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


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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Microbiological and Chemical Characterization of Different Composts
Published May 11, 2003

Composting of agricultural waste is considered particularly important from the point-of-view of environmental protection. Degradation of organic substance results in a significant reduction of waste volume.
The end product of the composting process, mature compost, can be used as soil coverage against excess loss of wastes, for mulching, for... organic manure etc. The problem of composting has come into limelight in environmental studies and in agriculture.
The quality of the mature compost is determined by physical, chemical and biological parameters of the composting process which, in turn, depend on initial composition of the raw materials, the technology, e.g. regular mixing and moistening and on environmental factors. Quality is the key question in compost use.
We studied the composting process in compost windrows of different raw material composition. We measured temperature, humidity content, pH, organic substance content, nitrogen and carbon content.
We counted the number of bacteria, microscopic fungy, ammonifying and cellulose decomposing microorganisms. We directed the composting process with turning weekly (to provide oxygen) and watering (to provide humidity content 40-60%).
We set up windrows of 1 m3 volume from dry plant substances (cornstalk, pea straw, tomato stalk and crop, weeds) and cow manure not older than 1 week. The cow manure was used at ratios of 0%, 35%, 50%, 65% and 100%, respectively.
We measured changes in compost temperature relationship with outside temperature until they were almoust the same. Humidity was 40-60% in most cases.
At the beginning of the process, pH was slightly acidic-neutral; it later becomes neutral-slightly alkaline (pH: 6.93-8.02) as ammonia is liberated from proteins.
At the end of the process, pH decreased again, due to humification.
Organic substance content decreased as microorganisms mineralized them. Organic carbon content decreased gradually due to microorganisms used it as an energy.
Total nitrogen content increased until middle of july and decreased gradually until than.
The carbon/nitrogen rate were higher in the beginning, it decreased until july-august and increased by smaller degree until end of the process.
The number of bacteria was higher in the first three weeks and between june-september. The number of cellulose degrading bacteria was the highest in the first three month, the number of ammonifying bacteria was the highest from the end of may until sepember.
The number of microscopic fungy was significant in the second part of process, after july.

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Analysis of aerobic biological waste treatment methods especially in the case of composting
Published September 18, 2014

...5); font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">In recent years the regulations of the EU unambiguously determine that the biodegradable wastes should be used in agriculture. The characteristics of the organic wastes in most cases make the direct utilization impossible, they need pre-treatment before use. One treatment solution of these wastes is composting. During composting the organic wastes lose their hazardous characteristics and we gain a final product, the compost, which can be used in agriculture as organic fertilizer. The main conditions of effective composting are the follow and understand of the degradation process. During our research we examined different measuring methods (gas concentration and reflectance measurements, temperature mapping) that makes a cost and time effective possibility to directly analyze the degradation.

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Product orientated sewage sludge composting technologies in the practice of AKSD Ltd.
Published October 10, 2008

In recent years the regulations of the EU unambiguously determine that the biodegradable wastes should be used for biogas production or composting. The direct use of sewage sludge in agriculture is limited by its hazardous microelement content, but it can be used effectively in composting. The limitation parameters can be extinguished with corr...ect compost-mixture and technology variants. The exact determination of the technologies and mixtures result a stable, constant quality product. The compost, as a classified product, is friable structured. The end-product is a
homogeneous mould with good water capacity, does not contain any weed seeds and pathogenic organisms. The compost does not have a acidify effect on the soil. It is an effective fertilizer thanks to its macro and microelement content.

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The effect of various composts on vegetable green mass on two soil types
Published May 16, 2017

Composting of sewage sludges makes easier the utilization of sewage sludge in the agriculture and the composts in good quality could increase the nutrient content of soil. Due to the composting process, the sewage sludge composts with high organic matter content can be utilized in the same way as other composts or farmyard manure.
Composts p...roduced in different ways have different effects on the physical, chemical and biological properties of different soils, although their positive effects have already proved in the literature. In our study the effects of composts from different composting processes were investigated in soil-plant systems. The different physical and chemical properties of the two examined soil types (arenosol and chernozem)strongly influenced the nutrient supply capacity of composts which could be characterized by the growth of ray-grass as a test plant in the pot experiment. In this work we examined the effects of three different composts on the green weight of plants on the fourth and eighth weeks after the treatment and sowing.

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Effect of soil-compost proportion on the abiotic and biotic parameters of soilplant system
Published December 15, 2010

The environmental awareness, coming to the front in the 21st century, motivates us to supply the plant nutrient demand (in point of the plant, the environment and the human health) with natural materials.
Composting is known since the beginning of civilization. We came to know more the processes of composting as a result of last d...ecades’ research, but numerous unexplained questions remained up to this day. The good compost is dark gray or brown, and it should not create an odor. It has aggregate structure, and it’s pH is neutral. Compost is soil-like (Fehér, 2001), nutrient-rich material, which contains valuable nutrients extracted from soil, so if we recycle this, we can decrease the chemical fertilizer and other (example: mineral energy) expenses.
The reason of that we chose the more accurate cognition of compost utilization is to do more effective the site-specific nutrient supply. This increases the average yield and the quality of yield. Besides we can decrease the harmful effects, which endanger the plant, the environment, and the human body.
During the compost utilization experiment we blended the  acid sandy soil with compost in 4 different volumetric proportions (5 treatments) than we set the pots randomized. The advantage of this method is that we can provide equal conditions for plants so we can measure the effect of  treatments correctly. Our experimental plant was ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), that grows rapidly, tolerates the glasshouse conditions, and indicates the effect of treatments well. After the harvest of ryegrass we measured the fresh and dry weight of harvested leaves and the total C-, N-, S-content of the dry matter and of the soil, we examined the pH and the salt concentration of  soil as well. 
Our aim was to study and evaluate the relations between the compost-soil proportion and the nutrient content of soil and plant. In our previous experiments we confirmed (based on variance analyses) that the compost has a beneficial effect on soil and increases the nutrient content of the soil (Szabó, 2009). But it’s important to appoint that the compound of compost is seasonally change: in winter the selective gathered municipal solid waste contains salt that were applied for non-skidding of roads, but salt has a negative effect to the plant. We proved that in our experiment the 25/75% compost/soil proportion was ideal for the plant. This content of compost effected 6 times higher green matter weight compared to the 100% sandy soil. 

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Testing laboratory parameters of compost tea
Published December 28, 2018

During the industrial production of broiler chicken, a large amount of manure is produced, of which easily contained nitrogen content (without pre-treatment) is released into the atmosphere as an air pollutant. In our experiments, we aimed to prepare compost tea, also known as water extract of compost, from pre-treated poultry manure in order t...o create a product can be utilized as liquid nutrient supply. The poultry manure source was the Baromfi-Coop Ltd. located in Nyírjákó, Hungary, where it was treated by composting. As a result of this pre-treatment of the poultry manure, its nutrient parameters improve and nitrogen is present in a form that is better utilized for plants. Furthermore, this product is suitable for further utilization and also can be the base material for a brand-new product. For this reason the effects of compost/water ratio, incubation time, low oxygen level, and extraction time on the parameters of the resulted product were studied in the frame of developing new soil-life enhancing microbial product, so-called compost tea.

Chemical parameters of the compost used as base material strongly determined the properties of the resulted compost tea, especially the ratio of the various nitrogen forms, their concentration and the salt content. It was found that adding water at a higher rate that means 1/40 and 1/50 mixing ratios results in more cost-effective production. In the experiment the compost tea were held under oxygen-poor conditions, therefore pH of the extractions decreased, which influenced the quality and quantity of their nutrient content.

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Methodological development of the determination of the compost mixture ratio
Published December 22, 2010

The mixing rate of the compost raw materials basically determines the procedure of degradation. In most cases, in practice the real mixing ratio is not equal with the counted ratio – which based on the C/N ratio – and the check of the fulfilled mixing is not possible.
The homogeneity of the prism is also one of the fundamentals of the ef...fective degradation process. There is no available method to determine the homogeneity of the compost prism. 
During our research we examined the reflectance values of different compost mixtures where sewage sludge and rape-straw were used as raw materials.
According to our results we built up a regression model which gives the ability to determine the mixing rate (in 5% margin of error) and makes possible to check the homogeneity of the prism together with the access of immediate action. 

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The effect of different compost rates on the yield of ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)
Published November 20, 2011

Protection of natural resources and sustainable natural resources management are essential for the long-term survival of humanity. This makes necessary nowadays the development of environmentally conscious living and spread of that in the future. The amount of organic waste materials, produced during human activities, could be decreased by comp...osting instead of dispose them in landfills. Applying appropriate treatment technology and additives, the compost could be used as fertilizer for horticultural crops and it could increase the easily available nutrient content of soils. Compost utilization prevents nutrient deficiencies and by using the optimal rate, we could reach significant yield increases.

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Pre-treatment of wastes containing keratin in industrial conditions
Published October 10, 2008

The aim of the research was a development of a featherdegradation technology in industrial circumstances. During the experiments we determined the parameters of the critical environmental and technological limitation factors. Because of the high keratin-content the degradation (and composting) of the feather is difficult. With the developed tec...hnology huge mass of feather can be used fast and easily in biogas production and in the adjustment of the optimal element ratio of biomass. The industrial experiments were implemented in a 6m3 heatable double-walled
tank with stirring-shovels and aeration-system. The degradation process was followed with extinction measurements.
According to the experiments that were done the best results were given at the case which was heat-treated at 70°C, was injected with 1% bacteria concentration, and where 1:3 feather:water ratio was set if we consider the effectiveness of degradation and the hydraulical retention time.

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The effect of increasing compost rates on the yield and nutrient content of ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)
Published December 16, 2012

Satisfaction of the increasing needs of humanity causes large environmental load. To provide a livable environment for future generations we have to satisfy our needs with the use of sustainable management. This is one of the biggest challenges of nowadays.
The amount of wastes emitted in increasing volume can be decreased by the recycling o...f them. The disposal of waste materials formed in the public spaces of cities and during the processing of agricultural row materials and by-products in landfills is inconceivable, so they must be recycled.
These materials mostly with organic compounds could be the primary substrates of composts. Completed with suitable additives, and applied appropriate treating technology, composts are capable to supply horticultural plants with nutrients. Composting wastes and byproducts not just decreases the amounts of deposited waste materials, but increases the nutrient (macro- and micronutrients) content of soils, so this is an  environmentally friendly and alternative way of nutrient management of plants.

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New methods of compost homogeneity determination in sewage sludge based compost prisms
Published October 20, 2009

There is no effective method of homogeneity measurement of compost prism. The most frequently used technology is the examination of the particle distribution. This method needs a lot of time and large number of samples. The aim of our research is establishing different effective methods to determine the homogeneity of compost prisms. During our... work, we examined the homogeneity of a prism made of sewage sludge and saw-dust mixture.
The measurements were based on the different properties of raw materials. According to this we examined the homogeneity by moisture content, heavy metal content and gas distribution measurements.
The most effective method is the measurement of gasconcentration. Although gas-concentration measurements it need special equipment it has more advantages than the other methods. The examination of gas-distribution compensates the problem of sampling because the measurement is direct. It provides the opportunity to estimate the amount of emitted toxic gases and to determine the maturity of the compost and the effectiveness of the degradation.

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Examining the operational aspects of a composting plan using Bartee’s method
Published February 17, 2015

This study aims to provide knowledge about a problem-solving system and its basic components. Along the directions, it is easier to delineate the main characteristics which help Bartee’s model, the problem-solving space to come alive. I fitted the compost heap’s questions of establishing and operating into Bartee’s model.

Changing of some parameters of the soil-plant system as an effect of different composts
Published October 5, 2010

Composting is an alternative way for practicing site-specific and environmental friendly plant nutrient supply. Our aim was to study the effect of different composts on plant and soil system. 
Pot experiment with acidic sandy soil blended with three composts in five (0%, 5%, 10%, 25% and 50%) proportion was set up. Our experimental plan...t was perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). After the harvest of ryegrass we measured the fresh and dry weight of harvested plants, the P-, K-, Mg-contents, and the pH of soils.
The three composts had different effect on dry weight production and on nutrient-supply of soil. We established that one of the compost had significantly larger effect on the dry weight of ryegrass compared to the others. In this study we proved that favourable compost/soil proportion is different in the case of different composts.

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Physical and chemical treatment of poultry feather from the slaughter-house
Published December 22, 2010

The 15-20% of the by-products of meat – and poultry industry – that unsuitable for human consumption – contains keratin. The slaughter technology of poultry produces large amount of poultry feather with 50-70% moisture content. This means more million tons annually worldwide (Williams et al., 1991; Hegedűs et al., 1998). The keratin cont...ent of feather can be difficulty digested, so physical, chemical and/or biological pretreatment is needed in practice, which has to be set according to the utilization method.
Our applied treatments were based on biogas production, which is a possible utilization method. In the IFA (TULLN) Environmental Biotechnology Institute the feather was homogenized, and – according to the previous examinations – the most effective 1:2 feather-distilled water ratio or 1% NaOH-solution was used, and then treated with microwave (70, 130, 160 °C) during 1 hour time period. DM% and oDM% content was analyzed in the original samples, and the pH, Carbon-, Nitrogen-content in the output, too. Based on the received correlation coefficients (R) and related significance values (Sig.) I concluded, that the C-, N-content and the pH values weren’t influenced by any of the additives. The temperature
affected all three tested factors. The temperature showed a strong coherency with the N-content and the pH value when distilled water was used and weak-medium coherency with the Carboncontent. With NaOH-solution treatment the temperature gave strong coherency with the C- and N-content, as well as medium coherency with the pH. Our objective was to determine the method with effectively the pre-treating of poultry feather for biogas production or composting and to prepare of the treated samples for N and C analyzing. Our next aims will be the elaboration of the technological parameters of heat pre-treatment and microbial digestion of poultry feather for biogas production. 

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