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The Montgomery County Regional Composting Facility (MCRCF) opened in 1983 with a design that utilized many of the methods developed during biosolids composting research at USDA's Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. The MCRCF was a Static Pile style operation that included facilities for mixing, composting, screening, curing, and odor control. Originally, mixing of the biosolids and woodchips occurred under a roof, using windrow turning machines. The mix was transported to an open sided building for the composting step, where it remained for 21 days. From there it was taken to the enclosed screening building to separate the woodchips for reuse before the compost was cured outside for 30 days. Several important improvements in the design took advantage of the latest Beltsville research at that time while other improvements were innovative. Aeration rates for the composting phase of up to 109.2 m3/hr/dmt (3500 cfh/dt) were provided by 56 – 15.2 mhp (15hp) blowers that operated in the negative pressure mode. Air was drawn down through the piles thus minimizing the surface emissions. Exhaust from the blowers was collected in a manifold and directed to a biofilter for odor control. The screening operation was completely enclosed and temperature controlled to enhance year-round operations.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2001

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