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Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2358; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122358

Improved Precision and Efficiency of a Modified ORG0020 Dynamic Respiration Test Setup for Compost Stability Assessment

1
School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, Scotland, UK
2
School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 13 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Waste Management)
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Abstract

The ORG0020 dynamic respiration test is effective at distinguishing source segregated organic waste derived composts across a wide range of stabilities when compared to other standard tests; however, using the original diaphragm pump and manifold setup, the test is affected by variability in flow rate with time and across sample replicate vessels. Here, we demonstrate the use of a multichannel peristaltic pump to deliver a more consistent air flow to individual vessels. Using finished and unfinished industry compost samples from different sites with varying stabilities, we provide evidence of greater precision of the modified setup compared to the original. Furthermore, the reduced need for air flow adjustment resulted in improved running cost efficiency with less labour demand. Analysis of compost sample oxygen demand supports the current test air flow rate of 25–75 mL min−1, although the improved air flow control will enable future narrowing of the acceptable range for better inter-laboratory performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: compost stability; dynamic; respiration; carbon dioxide; compost quality; running cost analysis compost stability; dynamic; respiration; carbon dioxide; compost quality; running cost analysis
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Guillen Ferrari, D.; Howell, G.; Aspray, T.J. Improved Precision and Efficiency of a Modified ORG0020 Dynamic Respiration Test Setup for Compost Stability Assessment. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2358.

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