Main content area

Electric field induces electron flow to simultaneously enhance the maturity of aerobic composting and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions

Tang, Jiahuan, Li, Xiang, Zhao, Wenqi, Wang, Yajun, Cui, Peng, Zeng, Raymond Jianxiong, Yu, Linpeng, Zhou, Shungui
Bioresource technology 2019 v.279 pp. 234-242
bacteria, compost maturity, composting, electric field, electric potential, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, microbial communities, oxygen, oxygen consumption
The long maturation period and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission are two major problems that arise during aerobic composting, mainly due to the low efficiency of O2 transmission and utilization. In this study, a novel electric-field-assisted aerobic composting (EAC) process was tested by simply applying a direct-current voltage of 2 V to a conventional aerobic composting (CAC) process. Compared with the CAC process, the maturation time and the total GHG for the EAC process were reduced by 33% and 70%, respectively. Furthermore, the analyses of O2 consumption and microbial communities demonstrated that the electric field had enhanced O2 utilization by 30 ± 9% and increased the relative abundance of electroactive bacteria by about 3.4-fold compared to CAC. This work has represented a proof of principle for EAC and suggests that the electric field is an effective and environmentally friendly strategy for enhancing compost maturity and mitigating GHG emissions during aerobic composting.