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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

A Bench-Scale System to Study the Composting of Organic Wastes1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 11 No. 3, p. 405-408
    Received: July 27, 1981

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  1. N. J. Ashbolt and
  2. M. A. Line2



In an investigation of the composting of eucalypt bark, a bench-scale composter was designed to provide strict control over air composition, moisture content, temperature, and mixing. The composter consisted of six 4-L capacity gas-tight units of PVC plastic, each of which was provided with a mixing paddle coupled to a common drive. Natural temperature rise was simulated by having the units immersed in a water bath, with the temperature increased at rates consistent with those observed in large-scale compost heaps. This provided a comparatively inexpensive versatile system, with rates of CO2, NH3, CH4, and H2S production and O2 consumption manually monitored by gas chromatography. The reproducibility of the system was as good as the best reported.

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