Coal fly ash and lime addition enhances the rate and efficiency of decomposition of food waste during composting

Jonathan W C WONG*, Shun On Fung, Ammaiyappan Selvam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To evaluate the use of coal fly ash (CFA) on the decomposition efficiency of food waste, synthetic food waste was mixed with lime at 1.5% and 3% (equivalent to 0.94% and 1.88% CaCO3, respectively), CFA at 5%, 10% and 15% with lime so as to achieve CaCO3 equivalent of 1.88% and composted for 42 days in a thermophilic 20 l composter with two replicates each. Alkaline materials at 1.88% CaCO3 equivalent successfully buffered the pH during the composting and enhanced the decomposition efficiency. When these buffering was achieved with CFA + lime, the composting period could be shortened to ∼28 days compared with ∼42 days in 3% lime. Organic decomposition in terms of CO2 loss, carbon turnover and nitrogen transformation were significantly higher for treatments with 1.88% CaCO3 equivalent. Nutrient transformations and compost maturity parameters indicated that addition of CFA (5-10%) with lime at 1.88% CaCO3 equivalent enhances the decomposition efficiency and shortens the composting period by 35%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3324-3331
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume100
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

User-Defined Keywords

  • Alkaline amendment
  • Compost maturity
  • Germination index
  • Nitrogen transformation
  • VFA-degrading bacteria

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