Ammonia emissions from the composting of different organic wastes. Dependency on process temperature

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    Ammonia emissions were quantified for the laboratory-scale composting of three typical organic wastes with medium nitrogen content: organic fraction of municipal solid wastes, raw sludge and anaerobically digested sludge; and the composting of two wastes with high nitrogen content: animal by-products from slaughterhouses and partially hydrolysed hair from the leather industry. All the wastes were mixed with the proper amount of bulking agent. Ammonia emitted in the composting of the five wastes investigated revealed a strong dependence on temperature, with a distinct pattern found in ammonia emissions for each waste in the thermophilic first stage of composting (exponential increase of ammonia emitted when increasing temperature) than that of the mesophilic final stage (linear increase of ammonia emissions when increasing temperature). As composting needs high temperatures to ensure the sanitisation of compost and ammonia emissions are one of the main environmental impacts associated to composting and responsible for obtaining compost with a low agronomical quality, it is proposed that sanitisation is conducted after the first stage in large-scale composting facilities by a proper temperature control. Capsule: Ammonia emission pattern and correlation with process temperature are presented for the composting process of different organic wastes. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1534-1542
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2006


    • Ammonia emissions
    • Composting
    • Organic wastes
    • Process temperature
    • Sanitisation

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