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01.09.2012 | ORIGINAL ARTICLE | Ausgabe 3/2012

Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management 3/2012

Evaluating compost maturity with a newly proposed index based on a germination test using Komatsuna (Brassica rapa var. peruviridis) seeds

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management > Ausgabe 3/2012
Autoren:
Takahito Hase, Kiyoshi Kawamura

Abstract

A new index for evaluating compost maturity was developed based on a germination test of Komatsuna seeds using water extract from compost. Several compost samples were collected from a kitchen-garbage composting plant to determine an index to evaluate compost maturity. Firstly, some extraction conditions for extracting compost ingredients with water were evaluated using the time course of total organic carbon concentration in water extract. The water temperature of 60 °C, periodic mixing, and extraction period >1 were selected. Secondly, applying these conditions, the germination test was performed using the water extract solutions at several dilution ratios. The relationship between the germination rate and the dilution ratio was expressed using a logistic regression curve. The dilution ratio to give a germination rate of 0.5, defined as DG50, was calculated with the parameters of the curve. Compared with other maturity indices, DG50 was the most effective. Moreover, it has a unique feature in that maturity is quantified even for the compost from which water extract results in a germination rate of 0. This feature can be used to compare the maturity of different kinds of composts and quantify the change in the levels of inhibitory substances in a composting process.

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