Several factors, such as pH, C/N ratio, temperature, mixing and turning, and aeration rate, could affect the loss of ammonia in composting reactions. Substantial loss of ammonia can reduce the nutrient value of the compost product and may lead to a severe odor problem in the composting facility. A new method for conservation of ammonia in composting was proposed and tested in this study. The ammonia being produced during the composting was precipitated into struvite crystals by addition of Mg and P salts. Ammonia volatilization was greatly reduced by this method and it also contributed to a remarkable increase in total ammoniacal-N (TAN) content in the compost, reaching up to 1.4% of dry mass. This value of TAN content was 3–5 times higher than that in normal compost. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analyses confirmed the formation of struvite crystals in the aerobic composting process.
Bioresource Technology – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2001
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