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Compost stability and maturity evaluation - a literature review

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Finished compost should be both stable (resistant to decomposition) and mature (ready for a particular end-use) so that it can safely be packaged and transported, and not cause adverse effects during its end use. A variety of methods for evaluating stability and maturity are available; this paper contains a review of the effectiveness of a number of the most commonly used tests, to determine the most reliable approach(es). In the literature reviewed, it was generally agreed that a single, stand-alone test for both compost stability and maturity does not yet exist; therefore, it is best to use a combination of tests. However, there is disagreement in the literature as to what the best combination for evaluation should be, and guidelines and regulations around the world employ a variety of approaches.

Du compost fini devrait être stable (résistant à la décomposition) et mûr (prêt à une utilisation finale spécifique) de manière à ce qu’il puisse être emballé et transporté et ne pas causer d’effets nuisibles lors de son utilisation finale. Plusieurs méthodes pour évaluer la stabilité et la maturité sont disponibles. Cet article présente une revue de l’efficacité de plusieurs essais parmi les plus utilisés pour déterminer la ou les approches les plus fiables. Dans la littérature on s’entendait généralement pour affirmer qu’il n’existe pas encore un essai autonome et unique pour déterminer la stabilité et la maturité du compost; il vaut mieux donc utiliser une combinaison d’essais. Toutefois, il n’y a pas unanimité dans la littérature sur la meilleure combinaison d’essais, et à travers le monde, divers règlements et directives sont utilisés.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-11-01

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  • Published since 1974, this monthly publication is the official journal of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering. It contains articles on environmental engineering, hydrotechnical engineering, structure engineering, construction engineering, engineering mechanics, and engineering materials, and a history of civil engineering. Contributors include recognized researchers and practitioners in industry, government, and academe. New developments in engineering design and construction are also featured.
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