Author(s): Liang C, Das KC, McClendon RW
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Abstract To understand the relationships between temperature, moisture content, and microbial activity during the composting of biosolids (municipal wastewater treatment sludge), well-controlled incubation experiments were conducted using a 2-factor factorial design with six temperatures (22, 29, 36, 43, 50, and 57 degrees C) and five moisture contents (30, 40, 50, 60, and 70\%). The microbial activity was measured as O2 uptake rate (mg g(-1) h(-1)) using a computer controlled respirometer. In this study, moisture content proved to be a dominant factor impacting aerobic microbial activity of the composting blend. Fifty percent moisture content appeared to be the minimal requirement for obtaining activities greater than 1.0 mg g(-1) h(-1). Temperature was also documented to be an important factor for biosolids composting. However, its effect was less influential than moisture content. Particularly, the enhancement of composting activities induced by temperature increment could be realized by increasing moisture content alone.
This article was published in Bioresour Technol
and referenced in Journal of Fundamentals of Renewable Energy and Applications