Odor Management in Composting
Some odor will be produced during composting, so odor control procedures should be included in the planning, design and operation of composting facilities. These odors mainly come from three sources: odorous raw materials, ammonia released from high nitrogen materials, and composting and anaerobic conditions in composting. But raw materials with strong odors can cause most odors. Sewage sludge and animal manure usually produce peculiar smell. By using organic materials composting equipment as soon as possible and maintaining aerobic conditions, odor can be minimized.
The following recommendations will help to minimize odour:
- Make a good formula of raw materials and keep the raw materials mixed well
- Store raw materials as quickly as possible
- Keep the reactor height about 4 – 1 / 2 feet
- Keep the pile humidity about 55%
- Prevention of puddles and ponding (anaerobic activity pool)
- Minimize dust (with odor)
- Keep the stack dry
- Keep the equipment clean (compost will become anaerobic)
Quality and end use of compost
In general, the following parameters are used to indicate compost quality:
- pH（5.5 – 7.5）
- Soluble salts (< 5 mmhos / cm)
- Water holding capacity
- Organic matter content
- Moisture content (35% – 55%)
- Grain size (3 / 8-1 in)
- Bulk density (< 1000 lbs / Cu YD)
The composting quality criteria for these parameters vary according to the end-user specifications. For example, it is recommended that the diameter of compost used as plant top fertilizer should be less than 1 / 4 inch. Composts less than 1 / 2 inch in diameter can be used for other purposes, such as soil amendments, potted media, or fine machining composting fertilizer to granules.
Aesthetic parameters, such as color and texture, are also important because people choose compost products mainly based on their appearance. For example, it is assumed that dark compost is better than light compost.
Compost can be used as a fertilizer mixed with soil, as topdressing for mulch, turf or other plants, as a modifier for growth mixtures, and as a mixture with topsoil. At present, the first use of compost is the planting bed. It is expected that compost will be widely used in field nursery production.
The benefits of mature compost on Soil and plants include:
- Improving soil structure
- Reducing fertilizer demand
- Improve water penetration and drought resistance
- Reduce soil compaction and crusting
- Improve root growth and yield
- Increase microorganisms in soil
- Protect plants from disease
- Slow release of nutrients to plants
- Improve nutrient capacity
- Increasing the difficulty of farming
Compost has also been shown to be useful for pollution prevention and remediation. It is used to prevent erosion on hillsides, embankments and roadsides. Composting can also combine with heavy metals in contaminated soil, degrade many pesticides, absorb odors and degrade volatile organic compounds. In addition, compost is also used to mitigate wetland damage, rainwater filtration and biofilter.
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