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Composting of tobacco plant waste by manual turning and forced aeration system

Author(s): Nonglak Saithep

Journal: Maejo International Journal of Science and Technology
ISSN 1905-7873

Volume: 3;
Issue: 02;
Start page: 248;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: composting | tobacco waste | manual turning | force-aerated system

The efficiency of tobacco plant waste composting, by the manual turning and the forced aeration system, was compared. Tobacco plant waste, cow manure, urea fertiliser, and a compost inoculum mixture at a 100:10:0.2:0.01 ratio respectively, with 60% (w/v) moisture content, were set up in piling forms. The piles of the manual turning system were provided with turning aeration by hand at intervals of 7 days during the composting process. For the forced aeration system, each pile was aerated by a 3-HP air pump with a flow rate of 19 litres min-1 for 15 minutes every morning and evening. The completely randomised design of turned and force-aerated piles was performed in triplicate. The composting activity of both systems during the composting period was measured by several parameters: temperature, pH, moisture content, C/N ratio, growth of microorganisms, cellulase activity, and nicotine degradation in the set-up piles. Both systems had similar temperature, pH, and moisture content conditions in the piles during the composting process. However, the forced aeration system was more advantageous for the growth of mesophilic and thermophilic microorganisms, for cellulase activity from cellulase-producing microorganisms, and for nicotine degradation, when compared to the manual turning system. In conclusion, the forced aeration system was more efficient than the manual turning system in composting and is a viable alternative method for the composting process.
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