never been constructed or tested in real life. As I have envisioned them and discussed them in a r/anthroponics thread, they resemble aquaponic systems more since they incorporate fish and a relatively common fish food source: Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL).You can see a f-anthroponics simplified diagram below. Again, inputs are colored in yellow, the main system with recirculating water in a soilless environment is colored blue, and the output is colored green (click to zoom).
F-Anthroponic system overview
Here, the feces are eaten by Black Soldier Fly Larvae which are frozen to kill any potential pathogens and then fed to the fish, with the following cycle resembling the well-known aquaponics nitrogen cycle.
In theory, this type of f-anthroponics should work. One major downside of using feces as a nutrient source is their handling, as they have a very uncomfortable smell and require strict safety measures. I believe the design of a system that minimizes direct human contact with feces and the harvested BSFL will be crucial in turning this type of anthroponics system into a viable and serious alternative.