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"The ZLD", A New Sewage Elimination System

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Has anyone heard of this new product that is about to hit the market? It is supposed to be ready for introduction at the Southeast Area Rally in Brooksville in Feburary 2012. There is a web site www.namonnassef.com explaining it by the inventor of this system. It was one of the top 10 inventions selected by Populat Science for 2011. It was featured in their June 2011 issue. Their web site is www.popularscience.com and at the search bar you enter (JUNE2011 issue). I know there are a number of older RV'rs who remember a system from the past that attempted to do something similar but failed. With the new green technology that is now available, it looks as though Namon Nassef has perfected this technology. JG

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Interesting concept.

Questions:

Size

Weight

Initial Cost

Energy consumption-- the article mentions the most current model uses 1000 watts--for what period of time per gallon of waste?

Reliability

Makes sense for a boat where dumping holding tanks can be a real issue. Having spent last winter on a sailboat from Texas to the Bahamas and back, I know.

But, in an RV, this would be in lieu of dumping at a CG, Flying J, etc and allowing effluent to be treated by the city water treatment facility or CG septic system. Not sure of its benefit in our application. When boon docking, where waste disposal could be an issue, the main engine is not operating to burn off the treated effluent. And even if high idle would achieve sufficient exhaust temperatures (which I seriously doubt), I can't fathom suggesting that one run a large gas/diesel engine just to dispose of waste.

Said another way, as far as I can see, it would only benefit the very small number of people who boondock frequently AND who move frequently. As to how far they would have to drive to dispose of, say 50 gallons of gray and black water would be another issue even for this small group.

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I am looking at a brochure on the ZLD and see that the size of the actual ZLD itself is 12 x 18 x 24 not taking into consideration the holding tank if one of the existing tanks are not converted for use. The weight is listed @ 100 lbs, again not counting the addition of an optional holding tank. Cost was not printed although I am sure contacting Namon Nassef at his engineering facility in Pensacola, Florida can provide the proposed cost along with additional facts and specifications on the operation and pratical use on a rv. It operates by eliminating the waste through the exhaust system of the rv and runs off of the electrical source of the rv. With the waste being vaporized, there is not discharge into any sewer system, septic system. The main engine needs to only be run at idle at a minimun to reach the necessary heat temperature to burn off the waste. This should not be a problem at a BLM or boon docking unless posted otherwise.

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Guest BillAdams

I don't think you could begin to reach the exhaust temps necessary to vaporize the liquids AND solids by sitting in the desert with the engine idling. I know that my engine never sees exhaust temps above 300 degrees (that's where my pyrometers start reading) at idle and I highly doubt that even 500 degrees would be enough to make this work for the extended period of time necessary to inject small amount of spray into this exhaust for the large amount of time it would take to empty my 200 gallons of waste. I think I would have to be running my engine 24 hours at high speed to spray that much "juice" into the exhaust.

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That is a very good point regarding the temperatures of any engine at idle. I am sure that has been addressed by the inventor. Obviously the system would work at an optimum when running down the road. It would be great if questions and observations like yours would be presented to Namon Nassef and I for one would like to see FMCA's Technical Advisory Committee take this up with the inventor to see the viability for use on motorhomes. If these issues can be resolved and the ZLD is recognized as a viable option, it would certainly change the way we operate and enjoy experiences in our motorhomes.

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I remember the old system, I believe it was Thermo San, we disabled a number of them because they did not work. I remember having to change out exhaust pipes because of rusting out with all the moisture present. I would think you would need to install stainless exhaust pipes. I will have to see what this system is and see someone use it for at least a year or two before passing judgement. This is one time you don't want to be an early adopter.

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At last! a sensible and cheap way to get past the latest pollution regs, and get rid of sewage at the same time. Instead of carrying a DEF tank that injects urea (piss) into the catalytic converter to eliminate soot from the exhaust, just patch the black water tank into the catalytic converter! Help the environment in two ways at once!

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Koliver,

As sensitive as the catalytic converter surfaces are (like being ruined by the use of any fuel with more than 15 parts per MILLION of Sulfur) I suspect injecting waste upstream of the converter would be a great way to spend a couple of thousand dollars replacing it.

Would be interesting to get Cummins opinion on that one!

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In response to Bill Adams great comments, I spoke to the inventor, Namon, about the exhaust gas temperature at idle. He indicated that on the various diesel engines where he had instrumented the exhaust systems with temperature sensors, the average exhaust temperature immediately behind the turbo averaged 550 to 600 deg F. Namon stated the microprocessor of the ZLD continually senses the exhaust gas temperature at this location where the atomized sewage is injected. If the temperature drops below the 550 to 600 deg. F. the processing rate slows down. If the temperature increases above this minimum , the processing rate increases. As long as the average temp is 550 to 600 deg F, there has been no odor other than the typical diesel odor from the engine. When the engine exhaust system was dismantled, there was no appreciable sign of corrosion since the exhaust of the diesel is heavy with water vapor just from the burning of the hydrocarbon fuel.

In response to the comments by Koliver about patching the black waste tank to the catalytic converter, and Wolfe10's concern with the Sulfur level, Namon stated with the ZLD, the resulting homogenized liquid has been ground down to less than 20,000ths of an inch before being injected into the engine exhaust system ahead of the catalytic converter and its mineral, chemical or gaseous composition of human waste, food, soap, etc. should not begin to approach the 15 parts per million of SULFUR.

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This sounds like it's been designed for diesels.

My rig is a gas and the temp. is controlled by a thermostat to be around 180 degrees, I can only assume that would be the exhaust temp.

Sounds like a heck of an idea though.

Larry

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Larry,

No, engine coolant and exhaust temperatures are VERY different.

Exhaust temperatures can be over 1,000 degrees F under high throttle operation.

Brett

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Larry,

I presented your comments to Namon Nassef, the inventor of the ZLD. The ZLD will work with a gasoline engine. When the inventor, Namon, installed it in his GMC Suburban to test, he was running the test using a 350 gasoline engine. At idle, the sensor installed near the point where his exhaust manifold and exhaust pipe are attached recorded 550 degrees F. He then had an additional sensor 6" after the catalytic convertor and another 12" after his muffler just prior to the exhaust discharge into the air. At idle the temperature was 400 to 450 degrees F. coming out of the exhaust pipe. As he accelerated to 35 MPH, the temperature at the first sensor went to 750 to 800, then at 45 to 55 MPH to 900 to 1,000, then at 65 MPH, to 1,000 to 1,100 degrees F. Hope this helps in expanding on the comment made by Brett.

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Guest BillAdams

I won't disagree with the inventors finding but I have pyrometers mounted in both exhaust manifolds before the gas even gets to the turbo. At idle they never read above the lowest setting shown on the gauge which is 300 degrees.

Once I am driving the temps certainly maintain a high enough temp., but when I am going down a hill with the Jacob Brake engaged the engine shuts down fuel flow to the engine so that the exhaust cycle and the valves can create the necessary engine braking. This could certainly be addressed by shutting down the system while under these conditions but it would certainly add an additional level of complexity.

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I'm going to do the same. Been dumping for 35 years with minimal problems. My exhaust temp at the turbo outlet is less than 300f degrees and if the unit doesn't work good below 550f, it certainly won't at idle dry camping. Since I spend much more time stopped than running 55-65 mph I would never get empty and still have to dump at a conventional station.

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Namon told me the ZLD is not meant to replace dumping when you are in a CG or park that has full hook-up or a dumping station but is to be available in situations where you do not have access to one. Many times I know I have just wanted to stay overnite without having to pull out my hoses and hook up, or in a Wal-Mart lot, etc. without any access. With the ZLD, you can start out in the AM after the stay and eliminate your waste while driving down the road to your next destination. If it is storming outside and you need to get gone, you can simply start up and leave. Because it is a fully self monitoring system, it will eliminate the waste according to the available heat and flow of the exhaust gas and shut down when finished. Most of the time the driving distance between CG's, resorts, etc. will exceed the time necessary to empty the tanks. Namon did say, you can include the generator in the hook-up as an additional alternative to the engine of the motor home. I feel it will fit my needs and excited it can provide me with an alternative. At least there will be finally choices to the "old ways" and as the environmentalists continue to change the laws regarding the disposal of waste into our environment, we need to have alternatives made available to us who enjoy this exciting life style.

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I fail to see the need to get rid of waste going from campground to campground since my tanks would be dumped before I left. My limited capacity is 5 days gray and 2 weeks black.

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When my wife and I full-timed for 2 years, I cannot remember being able to wait 2 weeks before we had to empty our black tank. That's great! Our gray normally needed to be emptied within 3 days. I am sure it's because of the differences in tank sizes. We had a 33' Safari Trek on a Spartan Chassis. It could be because we never used the campground bath house. I also would empty my tanks before leaving as you do. I am sure this product is not going to be for everyone. My dad always used to say to me, "That's why they made Fords and Chevrolets". Given the opportunity though to have an alternative when there is no available dump or the weather is bad enough that I don't want to go outside, I fully intend to explore the option when it becomes available. To me it's like the generators, solar panels, inverters, etc. Cost will be a factor of course, but convenience is what makes the world go around. I also am concerned that one day we may not have the numerous facilities available to dump our waste.

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Guest BillAdams

I just can't imagine a great benefit of such a system to the average RVer. You take a process as simple as pulling a valve, waiting a minute or two and then closing a valve and turn it into complicated and expensive procedure. I do see many uses such as oil drilling platforms where the waste has to be stored and toted out but an RVer is either going to be hooked up or capable of moving to a place where there is a dump.

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For you Bill, the ZLD is evidently not in your radar. That does not mean there are not a group of us that are always looking for other alternatives. That is why we purchase generators and solar panels so we don't have to find an outlet to keep our electricity up to needed levels. I completely agree it will not fit everyone's needs. Drilling platforms, boats or yachts, commercial buses, airplanes, etc. will definitely benefit from the ZLD as they are always running their engines. However, I am all for having the opportunity to have available to me an alternative to dumping the traditional way when it is not available and I am "full-up" to the brim because a rest area listed in the book or on the internet said they had a dump station and when you get there it is either being repaired or has been closed due to too many "hot shots".

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