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Concept: In-vessel composting


Parascaris equorum generally infects horses less than 18 months old and its pathological effects can be severe. Infection occurs when larvated eggs, present in pastures, paddocks, stalls, and on feeding and watering equipment are ingested. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of windrow composting on the viability of P. equorum eggs at a cooperating central Kentucky horse farm. Three grams of feces containing 2216 P. equorum eggs per gram were sealed in filter bag sentinel chambers. Chambers were exposed to 1 of 3 treatments: constant exposure or intermittent exposure to the interior of the windrow; controls were stored at 4°C. At day 0, all chambers in the experimental treatments were placed in the center of 10 locations of the windrow. On subsequent days when the windrow was turned, chambers in the constant exposure treatment were returned to the interior of the windrow and chambers in the intermittent exposure treatment were alternated between resting on top of, or inside, the windrow. Chambers from each treatment and control chambers were removed at days 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 18; and incubated for 21 days at room temperature (24°C). After incubation, eggs were recovered from the chambers using double centrifugation flotation. Eggs were evaluated microscopically, staged according to development and classified as viable or nonviable based on whether embryonation to the larval stage had occurred. Results were reported as the mean percent viable eggs for each treatment and time point. A mixed linear model with repeated measures was used to evaluate the influence of experimental day and treatment on the percent viability of P. equorum eggs. Chambers treated with constant exposure contained 10.73% (SD=0.29) viable eggs on day 2 and declined to an average of 0.00% by day 8. Chambers exposed to the intermittent treatment contained 16.08% (SD=0.26) viable eggs on day 2 and decreased to 0.00% by day 6. Control chambers for days 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 18 all had viabilities above 79.00%. A significant fixed effect of experimental day (p<0.0001) and compost treatment (p<0.0001) was observed. There was no significant interaction between experimental day and compost treatment (p>0.7459). The results of this study demonstrate that windrow composting was effective at rendering P. equorum eggs nonviable when it was tested under the conditions at a working horse farm.

Concepts: Larva, Compost, Gram, British Columbia Interior, Effectiveness, In-vessel composting, Vermicompost, Composting


Composting facilities in Thailand have faced various operational problems, resulting in the emission of odours, incomplete digestion of waste organics, and higher than desired costs. Composting technologies imported from developed countries tend to be sized for larger communities and are otherwise not suited for the rural communities that comprise more than 80% of all communities in Thailand. This article addresses the research and development of a novel composting technology aimed at filling this observed need. The study was divided into two parts: (1) the development of a new composting technology and fabrication of a prototype configuration of equipment; and (2) scale-up and study on a pilot-scale using real rubbish. The proposed technology, called ‘serial self-turning reactor (STR)’, entailed a vertical flow composting system that consisted of a set of aerobic reactors stacked on a set of gravity fed turning units. In-vessel bioreactor technology enables the operator to control composting conditions. The researchers found that a tower-like STR results in flexibility in size scale and waste processing residence time. The pilot-scale experiments showed that the proposed system can produce good quality compost while consuming comparatively little energy and occupying a compact space, compared to traditional land-intensive windrow composting facilities.

Concepts: Developed country, In-vessel composting, Recycling, Waste management, Vermicompost, Research, Innovation, Composting


To determine the persistence of Clostridium difficile spores in biosolids during composting or when amended into soil and held under natural environmental climatic conditions.

Concepts: Climate, Ecosystem, Biodegradable waste management, Environmental engineering, Septic tank, In-vessel composting, Composting, Clostridium difficile


The impact of biochar amendment on volatile fatty acids (VFAs) and odor generation during the biosolids-wheat straw composting was investigated. Five treatments were design using the same mixture of biosolids-wheat straw with different dosage of biochar blending (2%, 4%, 8% and 12% on dry weight basis) and without biochar applied treatment served as control. The results of VFAs and Odour Index (OI) profile designated that compost with 8-12% biochar became more rapidly humified with less quantity of VFAs and OI generation content compared to control. Consequently, the VFAs degrading and total bacterial abundance are also significantly higher recorded in 8-12% biochar than 2% biochar and control. In addition, 8-12% biochar applied treatment has significantly maximum close correlation among the all physicochemical and gaseous emission parameters. Finally, results designated that higher dosage of biochar (8-12% biochar) was more feasible approach for biosolids composting.

Concepts: Fatty acid, Mulch, Olfaction, Butyric acid, In-vessel composting, Carbon dioxide, Oxygen, Composting


The study investigated the effect of in-vessel composting process on Hanwoo manure in two different South Korea regions (Pyeongchang and Goechang) with sawdust using vertical cylindrical in-vessel bioreactor for 42days. The stability and quality of Hanwoo manure in both regions were improved and confirmed through the positive changes in physico-chemical and phytotoxic properties using different commercial seed crops. The pH and electrical conductivity (EC, ds/m) of composted manure in both regions were slightly increased. At the same time, carbon:nitrogen (C:N) ratio and ammonium nitrogen:nitrate nitrogen (NH4(+)-N:NO3(-)-N) ratio decreased to 13.4-16.1 and 0.36-0.37, respectively. The germination index (GI, %) index was recorded in the range of 67.6-120.9%, which was greater than 50%, indicating phytotoxin-free compost. Although, composted manure values in Goechang region were better in significant parameters, overall results confirmed that the composting process could lead to complete maturation of the composted product in both regions.

Concepts: Home composting, In-vessel composting, Humus, Mulch, Agriculture, Vermicompost, Composting, Compost


Composting in polyethylene sleeves with forced aeration may minimize odor emissions, vectors attraction and leachates associated with open windrows. A disadvantage of this technology is the lack of mixing during composting, potentially leading to non-uniform products. In two pilot experiments using biosolids and green waste (1:1; v:v), thermophilic conditions (>45°C) were maintained for two months, with successful control of oxygen levels and sufficient moisture. Emitted odors declined from 1.5-3.8×10(5) to 5.9×10(3)-2.3×10(4) odor units m(-3)-air in the first 3weeks of the process, emphasizing the need of odor control primarily during this period. Therefore, composting might be managed in two phases: (i) a closed sleeve for 6-8weeks during which the odor is treated; (ii) an open pile (odor control is not necessary). Reduction of salmonella, E. coli and coliforms was effective initially, meeting the standards of “Class A” biosolids; however, total and fecal coliforms density increased after opening the second sleeve and exceeded the standard of 1000 most probable number (MPN) per g dry matter. Compost maturity was achieved in the open piles following the two sleeves and the final compost was non-phytotoxic and beneficial as a soil additive.

Concepts: Vermicompost, Coliform bacteria, Control system, Control engineering, Control theory, In-vessel composting, Process control, Composting


We investigated the potential of C-rich byproducts to replace wood chips as bulking agent (BA) during composting. The impact of these alternatives on the composting process and on compost stability and characteristics was assessed. Three BA (chopped heath biomass and spent growth media used in strawberry and tomato cultivation) were used for processing leek residues in windrow composting. All BA resulted in stable composts with an organic matter (OM) content suitable for use as soil amendment. Using chopped heath biomass led to high pile temperatures and OM degradation and a nutrient-poor compost with high C/P ratio appropriate for increasing soil organic carbon content in P-rich soils. Spent substrates can replace wood chips, however, due to their dense structure and lower biodegradation potential, adding a more coarse BA is required. Generally, the nutrient content of the composts with growth media was higher than the composts with wood chips and chopped heath biomass.

Concepts: Natural organic matter, In-vessel composting, Vermicompost, Organic matter, Composting, Compost, Soil, Humus


The influence of biochar amended dewatered fresh sewage sludge (DFSS)-wheat straw co-composting on nutrients transformation and end products quality was investigated. This is the first study to examine the biochar applied compost quality with different kgha(-1) TKN on Brassica rapa L. growth. Seven mixtures were composted over 8-weeks period in 130-L reactor using the same DFSS with different concentration of biochar (2%, 4%, 6%, 8%, 12% and 18% on dry weight basis) and without additive added treatment served as control. The results indicated that compost with 8-12% biochar became more humified within 35days of composting, and the compost maturity parameters also showed that this could be much more feasible approach to increased water-soluble nutrients including NO3, DOC, DON, PO4(3-), K(+) and Na(+), but bioavailability of Cu, Zn, Ni and Pb content reduced as compared to control. Finally, results showed that 8-12% biochar was recommended for DFSS composting and 150kgha(-1) TKN of compost dosages for organic farming.

Concepts: In-vessel composting, Biosolids, Nitrogen, Agriculture, Sludge, Organic farming, Composting, Compost


Windrow composting involves piling and regularly turning organic wastes in long rows, being in the succession of static standing periods between two consecutive pile turnings as well as a period of pile turning. N2O emissions and N transformation were investigated during the processes of windrow composting. In contrast to the conventional understanding, we observed that N2O concentrations inside compost materials were significantly higher after pile turning (APT) than before pile turning (BPT). Pile turning triggered a burst of N2O production rather than simple gaseous N2O escape from the stirred compost. Denitrification was the dominant pathway in pile turning because the observed [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] concentrations were significantly lower APT compared to BPT. The sudden exposure of O2 severely inhibited N2O reductase, which can block the transformation of N2O to N2 and thus caused an increase of N2O emission. As the [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] concentrations rose during the following 48 standing hours, nitrification dominated N transformation and did not cause an increase of surface N2O emissions. Thus, pile turning resulted in a dramatic conversion of N transformation and strongly influenced its flux size. It was also found that high [Formula: see text] was accumulated in the compost and had a strong correlation with N2O emissions. Practical methods regulating nitrite and the frequency of pile turning would be useful to mitigate N2O emissions in manure composting.

Concepts: Domination, Agriculture, Nitrogen cycle, In-vessel composting, Vermicompost, Composting, Compost, Nitrogen


Composted biosolids are widely used as a soil supplement to improve soil quality. However, the application of immature or unstable compost can cause the opposite effect. To date, compost maturation determination is time consuming and cannot be done at the composting site. Hyperspectral spectroscopy was suggested as a simple tool for assessing compost maturity and quality. Nevertheless, there is still a gap in knowledge regarding several compost maturation characteristics, such as dissolved organic carbon, NO3, and NH4 contents. In addition, this approach has not yet been tested on a sample at its natural water content. Therefore, in the current study, hyperspectral analysis was employed in order to characterize the biosolids composting process as a function of composting time. This goal was achieved by correlating the reflectance spectra in the range of 400-2400nm, using the partial least squares-regression (PLS-R) model, with the chemical properties of wet and oven-dried biosolid samples. The results showed that the proposed method can be used as a reliable means to evaluate compost maturity and stability. Specifically, the PLS-R model was found to be an adequate tool to evaluate the biosolids' total carbon and dissolved organic carbon, total nitrogen and dissolved nitrogen, and nitrate content, as well as the absorbance ratio of 254/365nm (E2/E3) and C/N ratios in the dry and wet samples. It failed, however, to predict the ammonium content in the dry samples since the ammonium evaporated during the drying process. It was found that in contrast to what is commonly assumed, the spectral analysis of the wet samples can also be successfully used to build a model for predicting the biosolids' compost maturity.

Concepts: Ammonia, Biosolids, Ammonium, Humus, In-vessel composting, Compost, Nitrogen, Composting