The potential of near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) for the estimation of agroindustrial compost quality.Sci Total Environ. 2010 Feb 15; 408(6):1414-21.ST
Composting is an environmentally friendly alternative for the recycling of organic wastes and its use is increasing in recent years. An exhaustive monitoring of the composting process and of the final compost characteristics is necessary to certify that the values of compost characteristics are within the limits established by the legislation in order to obtain a safe and marketable product. The analysis of these parameters on each composting batch in the commercial composting plant is time-consuming and expensive. So, their estimation in the composting facilities based on the use of near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) could be an interesting approach in order to monitor compost quality. In this study, more than 300 samples from 20 different composting procedures were used to calibrate and validate the NIRS estimation of compost properties (pH, electrical conductivity (EC), total organic matter (TOM), total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen (TN) and C/N ratio, macronutrient contents (N, P, K) and potentially pollutant element concentrations (Fe, Cu, Mn and Zn)). The composts used were elaborated using different organic wastes from agroindustrial activities (GS: grape stalk; EGM: exhausted grape marc; GM: grape marc; V: vinasse; CJW: citrus juice waste; Alpeorujo: olive-oil waste; AS: almond skin; EP: exhausted peat; TSW: tomato soup waste; SMS: spent mushroom substrate) co-composted with manures (CM: cattle manure; PM: poultry manure) or urban wastes (SS: sewage sludge) The estimation results showed that the NIRS technique needs to be fitted to each element and property, using specific spectrum transformations, in order to achieve an acceptable accuracy in the prediction. However, excellent prediction results were obtained for TOM and TOC, successful calibrations for pH, EC, Fe and Mn, and moderately successful estimations for TN, C/N ratio, P, K, Cu and Zn.