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A full-scale study of treatment of pig slurry by composting: Kinetic changes in chemical and microbial properties

AuthorsRos Muñoz, Margarita Matilde; García Izquierdo, Carlos; Hernández Fernández, María Teresa
KeywordsComposting pig slurry
Microbial biomass C
Issue Date2006
CitationWaste Management 26(10): 1108-1118 (2006)
AbstractSince the indiscriminate disposal of pig slurry can cause not only air pollution and bad odours but also nutrient pollution of ground waters and superficial waters, composting is sometimes used as one environmentally acceptable method for recycling pig manure. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of composting pig slurry on its sanitation (evaluated by ecotoxicity assays and pathogen content determination), as well as to determine the effect of a carbon-rich bulking agent (wood shavings, WS) and the starting C/N ratio on the changes undergone by different chemical (volatile organic matter, C and N fractions) and microbiological (microbial biomass C, ATP, dehydrogenase activity, urease, protease, phosphatase, and β-glucosidase activities) parameters during composting. Pig slurry mixed with bulking agent (P + WS) and the solid faction separated from it, both with (PSF + WS) and without bulking agent (PSF), were composted for 13 weeks. Samples for analysis were taken from composting piles at the start of the process and at 3, 6, 9, and 13 weeks after the beginning of composting. The total organic carbon, water soluble C and ammonium content decreased with composting, while Kjeldahl N and nitrate content increased. The nitrification process in the PSF + WS pile was more intense than in the PSF or P + WS composting piles. The pathogen content decreased with composting, as did phytotoxic compounds, while the germination index increased with compost age. Piles with bulking agent showed higher values of basal respiration, microbial biomass carbon, ATP and hydrolase activities during the composting process than piles without bulking agent.
Description11 pages, 7 figures, 5 tables.
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