Composting process

“Composting is a controlled, thermophillic process where organics degrade by micro-biological activity with the use of air, producing heat, carbon dioxide, water and biomass”.

The heat from the composting process is used to pasteurize (up to 70 oC) and dry the material, reducing volume and weight significantly and creating a stabile and sterile end product.
Christiaens composting technology is executed in completely closed (concete) vessels, so called tunnels.
In this way an optimal composting process, material pasteurization and odour management is guaranteed.
The tunnel composting proces is also called: In Vessel Composting (IVC).

Intensive mixing of the organic material (like turning as in windrows) does not  apply due to optimal oxygen and moisture distribution in the tunnels.
High compost stability rates can be achieved in the shortest possible time making the facility surface footprint as small as possible.

While compost is sterile after pasteurization it is safe to use and a valuable soil amendment.


Suitable input materials for IVC:

All spadable/stackable organic solids with a minimum dry solids and organics content like:

  • Municipal organic waste streams (like MSW, SSO, FOGO, etc)
  • Yard/green waste (yard and landscaping cuttings, grass clippings, leaves, final crop waste)
  • Sludges like waste water sludge (mostly mixed with structure material to get it spadable)
  • Animal Manure as long it is solid/stackable (like chicken, turkey and horse manure or dewatered pig and cow manure)
  • Digestate from AD. Waste2Energy projects produce wet digestate. With the correct pretreatment and good tunnel design and process control, digestate can be composted.

Use of low grade residual heat (from CHP, gascompressor etc) is possible to speed up the process and guarantee sufficient dry matter content of the final end product: a valuable compost.

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