The goal of this project was to evaluate the feasibility of co-composting of soybean residues and leaves and the effects of turning frequency on compost quality. Soybean residues were mixed with leaves and sawdust in 1:1:3 (w/w wet weight) for achieving a C/N ratio of about 30. Three heaps of about 4 m3 of compost mixtures were prepared receiving a turning frequency of daily (pile A), 3-day (pile B) and weekly (pile C) turning. Different turning frequencies did not significantly affect the changes in pH and volatile solids throughout the composting period. High turning frequency caused a lower electrical conductivity and NH4-N contents as well as a shorter duration of thermophilic phase, because of a high heat loss by evaporation and volatilization of ammonia in the pile. The highest C decomposition of 4% occurred in the pile with a 3-day turning period, which coincided with the higher-nitrogen content in this treatment. All treatments with different turning frequencies reached maturation at 63 days as indicated by the soluble organic carbon, soluble NH4-N, C/N ratio and cress seed germination index. However, increasing the aeration during composting period was beneficial in accelerating the maturation process. Taking into consideration less labour and lower operation costs as compared to daily turning, it can be suggested that a 3-day turning frequency would be more appropriate for reaching acceptable quality of compost and ease in operation. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Soybean residues
- Turning frequency