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The Practical Handbook of Compost Engineering

Chapter 1: Introduction
Practical definition of composting is biological decomposition and stabilization of
organic substrates, under conditions that allow development of thermophilic
temperatures as a result of biologically produced heat, to produce a final product
that is stable, free of pathogens and plant seeds, and can beneficially applied to

Compost is an organic soil conditioner that has been stabilized to a humus-like
product, that is free of viable pathogens and plant seeds, that does not attract
insects or vectors, that can be handled and stored without nuisance, and that is
beneficial to the growth of plants.

Composting substrates could be (common applied): municipal biosolid, industrial
sludge, manures, yard wastes, septage, food and agricultural wastes, municipal
solid wastes, special waste (hazardous material, pilot plant)

Problems of substrate:
• Wet substrates:
a. contains 70-80% water
b. results in reducing compost temperature, void for free air space
(anaerobic condition may happen)
c. with wet substrates, composter will concern with structural conditioning
(easily compacting), energy conditioning to keep thermodynamic
d. however, they usually contains much nutritions
• Dry substrates:
a. Usually lack of nutritions
b. Need more water added to keep the moisture level

Quality of compost:
Metal limits (by USA EPA)
Element Concentration (mg/kg dry wt)
Arsenic 41
Cadmium 39
Chromium 1200
Copper 1500
Lead 300
Mercury 17
Molybdenum 18
Nickel 420
Selenium 36
Zinc 2800

C/N ratio between 15-10, temperature constant, earthy odor, easily broken
(berbentuk remah2)

2nd stage: curing phase. reactor process 2. metabolizing phytotoxic compounds. aerated static pile. Post. Structural or drying amendments  to reduce bulk weight and increase air voids allowing for proper aeration b. which may be beneficial in maturing the compost. Recycling of compost product and blending feed components have been used in practice b. conditioning C/N ratio. windrow. nutrients.Chapter 2: Composting System Generalized process diagram for composting: Product Amandment Recycle Substrates 1st stage 2nd stage Pre. Compost high-rate curing processing processing Product phase phase New Bulking Agent Recycled Bulking Agent Stages: 1. Energy or fuel amendments  to increase the quantity of biodegradable organics in mixture and thereby increase energy content of the mixture . shredding material. reduced oxygen uptake rate. lower temperature process. high odor potential  windrow. subsequent screening of compost product d. reactor Curing phase provided time to: a. and suppressing plant disease 3. Degradation of more refractory elements b. etc Post-processing: screening compost product Feed conditioning can be done by: a. It can be: a. high BVS reduction. 1st stage: high oxygen uptake rate. lower odor production  aerated/non-aerated static pile. Combination of above Amendments: A material added to other substrates to condition the feed mixtures. Adding organic or inorganic amendments c. Pre and post-processing: preparing feed to be composted well and make compost product to have good quality Pre-processing: screening feed. Adding bulking agent such as wood chips. thermophilic temperature. Reestablishing lower temperature microbial populations. moisture.

Kompos diaduk2 secara berkala. peanut shells.4E) Static solid bed: tunnel shaped with push ram. Compost is turned periodically with machine and aerated through natural ventilation. forced or induced aeration. b. constructed in rectangular or circular geometrics (look at the pic 2. oxygen is supplied primarily by natural ventilation.4G) Kinds of process applied nowadays: A. or bin with static solid bed. agitated solid bed system. but applied for composting in large quantities • Modern windrow  compost is arranged in long parallel rows with triangular or trapezoidal shape. example: circular or rectangular reactor geometries with co-current or countercurrent aeration (depth: 6-9 m). It’s the most popular . Non reactor: agitated or non-agitated • Windrow process  nonreactor. Forced aerated windrow: oxygen is supplied by forced or induced aeration using blower • Static-process  nonreactor. agitated solid bed reactor • Indore  sampah padatan dibuat berlapis2 dengan menyisipkan kotoran sapid an tambahan2 lainnya di antara lapisan2 tersebut. Feed is fed in the first cell. rarely operated) Agitated bins: horizontal bins with agitator (like germination tank). no agitation or turning during composting. Nonreactor. Reactor (in-vessel) • Vertical reactor  defined according to bed conditions in reactor. biasanya untuk composting skala kecil • VAM (van Maanen)  like indore process. low cost per unit working volume • Horizontal reactor  those that employ rotating or rotary drum reactor. compost is not agitated but mixed by the flow. Aeration by turning is used to restructure the windrow so considerable mixing can be expected along the height and width of the row.Bulking agents: a material of sufficient size to provide structural support and maintain air spaces within the composting matrix  wood chips. Rotating/rotary drum (tumbling reactor): reactor is divided into several cells. etc Composting process: a. Other case is tumbling reactor with feed and withdrawn mixed well with high agitation (complex operation. feed fed in continous or intermittent. turn mechanically in periodic. so does the next feed (intermittent) that the compost is moved partly until it reaches the last cell and withdrawn as product. static pile with conveyor (look a the pic 2. bin using agitation.

Nonreactor.6  Q in cal/g ds Heat in composting is transferred through 3 ways: conduction. convection. 5 for waste activated sludge. composting system because it’s flexible for many kinds of substrate and low capital investment. there are also pathogenic microorganisms involved in the process. Convection occurs as a result of fluid motion (air) within a bed of compost. a = coefficient equals to 131 for raw and digested primary sludge. bacteria. condensation in another part of the compost bed. rickettsie. Windrow composting: o Low-level techno: compost is turned periodically. evaporation of water. Besides composting microorganisms. static bed system • Aerated static pile • Briquetting • Pelleting process • Daneco C. Pv = % volatile solid. 107 for raw waste activated sludge. Chapter 4: Biological Fundamentals Microorganisms involved in composting are fungi. then it’s cured by turning it mechanically  aneh :| B.81 COD + 28.4 C + 620 (H-O/8) + 41 S Q in btu/lb ash-free dsS • Formula by Zanoni and Mueller: Q = 3. Pc = % inorganic conditioning chemical in sludge • Formula by Spoehr and Milner: With R = degree of reduction Q in cal/g ash-free ds • Formula by Dulong-Petite Q = 145. b = coefficient equals to 10 (raw and digested primary sludge). water is added while turning o High-level techno: compost is composted in aerated static pile during 1st stage process. etc. and radiation. al: Q = Btu/lbs. actinomycetes. Reactor system  look at the book please! Chapter 3: Thermodynamic Fundamentals Estimating heat of reaction: • Modeled by Fair et. Microbial growth of microorganisms is modeled by Monod: .

This sterilization needs several time to achieve sterilization criteria: 90% of the microorganisms died. dX dt = Ym − dS ( dt − ke X ) Combining with the formula before. dS k SX =− m dt Ks + S Where dS/dt = rate of substrate consumption. dS  S1   S 2   Sn  = −k m X   . equation above becomes µm µ= − ke Ks + S Value of ke can be counted by McKinney’s formula for temperature range 4 to 36°C: −1 k e ( hour ) = (0.. S = substrate concentration.. This model results in first-order reaction when Ks>>S and ends with zero-order reaction when Ks<<S.. rate of microbial growth can be modeled as below.  dt  K s1 + S1   K s 2 + S 2   K sn + S n  Chapter 5: Kinetics of Heat Inactivation Microorganism can be inactivated by heat because heat can make enzymes working in microbial cell coagulated so the cell can die. From the substrate consumption rate formula.02 )e 0.069 (T −20 ) Multiple substrate consumption rate formula can be formulated as below. X = concentration of microbes. km = maximum rate of substrate utilization. achieved at high substrate concentration (S>>Ks) and low endogenous respiration (ke = 0). rate of microbial growth can be formulated as below.. Ks = substrate concentration when growth rate reaches half of maximum rate. Sludge with higher moisture can be inactivated faster in lower temperature than . With this terms. dX dt = Ym k m S − k e X Ks + S Ymkm is called maximum net specific growth rate. μm.

Ww = weight of water. To reach the maximum bulk weight. Gf = specific gravity of fixed fraction in solid. Gv = specific gravity of volatile fraction. 1 V (1 − Vs ) = s + Gs Gv Gf Where volatile fraction of substrates solid. and liquid. E = average evaporation rate over the drying period (cm/day). δsi = initial bulk weight of substrate (g/cm3). Total volume of compost mixture can be measured as the total volume of gas. Ssf = final solid content of dried substrates. However. d si δ si ta = (1 − S si / S sf ) ( E − P )δ w Where ta = time required for air drying. However. P = average precipitation rate over the drying period (cm/day). Every kind of microorganisms has its own temperature-time relationship in heat inactivation kinetics. Enough free-air space is needed for enough aeration. inactivation of many microorganisms can be considered as first-order kinetics rate. and solid. Moisture is required to keep the microbial growth because microorganisms need water to live. nt  − Ed  ln = −C exp  t no  RT  Chapter 6: Feed Conditioning-Physical and Chemical Moisture and free-air space is important for with lower moisture. longer time. . δw = unit weight of water. Area required for drying is counted as below.  higher temperature. water. Time required for air drying is formulated as below. Ssi = initial solid content of wet substrates. shorter time = lower temperature. Compost matrix consists of gas. gas volume is assumed zero so the total volume of compost mixture is: Ws W Ws W (1 − S s ) Vt = + w = + s Gs δ w δ w Gsδ w S sδ w Vt = (Ws / δ w )[1 / G s + (1 − S s ) / S s ] Where Ws = weight of dry solids. dn nt = −k d n  ln = −k d t dt no Kd is function of temperature so that the kinetics of heat inactivation can be written as below. too much water is not good for composting because water will reduce the free-air space so that oxygen can’t penetrate easily to compost. The content of these elements can be measured by using these equations. solid. and Ss = fractional solid content of the substrate. Moisture content in compost can be removed by air drying. dsi = initial depth of wet substrate (cm). Gs = specific gravity of the substrate solid.

It depends on substrate consumed during composting. rate of substrate consumption will take long time. Ammonia releasing will produce bad odor and it’s a big problem in composting. However. C/N ratio can be measured by measuring N using Kjeldahl method and ash content so that C content can be counted: (100 − %ash) %C = 1. for municipal sludge (C 10H19O3N) substrate. Because of that. Chapter 7: Aeration Requirements Aeration is needed to fulfill oxygen requirement. If C/N ratio is higher than 30.99 g O2/g substrate BVS Cellulosic material: C6H10O5 + 6O2  6CO2 + 5H2O  1. higher C/N ratio means nitrogen content in substrate is low so that microbial growth can be limited because nitrogen is the limited nutrient for microbial growth. If the composting takes place in high temperature and high pressure. It is only required that C/N ratio < 15-30 to remove nitrogen from being rate limiting.185 g O2/g BVS . X s (1 − S si / S sf ) A= ( E − P )δ w (10 5 ) With Xs = substrate weight. Besides that. if C/N ratio is lower than 15. actually compost pH will be kept in neutral condition and doesn’t need to be conditioned at first. it is not necessary that the mixed substrate have C/N ratio within range of 15 to 30. it means that substrate contains lots of nitrogen. For example. oxygen demand based on stoichiometric: C10H19O3N + 12. ammonia (base) and CO2 (acid) is produced. Chemical conditioning: • Nutrients C/N ratio contained in compost substrate shouldn’t be higher than 15-30. Substrate conditioning also can be done with chemical conditioning. To be remembered.8 • pH Substrate pH is not necessary to be kept at neutral condition because in composting process. kg/day Besides air drying.5 O2  10 CO2 + 8 H2O + NH3  1. moisture content can be removed by heat drying. nitrogen will volatilize as ammonia.