Influence of mixing ratio and turning frequency on the co-composting of biowaste with sugarcane filter cake: a mixture experimental design

  • Jonathan Soto-Paz
  • Edgar Ricardo Oviedo-Ocaña
  • Pablo Cesar Manyoma
  • Luis Fernando Marmolejo-Rebellón
  • Patricia Torres-Lozada
  • Raquel Barrena
  • Antoni Sánchez
  • Dimitrios KomilisEmail author
Original Paper


Although composting is an effective option for the use of biowaste (BW), its physicochemical quality has limiting conditions (e.g., low C/N ratio, phosphorus and high moisture) that affect the process and the quality of the product. The incorporation of amendment materials (AM) and the variation in the turning frequency (TF) are two of the most widely used operational strategies to improve these limiting conditions. However, the effect of the simultaneous application of these two strategies on the BW composting process has been few studied. In this article, the inclusion of sugarcane filter-cake (SFC) as an AM in BW at several mixing ratios (BW:SFC (w/w); 100:00, 90:10, 80:20 and 70:30) and three TFs (1, 2 and 3 turnings/week) was evaluated at a pilot scale. A Box-Behnken experimental design was used to analyse the simultaneous effects of the two strategies. Results showed that the application of both operational strategies simultaneously has a significant effect (p ≤ 0.05) on process parameters [i.e., stabilization time, temperature, pH, oxygen concentration, Total Organic Carbon (TOC), Total Nitrogen (TN) and Total Phosphorus (TP)] and on product quality. A mixture ratio of 80:20% (BW:SFC) and a TF of 2 reduced processing time by 13 days compared to the control treatment, maintained temperatures above 65 °C and increased the TOC (> 15%), TN (2.4%) and TP (1.6%) contents at the end of the composting process, thus improving the quality of the final product.


Composting Mixture experimental design Bulking agent Turning Aeration Pilot scale 





Fecal coliforms


Mixing ratio


Organic matter


Sugarcane filter cake


Static respirometric index


Dynamic respirometric index


Turning frequency


Total organic carbon


Total coliforms


Total nitrogen


Total phosphorus


Total potassium


Volatile solids (organic matter)



The authors thank the Universidad del Valle for financing the research project -CI 2962″ and COLCIENCIAS for financing the PhD student, Jonathan Soto-Paz, as a national doctorate fellow announcement 727 of 2015. R. Oviedo-Ocaña thanks Universidad Industrial de Santander (UIS) for the support received during the development of this research and for financing the reseach project-CI 8581.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Soto-Paz
    • 1
  • Edgar Ricardo Oviedo-Ocaña
    • 2
  • Pablo Cesar Manyoma
    • 3
  • Luis Fernando Marmolejo-Rebellón
    • 1
  • Patricia Torres-Lozada
    • 1
  • Raquel Barrena
    • 4
  • Antoni Sánchez
    • 4
  • Dimitrios Komilis
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Grupo de Estudio y Control de la Contaminación Ambiental (ECCA), Escuela de Recursos Naturales y del Ambiente (EIDENAR), Facultad de ingenieríaUniversidad del ValleCaliColombia
  2. 2.Grupo de investigación Recursos Hídricos y Saneamiento Ambiental (GPH), Escuela de Ingeniería CivilUniversidad Industrial de SantanderBucaramangaColombia
  3. 3.Grupo de Logística y Producción (LogyPro), Escuela de Ingeniería Industrial y Estadística, Facultad de ingenieríaUniversidad del ValleCaliColombia
  4. 4.Dept. of Chemical, Biological and Environmental EngineeringAutonomous University of BarcelonaBellaterraSpain
  5. 5.Dept. of Environmental EngineeringDemocritus University of ThraceXanthiGreece

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