Evaluation of humic substances during co-composting of food waste, sawdust and Chinese medicinal herbal residues

Ying Zhou, Ammaiyappan Selvam, Jonathan W C WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Humification during co-composting of food waste, sawdust and Chinese medicinal herbal residues (CMHRs) was investigated to reveal its correlation with compost maturity. Food waste, sawdust and CMHRs were mixed at 5:5:1 and 1:1:1 (dry weight basis) while food waste:sawdust at 1:1 (dry wt. basis) served as control. Lime at 2.25% was added to all the treatments to alleviate low pH, and composted for 56. days. Humic acid/fulvic acid (HA/FA) ratio increased to 0.5, 2.0 and 3.6 in the control and treatment at 5:5:1, and 1:1:1 mixing ratio, respectively at the end of composting. The decrease in aliphatic organics in HA demonstrated the degradation of the readily available organics, while an increase in aromatic functional groups indicated the maturity of compost. Disappearance of hemicellulose and weak intensity of lignin in the CMHRs treatments indicated that the lignin provided the nucleus for HA formation; and the CMHRs accelerated the compost maturity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-234
Number of pages6
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume168
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

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

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese medicinal herbal residues
  • Composting
  • Food waste
  • Fulvic acid
  • Humic acids

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