The release of ammonia nitrogen during composting of sewage sludge mixed with a lignocellulosic bulking agent leads to a reduction in the agronomic value of the final compost and to harmful effects on the environment. We propose adding a cheap salt FeCl3 which can be used without special precaution to reduce ammonia losses by decreasing pH conditions. An in-vessel co-composting experiment was conducted in a large reactor (100 L) in which FeCl3 was added to sludge mixed with a bulking agent (pine shavings and sawdust) and compared with a control mixture without FeCl3. Temperature, oxygen consumption and pH were monitored throughout the composting of both mixtures. The final balance of organic matter, organic and inorganic nitrogen permitted to conclude that the addition of FeCl3 reduced nitrogen loss (by a factor of 2.4 in relation to the control) and increased mineralisation of the organic nitrogen by 1.6.
Water, Air, Soil Pollution – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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