Investigation of organic matter dynamics during in-vessel composting of an aged coal-tar contaminated soil using fluorescence excitation-emission spectroscopy.Chemosphere. 2006 Jul; 64(5):839-47.C
In-vessel composting of an aged coal-tar contaminated soil from a manufactured gas plant site was investigated over 98days using laboratory-scale in-vessel composting reactors. The composting reactors were operated at 18 different operational conditions using a logistic three-factor factorial design with three temperatures (T=38, 55 and 70 degrees C), four soil to green waste ratios (S:GW; 0.6:1, 0.7:1, 0.8:1 and 0.9:1 on a dry weight basis) and three moisture contents (MC; 40%, 60% and 80%). Excitation-emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence spectroscopy was used to investigate organic matter dynamics in the composting mixture. The results of this investigation indicated that formation of humic substances can be monitored by fluorescence excitation-emission matrix, and provided evidence of progressive mineralization or humification of the composting mixture. Peak excitation wavelength shifts and peak fluorescence intensity can both be used as indicators to monitor the humification or maturation of compost. Finally, the fluorescence index can be applied to investigate the origin of humic substances and fulvic acids, and the humification or maturation of compost.