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Development of an integrated method for assessing compost maturity
- Erhart, E., Diethart, I., Bonell, M., Fuchs, K., Haas, D., Hartl, W.
- Acta horticulturae 2017 no.1168 pp. 395-398
- chemical analysis, compost maturity, composting, growing media, marketing, models, near-infrared spectroscopy, normal values, oxygen, spectral analysis
- For successful compost marketing as a component for growing media it is crucial to produce compost of consistent stability and maturity. Therefore the degradability and stability, respectively, of composts in the course of the composting process was characterised with a range of maturity tests (respirometric, photometric, extract C/N, Solvita™) and chemical analyses. The 'integrated maturity index', a sum parameter, was developed from several weighted maturity parameters (DOC, oxygen uptake, ammonium-to-nitrate-N-ratio, Solvita maturity index). Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) allows a rapid simultaneous determination of chemical and physical characteristics of organic materials. NIRS models were developed for single maturity parameters and for the 'integrated maturity index' using NIR spectral data. Cross validation showed satisfactory correlations between predicted values and reference values.