News — composting

CO2 in Aerobic, Anaerobic Composting

Composting is a common method for organic waste disposal. In composting, micro-organisms convert waste into useful products like fertilizer. There are 2 kinds of composting: aerobic (with air) and anaerobic (without air). Although both break down organic matter, aerobic composting depends on micro-organisms that get oxygen from the air, whereas anaerobic composting depends on micro-organisms that get oxygen directly from the waste matter. Aerobic Composting The advantages of composting is that it naturally kills pathogens like E. coli, converts ammonia nitrogen to organic nitrogen and reduces the waste volume. The disadvantages of composting are the loss of some nutrients including...

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Methane Sensor Used in Science Fair Project

Which animal waste has the potential to produce the most methane? That was the question posed by Sean Weiss in his “Waste to Watts” science fair project that won the Orange County Science Fair for Alternative Energy. Sean, who currently attends middle school in California, said the idea for the project first occurred to him while he was cleaning up after the family dog. “Before starting this experiment, on one of our family trips I learned that some cow farms in the northern part of the Central California basin were using some of the methane from the waste to power...

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Compost & Soil Gas Testing: 3 Inexpensive Solutions

Most of us who live in the city think of soil as “dirt.” However, soil is actually a living environment of underground plants, animals, and microorganisms that, like humans, need food, water and oxygen to survive. Soil gas testing is the process of measuring oxygen, carbon dioxide, methane, radon, and other gases in soil. For example, large-scale composters monitor the gases inside long, narrow piles of plant material and manure called wind-rows. The right combination of moisture, temperature, oxygen and CO2 is required to feed the aerobic microbes that turn the materials into compost. Alternatively, biologists measure CO2 or methane...

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