Thesis

Evaluación del Desempeño de Diferentes Prototipos de Compostadores en el Tratamiento de Residuos Orgánicos.

Thesis for: Magíster, Advisor: Francisca Laos

ABSTRACT Decentralized composting has become a high potential option to be applied as residential waste management strategy, regardless geographical location. This composting process carried by “composters” is an effective tool to treat municipal organic wastes, generating a positive impact on organic waste management plans.
In this work, three composters prototypes were designed and tested. The prototypes were made using discarded metallic oil drums and recycled materials (recycled plastics). The composting experience was carried out in an oil field with food waste daily generated from a catering service for about 65 persons. The composting process was studied and the end product quality was analyzed based on the following variables: total nitrogen, total phosphorous, extractable phosphorous, pH, organic matter and electrical conductivity.
Results confirm the effectiveness of this composting system for the organic waste treatment. In contrast with the traditional composting systems (windrows and piles), products obtained by composters showed higher nutrient and organic matter contents, as well as higher pH and electrical conductivity values. Significant differences were found on these variables when comparing the different prototypes.
This work represents a local reference for research on this technology, which is scarcely promoted in our country. It shows an analysis of the differences on the proposed composting process and the resulting compost quality from composters with different design and characteristics. Additionally, a comparison of the properties of this composting system against the traditional ones is presented.
An innovative technological solution was evaluated, with potential to be applied to an extensive portion of the population. By using composters the waste-generator will be involved on the waste treatment and the utilization of produced compost, contributing to minimize the quantity and impact of wastes disposed on municipal landfills.

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