Composting is one of the most important methods of sewage sludge management. This paper describes the methods of computer image analysis used for objective comparison of the appearance of composted materials under diverse conditions in terms of size and thermal insulation of the composting chambers. The research material was a mixture of sewage sludge and barley straw. The composting process was performed under strictly controlled laboratory conditions, using 10 composting chambers with five different volumes. In half of them additional thermal insulation was used, while in the others no insulation was applied. A proper composting process run was observed only in the three chambers with the largest volume and with additional thermal insulation. The images of the materials were subjected to a wide analysis, wherein the values of 17 parameters regarding color and texture were estimated. Significant differences were observed in the appearances between materials obtained during the properly running composting processes and those obtained in the chambers of insufficient size and thermal insulation. The values of the considered parameters determined for images of the composted material under normal and abnormal conditions were significantly different from each other. Thus, these parameters may be used as indicators of a correctly conducted composting process. In the cases of 15 parameters, the values of these differences exceeded 10%, and in the cases of 10 parameters 50%, while in the cases of three parameters as much as 100%.
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