Multi-component heat and mass transport model for composting process: Experimental validation

Composting consists in an aerobic process where the organic matter from wastes is biodegraded and converted into a stable granular material called compost. Even if composting is considered to be based on natural phenomenon, it is governed by very complex mechanisms, involving many parameters such as quality and accessibility of the nutriments
for micro-organisms, local oxygen content, temperature of the medium, pH, moisture content, and so on (Mustin, 1987, Diaz et al., 2007;). These parameters directly affect biodegradation kinetics. Moreover, they are interdependent and impacted by the operating conditions, which make difficult the understanding of the process.

In order to understand these mechanisms, a multi-component transport model including a biological model and taking into account the drying phenomenon has been developed. This is the first time such a model is carried out. And in general, existing models in literature ignored the drying phenomenon. However, it has been demonstrated in Pujol et al. (2010) that the effects of drying on the composting process could have a dramatic impact and must be considered in composting models. The aim of this paper is to confirm these results, and validate the model. In order to do that, experiments at pilot scale have been carried out. Gas concentrations and temperatures were recorded and compared with those obtained by numerical simulations. An analysis of this comparison is presented. It shows that the model reproduces quite well what it can be observed during experiments, especially for temperature and oxygen (but still a coefficient problem for carbon dioxide). Moreover, the organic matter balance is very good since there is less than 3% of error between simulated and experimental results.

Copyright: © European Compost Network ECN e.V.
Quelle: Orbit 2012 (Juni 2012)
Seiten: 8
Preis inkl. MwSt.: € 8,00
Autor: S. Pommier
Grald Debenest
Michel Quintard
Damien Chenu

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