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expediting composting

expediting composting

expediting composting

I'd like to make liquid compost from food scraps in a short time period (e.g., in a day). Usually, composting food scraps takes around 2-3 months. I heard that with some enzymes, the process can be reduced to about a day or so. can anyone know about what kind of enzymes or chemicals can be used for this purpose?

RE: expediting composting

I don't know about enzymes but usually putting in the energy to tumble the material slowly and continuously will get the job done very quickly. I believe you can compost plant material in about 24Hrs in a tumbler.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: expediting composting

I also don't know about enzymes, but I'm skeptical of getting ready to use compost in 24 hours without an industrial level digester and I would assume only a day's worth of food scraps. Composting food scraps should not take 2-3 months either if you are taking care of it. 2-4 weeks should be easy if attention is payed. You could probably get it down to a day if you spent that day tending it or went extreme in enacting the 5 things below.

The ways to speed up the decomposition process drastically:
1. Increase surface area (shred it)
2. Right "browns" to "greens" balance.
3. Oxygen (turn it)
4. Heat (113F - 160F where thermophilic bacteria thrive)
5. Right water content (it should be spongy, not dry or wet)

You could always spit into it. Saliva has some incredibly strong digestive enzymes. If you could get your hands on a baby's saliva, I believe I remember hearing the enzymes in their spit are even stronger than an adult's.

Andrew H.

RE: expediting composting

This is going to depend on whether you have a single plate of household scraps or truckloads.

RE: expediting composting

I just reread the original post and noticed that the goal is a liquid compost. In this case it should be possible to compost in one day, but the solids will need to be ground to very fine particles and constantly mixed and aerated.

RE: expediting composting

I think the first part is determining what biological processes (bugs) are going to break down the compost.

Aerobic processes need oxygen to proceed, and more oxygen speeds the process. Anaerobic processes starve the bugs and force them to digest differently, also to a benefit.

Mechanically, you also want to maximize the surface area immediately.

In large scale wastewater treatment, they basically compost organics in water as rapidly as possible. Water is used as the carrier for oxygen or the insulator for starving it. That might be the model for your process.

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