Composting

Authored by: Nídia Sá Caetano

Managing Biological and Ecological Systems

Print publication date:  July  2020
Online publication date:  July  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138342644
eBook ISBN: 9780429346170
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/9780429346170-46

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Abstract

Biological aerobic treatment of organic waste (composting), as a way of recycling organic matter (OM) into soil, is of primary importance. Although a relatively simple and ancient process, it needs careful project and operational considerations. The process can be applied either at a small scale (home composting) or at a large scale (centralized composting), using a very simple and common technology (such as constructing a pile of OM and letting it degrade naturally) or a more sophisticated one (such as vertical or horizontal reactors, rotating drums, etc.), taking advantage of a consortia of microorganisms that develop and degrade the OM. Also, an alternative of biological biowaste degradation performed by worms (vermicomposting) is presented. In this entry, a brief history of composting will be presented, along with some details on the most important technologies that can be used and the most important operational parameters that can condition the production of good-quality compost.

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