• Steffen Werner added an answer:
    What is the benifits of adding charcool to the compost ?

    Organic farming.

    Steffen Werner · Ruhr-Universität Bochum

    Please see this paper:

    It gives a lot of references regarding our question.

  • A. R. Karbassi added an answer:
    What is the best method of converting organic S into SO4 compost?

    Sulphate composts are useful for alkaline soils. There are huge amount of sulfur production during refinery processes. Sometimes these amounts of sulfur can not be directly used and should be converted into some other by-products. What is the easiest way to convert organic S into SO4 compost?

    A. R. Karbassi · University of Tehran

    Dear Ghani

    Thank you for your guidance.

    Truly yours


  • R. Shalini added an answer:
    Is anyone familiar with the identification of sheep dung?

    Hi everyone,

    I used sheep and cow dung for soil burail method, after a 1 year incubation period I saw the dung , it got some compost and some are white in colour and in powder form. Can anyone please help and suggest the reason why the dung is white and inpowder form. How can it be identified? Pls guide me through the methodology and reasoning.

    Thank u

    R. Shalini · Nehru Memorial College


    I want a methodology for synthesis of nano parcticels from microorganisms anyone please help m

  • Chantal J Beauchamp added an answer:
    Which additive (residue) should I mix with a WWTP sludge (30% C, 4%N) for composting achieving a C/N ratio higher than 20 in the mixture?

    The C/N ratio of the sludge is around 6. But the levels of %C is quite high, I modelled the process mixing the sludge with the straw but the amounts of straw needed are too high because instead, a there is a residue with high C content. I think I need a residue higher in N.

    Chantal J Beauchamp · Laval University

    Dear Yago,
    The C/N of your WWTP is about 7.5, You need to add a C, and woody waste is often used since it is cheap. In Spain, you could try to find:
    Olive husks
    Paper mill sludge (with less than 65% water content)
    Wood shavings
    Shurb or tree trimmings

    Good luck,

  • Chantal J Beauchamp added an answer:
    Can anyone suggest an easy method for making compost by using only municipal solid waste?

    Does anyone know any method for composting of municipal Solid waste? Can the 100% of the waste prepare good compost? Or does some % mixture of other organic waste need to be added?Do you know about papers related with this issue? Thanks in advance. Regards, SINDOR.

    Chantal J Beauchamp · Laval University

    Dear Dr. Pardaev,

    In non-sorting MSW, you get metal, glass, paper, food waste, etc. If you compost these ingredients all together, you are going to get them in your compost. For example, trace metals will concentrate in your compost as your organic matter will be used by compost microorganisms. The trace metal concentrations may be harmful to the environment. Where do you want to use this compost?

    You need to do source separation of metal, glass, paper, etc. If you can get only food wastes, then the environmental quality of your compost will be improved.

    MSW are also reach in water. Most of the time, you need to add a structuring agent. The methods of Beltsville or Rutgers are used to understand the challenges and can be found on Internet.

    -United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and United States Environmental
    Protection agency (EPA). 1980. Manual for composting sewage sludge by the
    Beltsville aerated-pile method. EPA-600/8-80-022. USEPA, Washington, D.C.

    -USEPA. 1986. The Rutgers strategy for composting: Process design and control.
    EPA/600/2-85/059. USEPA, Washington, D.C.

    Good luck,

  • Kulasekaran Ramesh added an answer:
    What are economically affordable sources of K for organic farming?

    In organic farming and for high-K demanding crops, K could be a problem. N source can come from compost, or animal manure; P can be supplied by bone meal or rock phosphate, but K is hard to find. Seaweeds may be a source, but could pose an invasive problem. Natural polyhalide mineral is only available in certain locations. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

    Kulasekaran Ramesh · Indian Institute of Soil Science

    Dear, in general, application of composted animal manure has sufficient quantities of potassium too. In exceptional cases where K demand of the plant is too high, crop residues rich in K may be used for recycling. An organic Banana farmer utilizes all the banana wastes other than the fruits for recycling in his farm in india.

  • Newton de Lucena Costa added an answer:
    Can anyone suggest an easy method for making compost by using fallen dry leaves in a tropical country?

    The traditional methods of composting are more labour intensifying, hence economically not viable. I am looking for the best and quick way of making compost by using dry leaves of deciduous trees in a very short span of time. Any help in this matter will be  highly appreciated.

    Newton de Lucena Costa · Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA)

    An alternative is to laminate composting.
    It is another way of doing aerobic composting. mounted -shaped blade is used at the place where the compound to humified. This location can be on the projection area canopy of tree crops (coconut, orange, etc.) or where construction is done for plant cultivation. Alternate blades are mounted carbon-rich waste (thickness 15 cm) waste rich in nitrogen (thickness of 5 cm) .The total thickness of the blades varies from 40 to 60 cm. when made in the projection of the plant canopy, the material should be away 20 to 30 cm from the stem. In this type of composting the plowing is done by worms and insects which develop within the blades, eliminating the manual plowing.

    Enrichment of the organic compound
    During assembly of the compost windrow one can to enrich the compound of nutrients, using rich rock powder macro and micronutrients (for ex. Phosphate of Gafsa) at a ratio of 10 kg tonne of waste to be composted. The addition of gypsum
    agricultural in proportion to the rock waste will benefit the Quality of the compound, as in piles in sheets or hills. Quick compound without manure The manure nutrient enriched compound, but composting process may occur without the addition of manure. The important thing is to use materials rich in carbon and for nitrogen rich materials having the C / C suitable for the job of microorganisms responsible
    for fermentation and humus waste.Mix 2/3 of waste rich in carbon, which tend to
    be harder and woody as twigs, dry leaves, straw, stems, etc., with 1/3 of material rich in nitrogen as the plant shoots, grass clippings, leaves and stems green legume plants, vegetables remains, fruit and food. These materials, these ratios,
    should be mixed evenly moistened (without flooding) and placed in the form of windrow or pile. In the second, fourth, seventh and tenth day after mounting
    gem do the plowing. After the last plowing the begin 70 ° C down to around
    40 ° C and the compost is ready for use.

  • Marziye Yousefi added an answer:
    Is there any publication about vermicomposting reactor?

    I need several papers and articles to reference and compare my results with, but unfortunately I couldn't find any research about using of vermicomposting reactor. thanks in forward for helping me.

    Marziye Yousefi · University of Tehran

    Dear Dr Manyuchi and Mr Zoghi,

    I really appreciate you answer my question. Now I can complete my paper.


  • Rastislav SOLÁR added an answer:
    Can anybody suggest to me a standard method for the quantification of lignin in the leaf litter?

    I need to quantify the lignin content of plant material and their subsequent compost. Though I had taken IR spectra of both the plant material and compost I couldn't extract much of inputs. Please, suggest me some methods for isolating the lignin content and its quantification.

    Rastislav SOLÁR · University of Technology in Zvolen

    You can determine lignin in leafs or in composted leafes also indirectly as a difference betwen dry weight of extractives free sample and corresponding dry weight of holocellulose. This indirect determination may be slightly distorted due to smaller amounts of residual lignin in the preparation, amounting to 0 - a few %.

    I would prefere isolation and determination of holocellulose according to the method of Wise.

    Procedure: 2 g of extractives free material  is weighted into 250 ml Erlenmayer flask containing 80 ml of distilled water, to which 0.25 ml of ice CH3COOH is added. The flask is placed into to 80 oC heated water bath. When  the inner temperature is equal to bath temp. 0.75 g of NaClO2 is added and the openning of flask is "sealed" with a small 25 ml Erlenmayer flask placed upside-dovw . The oxidative delignification proceds in 4 steps, each lasting an hour. After each  step /excluding the last one/ the above mentioned chemicals, in the same order, are added. In the end, the contents are cooled with adition of sufficient amount of ice to temp. moderately over 0. The isolation should be performed in a digestorium due to toxic Cl2 and Cl- oxides formation. 

    The suspension is separated via vacuum filtration of the spent solution via S-3 crucible. The holocellulose in the crucible is then washed with ethanol,  acetone and dried in a vacuum or in thermostat at 103 oC

    If neccessary, the content of residual lignin in the preparation can be determined via UV, or aproximately as Klason lignin.

    Notice: the mentioned differential method might be possibly more convenient for your analysed material /sound leafs - composted leafs/. 

  • Barbara Sawicka added an answer:
    Vermi-compost vs. thermo-compost: which one is better as a soil amendment?

    It is a common belief that vermi-compost (compost made with earthworms) is better than thermo-compost (microbial decomposition with temperatures as high as 60 0C)  in quality and soil amendment properties. I wonder if there is strong scientific evidence to support such a claim.

    Barbara Sawicka · University of Life Sciences in Lublin

    Dear Daniel

    vermicompost undoubtedly be more interest, especially in organic farming. This is a competitive product in relation to fertilizers

  • Paul Howard Riley added an answer:
    Does anybody know any groups that are working on the composting of human excreta that I might be able to join for a master's project?

    I'm interested to be hooked with anybody with similar interests on this that may want some help in more long-term research.  Don't mind where in the world it is.

    Paul Howard Riley · University of Nottingham

    Try Sarah,

    she is very good

  • How can “home composting” be supported in order to mitigate the environmental threats and to improve the local agriculture from rural areas?

    Often biodegradable fraction of household waste has more than 50 % in rural areas .This stream is traditional used as compost or/and food source for livestock...reducing the amounts of household waste predisposed to illegal dumping!

    The quality of compost in very important in agriculture so there are two major ways :
    a.home composting where the quality may to oscillate from household to household but the direct beneficiary is the owner (inhabitant)

    b. waste management system which provides a separate collection of biowaste in order to be transported to a composting plant where final compost presumably have a better that case beneficiary is who pays for it.

    Therefore, how to engage the home composting as a reliable tool for local development and environmental protection ?

    Prof. Shashikant S. Udikeri · Agril. Research Station.Dharwad (Karnataka:India)

    Home composting could depend upon the locality (urban/peri-urban/rural) and type of family(farming/other).In rural /agriculture families the composting of animal waste into farmyard manur is common.You better methods also. Home daily waste in peri-urban areas leads lot of MSW (Municipal Solid Waste). handling MSW is a great issue now. However  green vegetable waste is a issue one can have small scale vermi -composting unit.

  • Khalid Azim added an answer:
    What is the best statistical software for soil analysis database?

    In soil analysis and also compost analysis, we have a huge amount of data that should be analyzed through PCA, LSD, ANOVA (s)...what is the best software that gather all those analysis types with simple procedures and readable graphics and tables. Sometimes we feel lost in results that hide 2 or 3 relevant ones your are seeking. Can a kind of Statistical software help in those issues?

    Khalid Azim · Institut National de Recherche Agronomique de Rabat

    Hello all

    I've installed the SPSS 21 and I'm fully satisfied with the software especially with the PCA (Principal Component Analysis). Now, I want to push further the analysis to predictive model, is someone have the extension module of PLS for SPSS 21.



  • Lacatusu Radu added an answer:
    Would arsenic (As) uptake by Chinese brake fern (Pteris vittata) be increased or decreased if a high-As Oxisol is amended with a high-P compost?

    As we know, As and P can compete with each other for soil adsorption as well as for plant uptake. How can we predict As phyto-availability upon fertilization with a P source?

    Lacatusu Radu · National Research and Development Institute for Soil Science, Agrochemistry and Environmental Protection

    There is an antagonistic effect between As and P. I noticed this when analyzing variants fertilized with sewage sludge and with phosphorus from mineral fertilizers.

  • Joan Llovet added an answer:
    What chemical/nutritional properties of soil and compost should I measure to predict nitrogen mineralization rate of a compost as a soil amendment?

    In organic/sustainable farming, compost is a good (major?) source of N and micro-nutrients for crops. How to predict/synchronize N release from compost and N need by a crop is important to a successful farming operation. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

    Joan Llovet · Unidad Mixta CEAM-UA

    I think that a prediction of nitrogen mineralization could be the determination of potential mineralizable nitrogen (PMN). There are some protocols and approximations to estimate this parameter. An analytical protocol widespread used is based on the difference between the ammonia nitrogen (NH4-N) after and before an anaerobic incubation of the soil samples.

  • Owen Seeman added an answer:
    Does anyone know if the mites present in mushroom compost is beneficial or harmful to agricultural crops?

    I have a organic pellets in bags made of mushroom compost, which have a contamination of mites.

    This product have destination clientes of agriculture crops.

    Owen Seeman · Queensland Museum

    Dear Teixeira,

    The answer to your question will largely depend on what kind of mites they are and also what crop they are destined for. Being a dry pelleted product, they are likely to be mites that infest stored products, such as Tyrophagus similis (Acari: Acaridae). These mites can damage seedlings and low-growing soft-leaved plants such as spinach. See for example:

    Problems with stored product mites in pelleted products indicate an issue usually relating to excess moisture and hygiene - either in the manufacture of the pellet itself, or in storage after production of the pellet. The latter is often true if bags of pellets spend some time sitting around in less than ideal conditions while waiting to be sold or used. Bags should be kept in a sheltered, ventilated, dry environment. 

    Kind regards, Owen.

  • Carlos Henríquez added an answer:
    How much nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P2O5) and potassium (K2O) can be replaced using one tonne of good quality compost?

    There is a potential for producing a significant amount of marketable compost from organic waste. In LCA perspective, the produced compost can be used for agricultural purposes to replace conventional fertilizer. As reported in literature, one tonne of good-quality compost can be used to replace chemical fertilizer, since there is a possibility to supply the essential nutrients at the rate of 7.1 kg of nitrogen (N), 4.1 kg of phosphorus (P2O5) and 5.4 kg of potassium (K2O) per tonne of compost (Patyk, 1996). However, these values are quite old. Does anyone know the amount of conventional fertilizer (kg of N, P2O5, and K2O) which can be replaced by applying one tonne of good quality compost (based on recent research)?

    Carlos Henríquez · University of Costa Rica

    Dear Nirmala:

    Also, It could be necessary to consider that not all the total content on the compost will be available 100% in a period of time. As Dr. Llinkin said, depend on the type of compost (source and process) and also of this othe important aspect. Other aspect: the final percentage of nutrients available depends on the nutrient. Nitrogen for instance, could be 50% of the total en few months but other nutrient as P or K, this percentage could be different.

  • Benedict Unagwu added an answer:
    What materials are best to use to prevent soil loss through the holes of perforated pots?
    I am looking for permeable and inert materials.
    Benedict Unagwu · University of Nigeria
    Thanks, Jorita.
  • Mohd Najib Ahmad added an answer:
    What is the effect of substrate structure and texture to the composting process?
    How does it influence the overall process?
    Mohd Najib Ahmad · Malaysian Palm Oil Board
    Good Mr Richard. Thanks a lot for assisting me.
  • Richard H Bentham added an answer:
    What suggestions can you give me for the preparation of a compost bioreactor?
    My goal is to check the variation of moisture in compost containers influenced by the activity of thermophilic bacteria consortium previoulsy selected. I have a thermo regulated incubator, 6 glass containers (1l of volume) where the compost will be put and a big plastic container of 16l that will contain all the compost containers. The plastic container will be filled also with 2cm of water and covered with a silver layer. All these things will be inserted in the incubator at 55° C for 60 days. The temperature of compost samples will be checked day by day thanks to a thermometer and the moisture with a igronometer. the concentration of the consortium will be different in any glass container. How do you think about this plan? Can you give me some advice? do you have suggestions about tools or strategies? Should i check other variables? ( i think i should check also the Co2, but i'm not sure it is necessary)

    Thanks in advance
    It is not necessary to build a 500 kg heap for composting. A smaller heap with insulation will work well. As long as the insulative capacity of the compost pile (including added insulation) exceeds the heat loss then a composting process will occur. Compost heaps are in mounds because their shape reduces heat loss and retains water. The same volume of material laid flat will never compost. A small heap with a thermal blanket (roof insulation) will compost with as little as 20 kg of material.

    An easily constructed small scale composting vessel is outlined in my publications.

    hope this helps,


  • Oguz Can Turgay added an answer:
    Can we estimate the value of soil microbial biomass 'Carbon' and 'Nitrogen' separately, from total soil microbial biomass?
    Soil microbial biomass is a key factor of soil nutrient dynamics, mainly in Agricultural land. I have collected samples from fields, which were Organic or compost manure treated and calculated total soil microbial biomass. I wanted to calculate the value of Biomass 'C' and 'N' separately. How could it be possible?
    I have also calculated total organic Carbon and Nitrogen of soil.
    Oguz Can Turgay · Ankara University
    Agata, if you measure microbial biomass using well-known fumigation-K2SO4 extraction procedure, you can determine dissolved C by either "dichromate oxidation" or an automated analyzer (liquid carbon analyzers, TOC) and dissolved N by either "Kjeldahl digestion" or "biomass NRN" measurements. These methods can give you a view of total biomass carbon and nitrogen separately depending on soil conditions or treatments. However NRN would give you ephemeral changes in biomass nitrogen pool (not changes in total biomass N), as it is reactive only to certain nitrogen forms.
    Here is a nice reference you can find the methods for soil microbial biomass (click dowload lab manual on upper left side);

    Best wishes
  • Mohd Najib Ahmad added an answer:
    How does one remove ammonia nitrogen from the composting process ?
    If ammonia nitrogen during germination index decreased, how does one remove ammonia nitrogen? What is the microorganism?
    Mohd Najib Ahmad · Malaysian Palm Oil Board
    Study the properties of compost..add more carbon source to encourage microbial activity to consume N and C actively. Check the properties regularly during turning or mixing process
  • Mohd Najib Ahmad added an answer:
    How does one inoculate bacteriological communities in compost?
    Considering I have a pool of bacteria, I would learn more about technical microbiological methods to inoculate this one in compost sterile piles. The main goal is to study the dynamics of the pool itself.
    Mohd Najib Ahmad · Malaysian Palm Oil Board
    You may play around with the ratio of compost substrate at initial stage. Study the bacterial community and add or inoculate the pool when is needed
  • Mohd Najib Ahmad added an answer:
    Would it be correct to use the term co-composting as a synonym for composting?
    I believe the term composting is more correct to use when in the process you mix two or more solid materials, so I think this is the term most accepted worldwide, right?
    The term co-composting would be used to make mention of the composting process of a liquid material with solid, as is done in Europe with swine effluent and wood shaving, right?
    Mohd Najib Ahmad · Malaysian Palm Oil Board
    Co composting is the suitable word when we associate 2 components for composting. It will give more precise definition to the process
  • Francis Orata added an answer:
    What is more important: (a) the total metal consecration or (b) the forms that the metal is bound in a solid waste?
    Usually, when we analyse solid wastes (like sewage sludge) or soils, we determined (among other parameters) the concentration of heavy metals. Metal concentration is important for many researchers as it is been used to characterize if the waste is heavy polluted. Also it is used to estimate if sewage sludge for example can be used for agricultural proposed. It is well known that heavy metals create several negative impacts to the environment as well as some of them being transferred into the food chain.
    On the other hand, many researchers give emphasis on the forms that metals are bound and not just to the total metal concentration to decide on the disposal method of the waste. A wide variety of sequential chemical extraction schemes have been developed for the determination of heavy metal forms in sewage sludge or in other solid waste. Usually the forms include the exchangeable fraction, the carbonate fraction, the reducible fraction, the organic fraction, and the residual.
    Francis Orata · Stockholm University
  • RAJAL DEBNATH added an answer:
    How to know the purity and concenrtation of isolate DNA?
    I am a Concepcion Calvo researcher at the University of Granada. We are studying the microbial diversity in the composting process of sewage sludge. We're doing the isolation of DNA of isolated cultures for subsequent sequencing of the 16S RNA. Also, we are doing DNA extractions from samples of compost for subsequent pyrosequencing.
    In our lab we use two techniques: Qubit and nanodrops to know the quality and concentration of DNA isolated. But when we carry out these determinations with the two methods, the results are quite different. I wonder if anyone has experience comparing these two techniques to determine concentration and purity of DNA. Which is the most adequate?
    RAJAL DEBNATH · North East Institute of Science & Technology
    I too found the same differences between Qubit (Invitrogen) and Biospectrometer (Eppendorf). I found the Biospectrometer more consistent.. So I dont use Qubit any longer.
  • Assaf Lowenthal asked a question:
    Is there a simple method for quantification of microbial biomass in sludge or in soil?
    I'm interested specifically in looking into the contribution of biomass in DOC (dissolved organic carbon), that means organic compounds that are smaller than 0.45 microns.
  • Richard H Bentham added an answer:
    Is there equipment or a design system that can control humidity, temperature, pH and aeration in composting organic residues?
    Besides nutrientes, mass balance and appropriated microorganisms, the control of temperature, humidity and aeration are the most important parameters to get a good and fast composting process. However, industrial application for composting organic solid residues needs to control these parameters, otherwise there is a decline in its quality.
    Hi Fabiana,

    ah, that explains it. Your temperature profile is 'runnning ahead' of microbial activity, lower temperatures might help. I did the same early on - my problem was hydrolysis and then lots of VFA's - acidic and very smelly!! In lab systems I found using building insulation (foil coated glasswool) around 20 L vessels worked very well, and with the right mix did not need any additional heat.

    BTW Galway is a beautiful place to live!


  • Anoop Yadav added an answer:
    What is the right chemical formula for ammoniacal nitrogen (NH4-N) or (NH3-N) ?
    In many literatures both (NH4-N) and (NH3-N) are used during analysis of compost (Solid) sample.
    Anoop Yadav · Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research
    Right formula for Ammoniacal nitrogen is NH3-N.

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