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Biowaste Composting Kinetics At Almagro Domestic Solid Waste Management Facilities


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A de Lucas Martínez, I Aguilar Pastor, J Villaseñor Camacho & J J Palomeque Vivó


In this work, a composting process of the organic fraction of domestic solid waste (biowaste) at the Almagro (Ciudad Real, Spain) domestic solid waste management plant has been studied. Biowaste is treated in this plant through a stationary process with two main steps: aerobic fermentation of bio-waste in closed tunnels followed by aerobic post-stabilization in, eventually mixed, static piles. The stationary process works using a sequencing batch operation mode. Waste retention times are approximately 1 and 5 weeks in the first and second step respectively. Waste characterization has been made at different points in the whole process: bio-waste, fresh compost, mature compost and (final) compost measuring C, N and P content and several metals. Kinetic analysis of both steps has been made, by using simple mathematical models previously reported by other authors. Important differences between fermentation (fast) and post- stabilization (slow) rates have been observed. Fermentation kinetics in tunnel and post-stabilization kinetics in piles have been obtained by effluent CO2 and C waste content measurements respectively. Compost obtained, after a final refining step (glass and metal removal, and particle size selection), is adequate for agricultural uses. Introduction Composting is a biological aerobic treatment of solid waste in which a biodegradable fraction is oxidized with atmospheric air and a non biodegradable fraction remains called Compost. Compost is the product of the composting