Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 17, pp 17357–17369 | Cite as

Thermal and spectroscopic analysis of organic matter degradation and humification during composting of pig slurry in different scenarios

  • J. Martín-Mata
  • C. Lahoz-Ramos
  • M. A. Bustamante
  • F. C. Marhuenda-Egea
  • R. Moral
  • A. Santos
  • J. A. Sáez
  • M. P. Bernal
Research Article


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.


Pig 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.

Supplementary material

11356_2016_6838_MOESM1_ESM.doc (176 kb)
Figure S1 Thermogravimetry (TG) curves of the compost samples taken after (AWE) and before (BWE) the water-extraction process, collected at the beginning (solid line) and end (dotted line) of the composting process. A) Pile 2, AWE samples; B) Pile 2, BWE samples; C) Pile 3, AWE samples; and D) Pile 3, BWE samples. (DOC 176 kb)
11356_2016_6838_MOESM2_ESM.doc (45 kb)
Figure S2 Derivative thermogravimetry (DTG) curves of the compost samples taken after (solid line) and before (dotted line) the water-extraction process: collected at the beginning (A) and end (B) of the composting process from pile 2, and at the beginning (C) and end (D) of the composting process from pile 3. (DOC 45 kb)
11356_2016_6838_MOESM3_ESM.doc (40 kb)
Figure S3 Differential thermal analysis (DTA) curves of the compost samples taken after (solid line) and before (dotted line) the water-extraction process: collected at the beginning (A) and end (B) of the composting process from pile 2, and at the beginning (C) and end (D) of the composting process from pile 3. (DOC 40 kb)
11356_2016_6838_MOESM4_ESM.doc (50 kb)
Figure S4 The FT-IR spectra of the compost samples collected at the beginning (solid line) and end (dotted line) of the composting process. A) Pile 1; B) Pile 2; C) Pile 3 (DOC 49 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Martín-Mata
    • 1
  • C. Lahoz-Ramos
    • 2
  • M. A. Bustamante
    • 1
  • F. C. Marhuenda-Egea
    • 2
  • R. Moral
    • 1
  • A. Santos
    • 3
  • J. A. Sáez
    • 3
  • M. P. Bernal
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Agrochemistry and EnvironmentMiguel Hernandez University, EPS-OrihuelaAlicanteSpain
  2. 2.Department of Agrochemistry and BiochemistryUniversity of AlicanteAlicanteSpain
  3. 3.Department of Soil and Water Conservation and Organic Waste ManagementCentro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura, CSICMurciaSpain

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