Evolution of chemical and biological characterization during agitated pile composting of flower waste

Authors

1 Civil Engineering Department, Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat, India

2 Civil Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India

Abstract

Purpose Flower waste dumping in landfills and other disposal sites is causing major environmental issues due to its highly biodegradable nature. Instead, flower waste can be successfully composted for its higher nutrient value. Therefore, this study evaluated the pile composting of flower waste with different combinations of cow dung and saw dust to produce stabilized compost. Methods Five agitated piles of flower waste mixture were formed in trapezoidal shape to perform the composting. Pile (P0) was a control experiment, which contained 100 kg flower waste. The quantity of flower waste mixture with cow dung and saw dust in the other Piles was a total of 100 kg i.e. P1 (50:40:10) kg, P2 (60:30:10) kg, P3 (70:20:10) kg and P4 (80:10:10) kg, respectively. Results Temperature above 50 C was observed in all the piles except in P0. Physico-chemical characteristics of compost showed a stabilized compost obtained by proportionate mix of flower waste, cow dung and saw dust. Pile P2 was observed with pH 7.23 and electrical conductivity 3.98 mS cm-1 , total organic carbon 30.9%, total nitrogen 2.31% and C:N ratio 14, thus a good proportion for compost amongst all the piles. Conclusions Appropriate proportion of waste mixture played an important role in providing favorable conditions for the microbial transformation of flower waste to stabilized compost. Temperature influenced the growth of microbes and maximum temperature was helpful in fast degradation of organic matter. Finally, flower waste with a combination of cow dung and saw dust was found to be successful during pile composting.

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