The Science of Composting: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Science of Composting

1st Edition

By Eliot Epstein

CRC Press

504 pages

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Hardback: 9781566764780
pub: 1996-12-17
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Description

FROM THE PREFACE

The main objective of composting is to transform organic materials into a stable usable product. Often organic materials which may have limited beneficial use in their raw state or have regulatory disposal constraints can be transformed by composting into marketable products. The limits on beneficial reuse may be regulations or they may be due to the potential for materials to be putrescible or pathogenic. Composting can be a solution for each of these.

The implementation of composting on a large scale (in contrast to home or backyard composting) involves materials handling. Technological implementation of composting must be consistent with the biological demand of the system. If the biological system is violated, conditions will not be optimized for composting, and problems such as odor generation, insufficient aeration or moisture, or a combination of these conditions may result. Past problems and closure of facilities have been largely due to violations of the biological systems. Product quality with respect to particle size, inclusions, moisture content and other physical aspects are a function of engineering design. A well designed system must have the biological and engineering principles in harmony at all times.

Table of Contents

Preface

Composting: A Prospective

Composting and Recycling

History

Philosophical Aspects and the Future of Composting in the United States

Advantages and Disadvantages of Composting

Conclusion

References

Basic Concepts

Introduction

Oxygen and Aeration

Moisture

Temperature

Nutrients: Carbon, Nitrogen, pH

Summary

References

Microbiology

Introduction

Microbial Populations

Temperature

Moisture

Nutrients

Inoculants

Summary

References

Biochemistry

Introduction

Organic Matter

Biochemical Manifestations Occurring during Composting

Biochemical Manifestations Occurring When Compost Is Applied to Soil

Humus Formation

Summary

References

Stability, Maturity, and Phytotoxicity

Introduction

Stability and Maturity:

Chemical Methods

Carbon/Nitrogen Ratio (C/N)

Nitrogen Species

pH

Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)

Organic Chemical Constituents

Humification Parameters Humification Index

Relative Concentrations of Humic Acid to Fulvic Acid

Humic Substance

Functional Groups

Optical Density Physical Methods

Temperature and Heat Output

Color, Odor, Structure and Specific Gravity

Plant Assays

Microbiological Tests and Activities Respiration-Carbon Dioxide Evolution

Respiration-Oxygen Uptake

Microbial Changes

Enzyme Activity Phytotoxicity

Summary

References

Trace Elements, Heavy Metals, and Micronutrients

Introduction

Essentiality and Toxicity Arsenic (As)

Boron (B)

Cadmium (Cd)

Copper (Cu)

Lead (Pb)

Mercury (Hg)

Molybdenum (Mo)

Nickel (Ni)

Selenium (Se)

Zinc (Zn)

Occurrence in the Environment

Environmental Consequences Leachate Characteristics of Compost

Soil-Plant Interactions Type of Trace Element and Chemical State

Soil Acidity

Organic Matter

Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)

Reversion to Unavailable Forms

Other Aspects

Effect of Compost on Trace Element Uptake

Summary

References

Organic Compounds

Introduction

Organic Compounds in Various Compost Materials and Feedstocks

Fate of Organic Compounds during Composting

Reactions and Movement of Toxic Organics in Soil

Uptake by Plants and Potential Entry into the Food Chain

Conclusion

References

Pathogens

Introduction

Primary Pathogens in Wastes and Compost

Worker Health Risks of Solid Waste Composting

The Effect of Composting on Pathogen Destruction

Survival of Pathogens in Soils and on Plants

Conclusions

References

Bioaerosols

Introduction

Aspergillus Fumigatus

Morphology

Pathogenicity

Occurrence in the Environment

Occurrence in and Around Composting Facilities

Dickerson, Maryland

Site II, Maryland

Westbrook, Maine

Windsor, Ontario

Hampton Roads, Virginia

Beltsville, Maryland

Camden, New Jersey

Yard Waste Composting Facilities

MSW Composting Facility

Other Studies

Endotoxin and Organic Dusts

Conclusions

References

Odors and Volatile Organic Compounds

Introduction

Odorous Compounds and Odors Emitted by Composting Facilities

Volatile Organic Compounds

Air Dispersion Modeling for Composting Facilities

Regulatory Models

Model Parameters

Gassian Dispersion and Dispersion Parameters

Treatment of Terrain

Reliability of Model Results

Peak-to-Mean Conversion for Assessing Odor Impacts

Examples of Dispersion Modeling for Composting Facilities

Conclusion

References

Soil Physical and Chemical Manifestations

Introduction

Effect of Compost Application on Soil Physical Properties

Soil Structure

Bulk Density

Soil Strength

Water Relations-Soil Water Retention and Available Water to Plants

Runoff and Soil Erosion

Soil Temperature

Effect of Compost Application on Soil Chemical Properties

Cation Exchange Capacity

Soil pH

Electrical Conductivity (EC)

Nitrogen Availability in Soil

Nitrogen Leaching

Summary

References

Utilization of Compost

Introduction

Horticulture

Ornamental

Flowering and House Plants

Sod Production and Turf Grass Establishment

Agricultural Crops

Field Crops

Vegetable Crops

Silviculture

Conclusion

References

Compost Utilization II

Introduction

Plant Pathogen Destruction during Composting

Plant Disease Suppression

Biofiltration

Basic Concepts

Moisture Content

pH

Nutrients

Temperature

Microbiology

Application

Summary

References

Regulations

Introduction

Concepts and Approaches to Regulations

United States

Federal Regulations

State Regulations in the United States

New York

Tennessee

Composting Facility General Requirements

Facility Design and Construction

Compost Standards

California

Canada

Europe

Austria

Denmark

Germany

Italy

Netherlands

Criteria for Compost Quality and Facility Design: Compost

Quality Criteria

Facility Design Criteria

Conclusion

References

Index

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCI026000
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
TEC010030
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / Water Supply