Influence of aeration rate and biodegradability fractionation on composting kinetics.Waste Manag. 2008; 28(1):73-84.WM
The influences of aeration rate and biodegradability fractionation on biodegradation kinetics during composting were studied. The first step was the design of a suitable lab-reactor that enabled the simulation of composting. The second step comprised of composting trials of six blends of sludge (originating from a food processing effluent) with wood chips using aeration rates of 1.69, 3.62, 3.25, 8.48, 11.98 and 16.63 L/h/kg DM of mixture. Biodegradation was evaluated by respiration measurements and from the analysis of the substrate (dry matter, organic matter, total carbon and chemical oxygen demand removal). Continuous measurement of oxygen consumption was coupled with the analysis of initial substrate and composted product for chemical oxygen demand (in the soluble and non-soluble fractions), which enabled an evaluation of the organic matter biodegradability. Oxygen requirements to remove both the easily and slowly biodegradable fractions were determined. Dividing the substrate into different parts according to biodegradability allowed explanation of the influence of aeration rate on stabilization kinetics. Considering that the biodegradation kinetics were of the first-order, the kinetic constants of the easily and slowly biodegradable fractions were calculated as a function of temperature. The methodology presented here allows the comparison of organic wastes in terms of their content of easily and slowly biodegradable fractions and the respective biodegradation kinetics.