Co-composting of distillery wastes with animal manures: carbon and nitrogen transformations in the evaluation of compost stability.Chemosphere 2008; 72(4):551-7C
The aim of this work was to study the viability of recycling the solid wastes generated by the winery and distillery industry by means of co-composting with animal manures, as well as to evaluate the quality of the composts obtained. Two piles, using exhausted grape marc and cattle manure or poultry manure, respectively (at ratios, on a fresh weight basis, of 70:30), were composted by the Rutgers static pile composting system. Throughout the composting process, a number of parameters were monitored, such as pH, electrical conductivity, organic matter, water-soluble carbon, water-soluble polyphenols, different forms of nitrogen (organic nitrogen, ammonium and nitrate) and humification indices (humification ratio, humification index, percentage of humic acid-like C, polymerisation ratio and cation exchange capacity), as well as the germination index. Organic matter losses followed first-order kinetics equation in both piles, the highest organic matter mineralisation rate being observed with exhausted grape marc and cow manure. On the other hand, the mixture with the lowest C/N ratio, using exhausted grape marc and poultry manure, showed the highest initial ammonium contents, probably due to the higher and more labile N content of poultry manure. The increase in the cation exchange capacity revealed the organic matter humification during composting. In contrast, other humification parameters, such as the humification ratio and the humification index, did not show the expected evolution and, thus, could not be used to assess compost maturity. Composting produced a degradation of the phytotoxic compounds, such as polyphenols, to give composts without a phytotoxic character. Therefore, composting can be considered as an efficient treatment to recycle this type of wastes, due to composts presented a stable and humified organic matter and without phytotoxic effects, which makes them suitable for their agronomic use.