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Composting for Sustainability. Steven Hall Biological and Agricultural Engineering LSU AgCenter HORT 4012 Feb 2009. Composting. The (aerobic) decomposition of organic material in the presence of oxgyen. Composting. General C:N (materials) Oxygen Moisture Temperature

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Composting for sustainability

Composting for Sustainability

Steven Hall

Biological and Agricultural Engineering

LSU AgCenter

HORT 4012 Feb 2009


Composting

Composting

The (aerobic) decomposition of organic material in the presence of oxgyen.


Composting1

Composting

GeneralC:N (materials)

Oxygen

Moisture

Temperature

Microbes (good and bad)


Composting materials handling

Composting: Materials Handling


Composting management

Composting: Management


Sustainability env social

Sustainability: $, Env, Social


Composting equipment windrow turner

Composting: Equipment (windrow turner)


Composting windrows

Composting: Windrows


Composting reduce waste or produce valuable product

Composting: Reduce Waste or Produce Valuable Product?


Composting thinking

Composting: Thinking…


Composting2

Composting

Practical Issues:

Food waste

Vet Waste

Safety (biology)

Aesthetics (odor, appearance, handling, etc.)


Composting3

Composting

Costs:

Transportation

Equipment

Labor

Value of Product

(Use on Farm, Sell for Profit?)


Composting4

Composting

From Compost Workshop (see www.agctr.lsu.edu/callegari)

Or Compost Handbook (US Composting Council)

Or Composting Programs Elsewhere

(e.g. Cornell Composting: http://www.css.cornell.edu/compost/Composting_homepage.html)


Cornell composting

Cornell Composting

The Science and Engineering of Composting

A Note to Casual CompostersBackground InformationGetting the Right MixComposting ExperimentsCompost Engineering Fundamentals

Background Information:

Invertebrates

Microbes

Chemistry

Physics

Getting the Right Mix:

Introduction

Moisture Content

C/N Ratio

Bioavailability of Carbon & Nitrogen

Use of fertilizer nitrogen to balance C/N ratio

Lignin effects on bioavailability

Lignin Table

Effect of particle size on bioavailability


Composting for sustainability

Callegari Composting Course:Mixes, Measurements (T, O, Vol, Density), Materials, Siting…Example: Buffer Zones

Water Sources

Water Runoff/Streams/Wetlands

Residential/Business Areas


Buffer zones

Buffer Zones

Recommended Distances from Water Sources

- Private well: 100 feet minimum

(horizontally)

- Water table: 3 feet above max

- Bedrock: 3 feet above max


Buffer zones1

Buffer Zones

Recommended Distances: Sensitive Wetlands

- Streams, ponds: 100 feet

- Subsurface drainage pipe or ditch: 25 feet


Buffer zones2

Buffer Zones

Recommended Distances: Residences

- Property lines: 50 feet (500 ideal)

- Residence or business: 200 feet (2000 ideal)


Buffer zones3

Buffer Zones

Check with local authorities on specifics:

DEQ

Health Dept

Conservation Districts

Army Corps of Engineers


Area requirements practical for this class

Area Requirements (Practical for this class!!)

Volume of Material

Shape of Pile

Length of Time: Curing/Storage

Equipment Considerations


Area requirements incoming material

Area Requirements:Incoming Material

Volume of Material

Volume must be estimated by users

Examples:

- number of animals x volume per animal

- number of trucks x volume per truck (from dining halls…)


Area requirements time considerations

Area Requirements:Time Considerations

Volume of Material

Time:

Total volume = residence time x daily volume

- daily volume x number of days


Area requirements volume cs area x length

Area Requirements:Volume = CS Area x Length

Shape of pile/container

- High Parabolic

- Low Parabolic

- Trapezoidal

- Triangular

- Rectangular (e.g. between walls)


Cross sectional pile areas

Cross Sectional Pile Areas

Shape of pile/container

- High Parabolic (front end loader)

h = 6-12 feet, b = 10-20 feet

A = 2/3 x b x h

height

base


Cross sectional pile areas1

Cross Sectional Pile Areas

Shape of pile/container

- Low Parabolic (windrow turners/ wet)

h = 3-4 feet, b = 10-20 feet

A = 2/3 x b x h

height

base


Cross sectional pile areas2

Cross Sectional Pile Areas

Shape of pile/container

- Trapezoidal (windrow turners/ wet)

h = 4-9 feet, B1 = 10-20 feet

A = (B1 + B2)h/2

B 2

height

B 1


Cross sectional pile areas3

Cross Sectional Pile Areas

Shape of pile/container

- Triangle (static piles/no turning)

h = 5-8 feet, b = 2 x height

A = b x h / 2

height

base


Cross sectional pile areas4

Cross Sectional Pile Areas

Shape of pile/container

- Rectangle (between walls/forced aeration)

h = 6-8 feet, b = 10-12 feet

A = b x h

height

base


Area requirements volume cs area x length1

Area Requirements:Volume = CS Area x Length

Example:

Trapezoidal pile, 100 feet long, B1 = 12 feet, B2 = 8 feet, h = 6 feet.

Volume = 100 x (12 + 8) x 6 / 2 = 6000 ft cu

100

12


Area requirements volume cs area x length2

Area Requirements:Volume = CS Area x Length

Example:

Trapezoidal pile, Cubic Yards!

Volume = 6000 ft cu / 27 ft cu/yd cu

= 222 cubic yards


Area requirements pad area per volume a v

Area Requirements:Pad Area per Volume (A/V)

Example:Trapezoidal pile

Volume = 222 cubic yards

Pad Area = 100 feet x 12 feet wide = 1200 sq ft

1200 sq ft/43650 sq ft per acre = .027 acres

(1 acre = 43650 sq ft)


Area requirements pad area per volume a v1

Area Requirements:Pad Area per Volume (A/V)

Example:Trapezoidal pile

Volume = 222 cubic yards

Consider Equipment Needs (12 feet between piles) Pad Area = 1200 sq ft (compost) + 1200 sq ft (equipment room)

= .055 acres (1 acre = 43650 sq ft)


Area requirements pile shape comparisons

Area Requirements:Pile Shape Comparisons

Example:Trapezoidal pile 100 feet long

Volume = 222 cubic yards

Low parabolic 100 feet long (b = 12, h = 4)

Volume = b x h x 2/3 x length = 118 cu yds

222

118


Balance game pile shape comparisons

Balance Game:Pile Shape Comparisons

Trapezoidal (222 cu yds) has more volume per area than low parabolic (118 cu yards)

But...

- May require more turning

- May take more energy

- May not accommodate wet materials

118

222


Area requirements over time

Area Requirements Over Time

Longer Residence Time (RT) = Larger Pad Area (PA)

Consider: Daily Volume (Vd)

RT x Vd x V/A = Total Volume

Example: 2 week cycle + 2 week curing

= 4 weeks or 28 days RT


Area requirements over time1

Area Requirements Over Time

Assume Daily Volume (Vd) = 1000 cu yards

Residence Time (RT) = 28 days

A/V = 0.055 acres/222 cu yds = .00025 acre/cy

RT x Vd x V/A = Total Volume

= 28 x 1000 x .00025 = 7 acres


Area requirements time effects

Area Requirements: Time Effects

28 day res time (RT) requires 7 acres

14 day RT requires only 3.5 acres

3 month (90 day) RT requires

= 90 x 1000 x .00025 = 22.5 acres!!


Area requirements time effects1

Area Requirements: Time Effects

14 day RT: 3.5 acres

28 day RT: 7 acres

3 month RT: 22.5 acres!

6 month RT: 45 acres!!

Lowering Residence Time Saves $$$


Balance game time effects

Balance Game:Time Effects

Lowering Residence Time Saves $$$

But…requires

Quick turnaround (marketing)

Consistent conditions (overhead/equipment)

Good biology of compost


Area requirements additional factors

Area Requirements:Additional Factors

Buffer zones (50 feet from property lines, 100 feet from water source or streams)

Equipment Space (Room for equipment to move through lanes, make turns, park/stop)

Space for compost (active, curing, storage)

Time; Shape/Volume; Material Production


Area requirements additional factors1

Area Requirements:Additional Factors

Example (see example p. 3-65):

Buffer (100/25/200)

Equipment (20 ft lanes, 20 ft turns)

Compost (High Parabolic)

100

Pad

100

200

Neighbor

Stream

25

Ditch


Overall site layout

Overall Site Layout

Storage, Curing, Active Compost

(Equipment)

Curing

50 x 54

Storage

Piles

55x70

Active Piles (Plus Lanes)

10 ft edges

20 ft lanes


Other site considerations

Other Site Considerations

Nuisance Control: Odors

Runoff Control

Vector Control

Dust and Noise Control

Safety and Accident Prevention


Nuisance control odors

Nuisance Control: Odors

Odorous Raw Materials (e.g. fish, mortalities)

Poor Site Conditions (wet, close to residences)

Ammonia from high N materials (e.g. poultry)

Anaerobic (wet) conditions


Minimizing odors

Minimizing Odors

- Odorous Raw Materials: Add high C materials

- Plan for good site: space, dry, etc.

- High N material: add Carbon (e.g. wood chips)

- Anaerobic (wet) conditions: drainage, cover

- Turn piles under good conditions/good times

- Biofilters or other technologies to minimize odors


Minimizing odors1

Minimizing Odors

A huge problem in urban/rural conflict areas

Consider your site and materials!

More discussion later...


Runoff control

Runoff control

Runoff can contain:

Sediment

Nutrients

Pathogens

Organic Matter


Runoff control1

Runoff control

Runoff can cause

Disease

Sedimentation

Eutrophication


Runoff control2

Runoff control

Use Best Management Practices:

Minimize eutrophication, sediment, nutrients, pathogens, etc:

- C: N ratio

- Material management

- Grassed Filter area

- Grass Buffer Strips near water bodies


Runoff control3

Runoff control

Level lip spreader: line/channel

Grassed Filter Area

Well

estab-

lished

vegeta-

tion

From compost

pad area

Grassed Filter Area:

2-5% slope


Vector control

Vector control

Insects: Flies, mosquitoes

Raccoons, bats, birds, etc.

Dust and water


Vector control1

Vector control

Keep site clean

Proper drainage

Appropriate mixing esp. high-N materials

Turning as necessary

C: N ration

Housing for insectivores: bats, martins, etc.

Rodent control: owls and hawks, etc.


Dust control

Dust control

Dampen heavy traffic areas

Keep site clean

Especially loading and processing areas


Water control

Water control

Keep site clean

Maintain good drainage


Noise control

Noise control

Traffic on site

Equipment (hammermills, grinders, etc.)

Motors and generators


Noise control1

Noise control

Time of day (early AM, late PM)

Seasons: open windows in comfortable weather

Vegetation and berms can cut noise


Safety concerns for sites

Safety concerns for sites

Site should be laid out to maximize safety:

- Operator health

- Safety Training

- Clean, dry site

- Fires

- Dry compost, large piles can burn

- Wood, etc. can burn


Facility siting review

Facility Siting Review

Buffer zones

Area requirements: Vol, Time, Equipment

Nuisance Control:

Runoff Control

Vector Control

Dust and Noise Control

Safety and Accident Prevention


Composting for sustainability

PhD: Pile it higher and deeper…

Forced Aeration, Static Bed Rectangular (Concrete Walls)

Wheel Spacing (Front End Loader)


Composting for sustainability

Compost in Enclosed Vessel: from Dr. Hall’s PhD


Control in biological composting systems

Control in Biological Composting Systems

Numerical simulations with considerations for temperature feedback control via aeration regulation

Steven Hall


Objectives of controlled composting process

Objectives of Controlled Composting Process

  • Control Temperature in Composting to:

  • Degrade Substrate

  • Reduce Pathogens

  • Minimize Odors

  • Manage Moisture


Composting for sustainability

Control of Composting

  • Some practical control research (Stentiford, 1996; Jeris and Regan, 1973; DeBertoldi et al, 1988, 1996)

  • Very little available on controllability of composting

  • This project looks at controllability

  • Input/Output analysis

  • Input: Aeration; Output: Temperature


Methods for exploring composting control

Methods for Exploring Composting Control

  • Modeling/Simulation

  • Laboratory Experimentation

  • Field Scale Studies


Modeling equations used

Modeling: Equations Used

  • Four Major Equations

  • Biological Volatile Solids (Substrate)

  • Oxygen

  • Moisture

  • Temperature/Energy


Composting for sustainability

Modeling Equations: BVS

  • Biological Volatile Solids (BVS)

  • d(BVS)/dt = -Kb*BVS

  • Kb = KTKO KM [hr-1]

  • KT = F(T) (Andrews et al)

  • Graph:(0.0126)*[1.066)T-20-(1.21)T-60]


Composting for sustainability

Modeling Equations: O2

  • Oxygen/Aeration

  • Controlled Variable

  • Related to Aeration Rate, Breakdown Rate


Composting for sustainability

Modeling Equations: Water

  • Water is Produced by Respiration

  • Water Vapor is Removed

  • Air Holds More Water Vapor as Temperature Rises

where rH2O = Qa*[Wa(Tr)-Wa(Ta)]/Vr*e.


Closed loop simulations

Closed Loop Simulations

  • Control Algorithms Using Temperature Feedback

  • Both Time and Temperature Used

  • Aeration Rate Regulated


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • Modeling provides support for designing experiments and field studies

  • Information from experiments is used for improving the model

  • Practical, effective system control was achieved using guidance rule algorithms


Objectives met

Objectives Met

  • Pathogen Destruction >3 orders of magnitude (below measurable levels)

  • Moisture reduced

  • BVS, volume reduced significantly

  • Low Odors


Closed loop simulations1

Closed Loop Simulations

  • Control Algorithms Using Temperature Feedback

  • Both Time and Temperature Used

  • Aeration Rate Regulated


Compost and the kingdom of god

Compost and the Kingdom of God

  • Sermon at Oasis Christian Fellowship www.firstoasis.org

  • “Pruning” metaphor

  • Death and new life

  • Submitting to change can be good

  • Environment is about beliefs


Conclusions1

Conclusions

  • Modeling provides support for designing experiments and field studies

  • Information from experiments is used for improving the model

  • Practical, effective system control was achieved using guidance rule algorithms


Back to hort 4012

Back to HORT 4012

  • Pathogen Destruction: safety

  • Moisture reduced: Good product

  • BVS, volume reduced significantly

  • Low Odors: Aesthetics

  • Cost/Transport!

  • Practical 

  • Use on farm, gardens, sell?

  • How much, when?


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