Waste and Biomass Valorization

, Volume 9, Issue 8, pp 1339–1347 | Cite as

Effects of Aeration During Pile Composting of Water Hyacinth Operated at Agitated, Passive and Forced Aerated Condition

  • V. Sudharsan VarmaEmail author
  • Ravi Prasad
  • Shampa Deb
  • Ajay S. Kalamdhad
Original Paper



The increasing invasion of water hyacinth is creating major environmental problems in water and after disposal also. Hence, composting of water hyacinth was studied for its degradation pattern. The effects of aeration and mixing of the composting materials were correlated during pile composting of water hyacinth operated at different aeration conditions.


Trial 1 was operated in agitated mode, trial 2 in passive mode and trials 3 and 4 through forced aerated conditions with different interval of aeration. The pile composting was operated for 30 days and the changes in temperature and pH pattern, volatile solids reduction and nitrogen transformation were correlated with different operated piles.


Due to proper combination of waste materials and higher microbial activity a maximum of 52, 55, 51 and 48.5 °C was observed in trials 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively. The rate of aeration to the composting materials was found critical in maintaining the thermophilic temperatures and higher degradation of organic matter in the composting system. Trial 2 operated in passive mode was observed with a maximum of 32.3% volatile solids reduction followed by 27.6, 20.4 and 14.2% in trials 1, 3 and 4, respectively.


Due to appropriate combination of waste materials and proper composting, higher degradation of water hyacinth was observed in trial 2. Nitrogen and phosphorus content was observed to increase towards the end of composting. In addition, due to higher degradation of organic matter, lower OUR and CO2 evolution rates were observed, indicating the stability of compost within 30 days.


Water hyacinth Pile composting Agitated and aerated pile Nitrogen and phosphorous dynamics Compost stability 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Sudharsan Varma
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ravi Prasad
    • 1
  • Shampa Deb
    • 1
  • Ajay S. Kalamdhad
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology GuwahatiAssamIndia

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