Bulk density determination as a simple and complementary tool in composting process control
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Ten composting facilities (CF) treating source-sorted organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OF) were sampled to study the relationship between the bulk density and the composting process (CP) development. Hundred and fourteen samples from different stages of the CP were considered (organic fraction, initial mixture, final decomposition, final maturation and compost), including the reject materials coming from the densimetric table at postprocessing. Total organic matter (TOM), moisture content (MC), wet bulk density and dry basis (BDd) were determined. Significant differences were detected for MC, TOM and BDd between some stages of the CP. The BDd increased along the CP while TOM decreased. Correlation studies showed a significant negative relationship between TOM and bulk density, especially BDd, during the CP, as a result of the biological activity. Moreover, a clear relationship was also found between TOM and BDd in samples related to reject materials. The results indicate that bulk density could be a simple and useful tool to evaluate the CP, in addition to the others parameters commonly used. At the same time, BDd could be an easy way to infer TOM lost within rejects.
CitationHuerta, O. [et al.]. Bulk density determination as a simple and complementary tool in composting process control. "Bioresource technology", 2010, vol. 101, núm. 3, p. 995-1001.