The effectiveness of two commercial additives meant to improve the composting process was studied in a laboratory-scale experiment. Improver A (sulphates and oxides of iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc mixed with clay) and B (mixture of calcium hydroxide, peroxide, and oxide) were added to source-separated biowaste:peat mixture (1:1, v/v) in proportions recommended by the producers. The composting process ( T , emissions of CO 2 , NH 3 , and CH 4 ) and the quality of the compost (pH, conductivity, C/N ratio, water-soluble NH 4 –N and NO 3 –N, water- and NaOH-soluble low-weight carboxylic acids, nutrients, heavy metals and phytotoxicity to Lepidium sarivum ) were monitored during one year. Compared with the control, the addition of improver B increased pH by two units, led to an earlier elimination of water-soluble ammonia, an increase in nitrates, a 10-fold increase in concentrations of acetic acid, and shortened phytotoxicity period by half; as negative aspect it led to volatilization of ammonia. The addition of improver A led to a longer thermophilic stage by one week and lower concentrations of low-weight carboxylic acids (both water- and NaOH-extractable) with formic and acetic of similar amounts, however, most of the aspects claimed by the improver’s producer were not confirmed in this trial.
Waste Management – Elsevier
Published: Aug 1, 2009
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