Monitoring of a Composting Process: Thermal Stability of Raw Materials and Products
In the following chapter, thermal methods of thermogravimetry (TG) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were utilised on agro-industrial raw materials and on samples collected during a 5-month composting period. The main objective was to investigate the energetic status of different raw materials with respect to that of compost samples at different stages of the composting process, in order to obtain a process monitoring. Two piles, based on wastes from citrus industrial processing, were produced according to the presence and absence of sludge in the initial mixture of matrices. Materials thermal characterisation showed that sludge organic matter was the most stabilised among the used starting materials, but its quantitative contribution to the final product was minor. DSC measurements on samples taken at different times of transformation demondtrated at a macroscopic level the evolution of organic materials towards more energetic organic fractions. TG data allowed the calculation of the thermostability index R1, able to quantify the relative amount of the thermally more stable organic matter fraction with respect to the less stable Finally, data showed that organic matter stabilisation was accompanied by an increased water retention.
KeywordsBiomass Combustion Cellulose Porosity Starch
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