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Bioresour Technol. 2011 Apr;102(8):5214-20. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2011.01.092. Epub 2011 Feb 24.

Wood ash for application in municipal biowaste composting.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Niemenkatu 73 C, FIN-15140 Lahti, Finland.


This study aimed to clarify the impacts of pH control by wood ash amendment on biowaste composting processes. To achieve this, fresh source separated municipal biowaste was mixed with low doses (2-8% wt/vol) of wood ash and processed in a pilot and large-scale composting systems. The results indicated a correlation between a low initial pH and delay in the early rise of the process temperature. Wood ash elevated the composting temperatures and pH, and stimulated the mineralisation both in the pilot scale and the industrial large-scale processes. According to the results addition of amounts of 4-8% wood ash is sufficient for efficient biowaste composting process and yields a safe end product. However, to minimise the environmental risk for heavy metal contamination, and meet the criteria for the limit values of the impurities in wood ash, strict quality control of the applied wood ashes should be implemented.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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