Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Hydrothermal Disintegration and Extraction of Different Microalgae Species
Previous Article in Journal
The Share Price and Investment: Current Footprints for Future Oil and Gas Industry Performance
Previous Article in Special Issue
Improving Vegetable Oil Properties by Transforming Fatty Acid Chain Length in Jatropha Oil and Coconut Oil Blends
Article Menu
Issue 2 (February) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Energies 2018, 11(2), 449;

Energy Analysis of a Rotary Drum Bioreactor for Composting Tomato Plant Residues

Department of Agricultural Engineering, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
Department of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Alexandria University, Alexandria 21526, Egypt
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 December 2017 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 19 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Bioenergy and Biofuel)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3002 KB, uploaded 23 February 2018]   |  


Energy produced from plant residue composting has stimulated great interest in heat recovery and utilization. Composting is an exothermic process often controlled through temperature measurements. However, energy analysis of the overall composting system, especially the rotary bioreactors, is generally not well known and very limited. This study presents detailed energy analysis in a laboratory-scale, batch-operated, rotary bioreactor used for composting tomato plant residues. The bioreactor was considered as a thermodynamic system operating under unsteady state conditions. The composting process was described, the input generated and lost energy terms as well as the relative importance of each term were quantitatively evaluated, and the composting phases were clearly identified. Results showed that the compost temperature peaked at 72 h of operation reaching 66.7 °C with a heat generation rate of 9.3 W·kg−1 of organic matter. During the composting process, the accumulated heat generation was 1.9 MJ·kg−1 of organic matter; only 4% of this heat was gained by the composting material, and 96% was lost outside the bioreactor. Contributions of thermal radiation, aeration, cylindrical, and side-walls surfaces of the reactor on the total heat loss were 1%, 2%, 69%, and 28%, respectively. The information obtained is applicable in the design, management, and control of composting operations and in improvement of bioreactor effectiveness and productivity. View Full-Text
Keywords: composting; tomato plant residues; heat generation; loss; rotary bioreactor composting; tomato plant residues; heat generation; loss; rotary bioreactor

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Alkoaik, F.N.; Abdel-Ghany, A.M.; Rashwan, M.A.; Fulleros, R.B.; Ibrahim, M.N. Energy Analysis of a Rotary Drum Bioreactor for Composting Tomato Plant Residues. Energies 2018, 11, 449.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Energies EISSN 1996-1073 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top