ABSTRACT: The acceleration of the composting process and the improvement of compost quality have been explored by evaluating the efficacy of various additives, inoculating with specific microorganisms and the application of various biosurfactants. The magnesium-aluminum silicate attapulgite is a low-cost potential composting additive, but its effects on aerobic composting are unknown. This study investigated the effects of attapulgite application on compost production and quality during the aerobic composting of chicken manure. Addition of attapulgite significantly increased the temperature (p < 0.05) while it reduced compost total organic carbon (TOC) and seed germination indices (GIs) throughout the process. Its addition enhanced nitrate concentrations, promoted organic matter degradation, increased seed germination indices, and accelerated the composting process. Interestingly, attapulgite addition did not increase the population of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. These results suggest that attapulgite is a good additive for the composting industry. Implications: We investigated the addition of two forms of attapulgite during aerobic composting of chicken manure to determine their effects under strict composting environmental parameter control. Our results provides primary evidence that attapulgite may have potential for application in the composting industry. All treatments showed no increase within the first 15 days. However, emissions increased for all treatments within 15-45 days, reaching approximately 6300, 2000, and 4000 mg/m2 from the control, artifactitious attapulgite, and raw attapulgite treatments, respectively.
Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association (1995) 10/2012; 62(10):1174-81. · 1.52 Impact Factor