Database of Waste Management Technologies Life

Composting Technologies

 

Generic information

Composting is the aerobic, or oxygen requiring, decomposition of organic materials by micro-organisms under controlled conditions. During composting the microorganisms consume oxygen while feeding on organic matter. This generates heat, carbon dioxide and water vapour, which are released into the atmosphere.

Composting reduces both the volume and mass of the raw materials while transforming them into a composted organic material.

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Figure 1: The composting process

Composting can occur at a rapid rate when optimum conditions that encourage the growth of micro-organisms are established and maintained.

Composting technologies come in a range of designs. All systems are designed and engineered to control and optimise the biological stabilisation, sanitisation, and/or, in some cases, drying of biodegradable materials.

These processes can last anywhere from a few days to 8 or more weeks depending on the degree to which the material is to be stabilised.

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Figure 2: Categorisation of composting systems