Contribution of the lignocellulosic fraction of two-phase olive-mill wastes to the degradation and humification of the organic matter during composting.Waste Manag. 2010 Oct; 30(10):1939-47.WM
One of the main disadvantages in the composting of two-phase olive mill wastes (TPOMW) is the long time required for its transformation (up to 40 weeks). The aim of this work was to evaluate the relationship between the degradation of the lignocellulosic fraction of TPOMW and the organic matter (OM) mineralisation rate in four composting piles prepared with different bulking agents and N-sources used to enhance OM degradation. The kinetics of degradation of the lignocellulosic fraction was compared to conventional maturation and stability indices to evaluate its impact on the duration of the composting process. The composition of bulking agents mainly affected the water-soluble fraction which influenced the OM degradation rate (linear or exponential OM degradation pattern) at early stages of the composting process but it neither modified the duration of the process (between 34 and 36 weeks) nor the total OM degradation underwent by the piles. The high initial mineral N availability was a key factor to significantly enhanced microbial activity. The mixture with urea as N-source registered the most efficient degradation of hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin, reducing the thermophilic phase and the total duration of TPOMW composting.