Monitoring the performances of a real scale municipal solid waste composting and a biodrying facility using respiration activity indices

  • Alexandros Evangelou
  • Spyridoula Gerassimidou
  • Nikitas Mavrakis
  • Dimitrios Komilis


Objective of the work was to monitor two full-scale commingled municipal solid waste (MSW) mechanical and biological pretreatment (MBT) facilities in Greece, namely a biodrying and a composting facility. Monitoring data from a 1.5-year sampling period is presented, whilst microbial respiration indices were used to monitor the decomposition process and the stability status of the wastes in both facilities during the process. Results showed that in the composting facility, the organic matter reduced by 35 % after 8 weeks of combined composting/curing. Material exiting the biocells had a moisture content of less than 30 % (wb) indicating a moisture limitation during the active composting process. The static respiration indexes indicated that some stabilization occurred during the process, but the final material could not be characterized as stable compost. In the biodrying facility, the initial and final moisture contents were 50 % and less than 20 % wb, respectively, and the biodrying index was equal to 4.1 indicating effective biodrying. Lower heating values at the inlet and outlet were approximately 5.5 and 10 MJ/wet kg, respectively. The organic matter was reduced by 20 % during the process and specifically from a range of 63–77 % dw (inlet) to a range of 61–70 % dw. A significant respiration activity reduction was observed for some of the biodrying samples. A statistically significant correlation among all three respiration activity indices was recorded, with the two oxygen related activity indices (CRI7 and SRI24) observing the highest correlation.


Biodrying Calorific value Composting Mechanical biological pretreatment Microbial respiration activity Municipal solid wastes Stability 



This work had been funded by Mesogeos S.A. that constructed and operated the two MBT facilities described in this work. The authors wish to acknowledge Mrs. Evmorfia Kotsiari for her technical assistance and Mr. Konstantinos Filippatos for his aid during the sampling procedures from the composting plant.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandros Evangelou
    • 1
  • Spyridoula Gerassimidou
    • 1
  • Nikitas Mavrakis
    • 2
  • Dimitrios Komilis
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Solid and Hazardous Waste Management, Department of Environmental EngineeringDemocritus University of ThraceXanthiGreece
  2. 2.Green Earth Ltd.HeraklionGreece

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