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Seeding Effect on Cocomposting Wastewater Biosolids with Coal Fly Ash

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The seeding effect on fly ash-amended biosolids composting was evaluated by inoculating a mixture of ash and biosolids with seeding materials before composting. These inocula included thermophilic bacteria (Bacillus. brevis, B. coagulans, and B. licheniformis) isolated from the ash–biosolids compost, a commercial decomposter, and recycled biosolids compost. Although the addition of these microbial additives to the ash–biosolids compost improved the population of thermophilic bacteria at the early stage of composting, the improvement was negligible after 4 days of composting. Inoculation with isolated bacterial culture, milk powder, or the decomposter, only, did not effectively improve the decomposition of organic matter compared with those receiving inoculation of both microbial additives and milk powder together. The isolated Bacillus species was as efficient as the commercial decomposter in accelerating the decomposition rate during ash-amended biosolids composting as indicated by the high amounts of carbon dioxide evolved and cumulative weight loss. Ash–biosolids compost inoculated with 15% (dry weight basis) of recycled compost showed a comparable decomposition activity to those inoculated with bacterial culture and the commercial decomposter with milk powder. Taking into consideration the lower operating cost and acceptable decomposition efficiency, recycled biosolids compost seemed to be a promising additive to ash-amended biosolids compost to improve composting efficiency.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2001

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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