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Bioresour Technol. 2014 Sep;168:229-34. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2014.05.070. Epub 2014 May 27.

Evaluation of humic substances during co-composting of food waste, sawdust and Chinese medicinal herbal residues.

Author information

1
Sino-Forest Applied Research Centre for Pearl River Delta Environment and Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, PR China.
2
Sino-Forest Applied Research Centre for Pearl River Delta Environment and Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, PR China. Electronic address: jwcwong@hkbu.edu.hk.

Abstract

Humification during co-composting of food waste, sawdust and Chinese medicinal herbal residues (CMHRs) was investigated to reveal its correlation with compost maturity. Food waste, sawdust and CMHRs were mixed at 5:5:1 and 1:1:1 (dry weight basis) while food waste:sawdust at 1:1 (dry wt. basis) served as control. Lime at 2.25% was added to all the treatments to alleviate low pH, and composted for 56 days. Humic acid/fulvic acid (HA/FA) ratio increased to 0.5, 2.0 and 3.6 in the control and treatment at 5:5:1, and 1:1:1 mixing ratio, respectively at the end of composting. The decrease in aliphatic organics in HA demonstrated the degradation of the readily available organics, while an increase in aromatic functional groups indicated the maturity of compost. Disappearance of hemicellulose and weak intensity of lignin in the CMHRs treatments indicated that the lignin provided the nucleus for HA formation; and the CMHRs accelerated the compost maturity.

KEYWORDS:

Chinese medicinal herbal residues; Composting; Food waste; Fulvic acid; Humic acids

PMID:
24951275
DOI:
10.1016/j.biortech.2014.05.070
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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