This study investigates the potential of incorporating inorganic amendments such as coal and bagasse ashes in different composting mixes. 10 different composting mixes were assessed as follows: A-20% bagasse ash (BA) with unsorted municipal solid wastes (UMSW); B-40% BA with UMSW; C-UMSW; D-20% BA with sorted municipal solid wastes (SMSW); E-40% BA with SMSW; F-SMSW; G-20% coal ash (CA) with UMSW; H-40% CA with UMSW; I-20% CA with SMSW and J-40% CA with SMSW. The composting processes were carried out in rotary drum composters. Composting mixes D, F, G and I achieved a temperature above 55 °C for at least 3 days, with the following peak temperatures: D-62 °C, F-57 °C, G-62 °C and I-58 °C. D resulted in the highest average net Volatile solids (VS) degradation of 68.6% and yielded the highest average volume reduction of 66.0%. The final compost from D, G, I, C and F were within range for electrical conductivities (EC) (794–1770 μS/cm) and pH (6.69–7.12). The ashes also helped in maintaining high average water holding capacities within the range of 183–217%. The C/N ratio of sorted wastes was improved by the addition of 20% coal ash and bagasse ash. Higher germination indices, above 0.8 were obtained for the ash-amended compost (D, G, I), indicating the feasibility and enhancement of using bagasse and coal ash as inorganic amendment in the composting process. Regarding heavy metals content, the chromium concentration for the composting mix G was found to be the highest whereas mixes D and I showed compliance with the MS (Mauritian Standards) 164 standards.
Journal of Environmental Management – Elsevier
Published: Aug 15, 2015
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