Thermal and spectroscopic analysis of organic matter degradation and humification during composting of pig slurry in different scenarios
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In this work, different analytical techniques (thermal analysis, 13C cross-polarization magic angle spinning (CPMAS) NMR and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy) have been used to study the organic matter changes during the co-composting of pig slurry with cotton gin waste. To ensure the validity of the findings, the composting process was developed in different scenarios: under experimental pilot plant conditions, using the static pile system, and under real conditions on a pig farm, using the turning pile system. Also, the thermal stability index (R1) was determined before and after an extraction with water, to evaluate the effect of eliminating water-soluble inorganic salts on the thermal analysis. The results of the thermal methods showed the degradation of the most labile organic matter during composting; R1 increased during composting in all piles, without any influence of the presence of water-soluble inorganic ions in the sample. The NMR showed a decrease in the abundance of the carbohydrate molecules and an increase in the aliphatic materials during composting, due to a concentration effect. Also, FT-IR spectroscopy was a useful technique to study the trends of polysaccharides and nitrate, as indicators of organic matter transformations during composting.
KeywordsPig slurry Organic matter Compost 13C-NMR FT-IR Thermal analysis
The research was carried out in the framework of the EU Life+ project MANEV “Evaluation of manure management and treatment technology for environmental protection and sustainable livestock farming in Europe” (LIFE09 ENV/ES/000453) and of the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) ReUseWaste of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007–2013/under REA grant agreement no. 289887. The results and conclusions achieved reflect only the author’s view—the Union not being liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein. The authors also wish to thank Dr. D.J. Walker for the English revision and the anonymous reviewers for their comments.
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