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Examination and statistical evaluation of physico-chemical parameters of windrow composting
Published May 20, 2020
33-38

 

The treatment and utilization of plant and animal waste and by-products from agriculture is very diverse. Traditional environmental management practices for waste management have been retained through soil conservation and the applied of recycle degradable organic substances in soil. The management o...f by-products from agriculture (animal husbandry) is important because a closed loop can be created to utilize by-products (manure, feathers) from the production of the main product (eggs, meat, milk) and to form a raw material for a new product. It is important to treat the resulting by-products, especially deep-litter manure, as it has served as a basis for compost-treated manure to develop an organic-based, soil-conditioning product line. Poultry manure by itself is not suitable as a substrate for aerobic decomposition, so it has to be mixed with other substances (zeolite, bentonite, soil), because of its high nutrient capacity, it is an acidifying substance.

The aim of this study was to compost the mixture of poultry manure and hen manure by the addition of zeolite and to monitor the composting process. It was also our aim to statistically determine the effect of the zeolite on parameters describing the composting process.

The windrow composting experiments were set up in the composting area of the University of Debrecen, Institute of Water and Environmental Management. The composting experiment was 62 days long, during which the main parameters describing the composting process were continuously monitored: temperature (°C), moisture content (w/w%), electrical conductivity (mS/cm), organic matter content (w/w%), examination of nitrogen forms (w/w%). In this study, three factors were investigated: temperature, humidity, and pH. For statistical evaluation, R software and RStudio user interface were used. We developed a repeated measurement model, in which the fixed and random effects were determined for our parameters under study, and the resulting relationships were shown on interaction plots.

Based on our results, the temperature of the prisms has become independent of the ambient temperature and the composting stages can be separated in both the control and the zeolite treated prisms. In the repeated measurement model, we proved that treatment, time and treatment: time interaction were significant at both temperature and pH.

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Examination of compost maturity using reflectance
Published May 26, 2022
29-34

Composting is one of the most popular recycling processes for organic waste. Composting plays an important role in waste and by-product management and is becoming increasingly important in both sustainable energy management and circular economy. Composting transforms organic matter to produce a safe and stable by-product (compost) that can ...be applied to arable land in a similar way to fertilizer. Physical, chemical and biological methods can be used to monitor the process and to determine the maturity of the compost, as spectrometric/spectroscopic methods play an important role in the analysis of different environmental samples.

Our aim was to (1) non-destructively detect the effects of different additive ratios on the spectral properties of the composting process and the spectral data of different compost mixtures, (2) to find the wavelength ranges of the reflectance curve (inflection points) sensitive to compost maturity, (3) to determine the correlation between the inflection points and the chemical and physical parameters measured in compost by conventional methods.

The mixture of broiler and hen manure and zeolite was composted 62 days in windrow composting. In the composting experiment, the moisture content and temperature (°C) were measured every three days and compost samples were taken and in 10% destillated aquaeous suspension were measured the pH and electrical conductivity (mS cm-1). Compost samples dried to mass stability were spectrally analyzed in the wavelength range 400–1000 nm with AvaSpec 2048 spectrometer.

Based on the results, the reflectance of mature compost were smaller in the last days of composting than the reflectance values of day 0 samples, thus compost maturity can be detected spectral in the VIS-NIR wavelength range. For the tested compost prisms, the reflectance of each sampling day shows a constant slope, with a significant overlap of the reflectance curves up to 400–700 nm wavelength range, and there was a breakpoint in the 700–750 nm wavelength range which was proved by binary encoding.

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