alexa Efforts to explain and control the prolonged thermophilic period in two-phase olive oil mill sludge composting.
Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences

Journal of Petroleum & Environmental Biotechnology

Author(s): Manios T, Maniadakis K, Kalogeraki M, Mari E, Stratakis E,

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Abstract The aim of this paper was to evaluate the use of different bulking agents in different ratios as a means to control, optimise and eventually reduce the duration of the thermophilic period in two-phase olive oil mill sludge (OOMS) composting. The bulking agents used were: (i) olive tree leaves (OTL), (ii) olive tree shredded branches (OTB) and (iii) woodchips (WDC). The selection of these materials was based on their abundance and availability on the island of Crete, the southernmost point of Greece. The ratios studied were: Pile 1, OOMS:OTL in 1:1 v/v; Pile 2, OOMS:WDC in 1:1.5 v/v; Pile 3, OOMS:OTL in 1:2 v/v; Pile 4, OOMS:OTL:OTB in 1:1:1 v/v; and Pile 5, OOMS:OTL:OTB in 1:1:2 v/v. The composting system used was that of windrows with the volume of each pile approximately 20-25 m3. The experiments took place over two consecutive years. A composting turner was used and turnings were performed at one and two week intervals. In each pile a variety of physiochemical parameters were monitored. Temperature remained high in all five trials. Piles 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 temperatures recorded values of above 50 degrees C for 106, 158, 160, 175 and 183 days, respectively. Volumes were reduced by approximately 67\%, 62\%, 63\%, 80\% and 84\%, respectively. Temperature remained high, mainly due to the presence in large amounts of oily substances which during their complete oxidation release important amounts of energy and aid the cometabolism of more stable molecules such as lignin. This process is better described as the slow "burning" of a "fuel" mixture in an "engine" than composting. This approach is based on the extensive similarities of this process to that of crude oil sludge or similar waste composting. This article was published in Biodegradation and referenced in Journal of Petroleum & Environmental Biotechnology

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