, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 317-331

Formation and Emission of N2O and CH4 from Compost Heaps of Organic Household Waster

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Abstract

Composting can be a source of N2O andCH4 production. In this investigation, differentcompost heaps of organic household waste weremonitored with the focus on potential formation ofCH4 and N2O in the heaps and emission ofthese gases from the heaps. The studied compost heapshad different compost ages, turning intervals andcompost sizes. The analysed compost gases containedbetween 1–3421 μL of N2O-N L-1 and 0–470 mL of CH4 L-1. The emission rates ofN2O and CH4 from the compost heaps werebetween 1–1464 mg N2O m-2 day-1 and0–119 000 mg CH4 m-2 day-1. These verylarge differences in compost gas composition andemission indicate the importance of compostmanagement. The results also give an understanding ofwhere in the composting process an increasing emissionof N2O and CH4 can occur.