Adding Cellulosic Ash to Composting Mix as a Soil Amendment


Solid waste generation and composition in Baghdad is typically affected by population growth, urbanization, improved economic conditions, changes in lifestyles and social and cultural habits.A burning chamber was installed to burn cellulosic waste only. It was found that combustion reduced the original volume and weight of cellulosic waste by 97.4% and 85% respectively.A batch composting study was performed to evaluate the feasibility of co-composting organic food waste with the cellulosic bottom ash in three different weight ratios (w/w) [95/5, 75/25, 50/50].The composters were kept in controlled aerobic conditions for 7 days. Temperature, moisture, and pH were measured hourly as process successful indicators. Maximum temperature ranged between (41 to 53) ºC.Results showed that the blend of M2 [OFMSW: BCA] [75:25] was the most beneficial to composting. It maintained the highest temperature for the longest duration for 9hrs. at (53) ºC, achieved the highest nitrogen content(1.65%) , a C/N ratio of (14.18 %), nitrification index(N-NH4/N-NO3) of (0.29),nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium(NPK)(1.65, 1.22, 1.73)% respectively, seed germination 80% indicating that the achieved compost is mature and stable.Heavy metal contents (Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) were detected in the above compost and all were lower than the regulation limits of the metal quality standards for compost and stabilized bio-waste.