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Investigation of effective microorganisms bioaugmentation in an on-site aerobic food waste composter


On-site handling of food wastes is an environmental alternative that will divert a significant portion of the wastes from landfills and reduce the collection costs subsequently. Regarding conventional composting systems such as windrows and aerated static piles that need large space and a long time to reach maturity; in-vessel bioreactors besides microbial inoculants can accelerate the process by occupying less space. This bioaugmentation was investigated during 40 days by using effective microorganisms, including fungi and bacteria such as Yeast, Lactic acid bacteria, and Actinomycetes, inside a 40-L composting vessel that was able to rotate and stimulate the temperature of the mass (30, 50, and 70 °C). The moisture content was maintained at over 40% with effective microorganism solutions. Food waste was prepared from the university restaurant kitchen then mixed with yard trimmings and wood chips as feedstock. In experiments with effective microorganisms, the thermophilic phase lasted longer (4 days), decomposition rate increased (16.1%), the compost reached maximum temperature faster (3 days), and the maturation period decreased (4 weeks). The most bioaugmentation occurred in the experiment with 50 °C thermal stimulation and 1.25-L effective microorganism solution which the carbon to nitrogen ratio of feedstock decreases 40.74% compared to 9.5% without effective microorganisms after two weeks. Proper carbon to nitrogen ratio (16 ± 0.5), negligible E.coli, Salmonella, and heavy metals of the humus, besides good germination index (> 100%), was accepted as a good quality compost. However, the maturation period would be more than 4 weeks without using effective microorganisms and thermal stimulation.

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The authors wish to thank all who assisted in conducting this work.


No funding was received for conducting this study.

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All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection, and analysis were performed by AC and the guidance of DYK. The first draft of the manuscript was written by AC and all authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to D. Y. Kebria.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Editorial responsibility: Samareh Mirkia.

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Charkhestani, A., Kebria, D.Y. Investigation of effective microorganisms bioaugmentation in an on-site aerobic food waste composter. Int. J. Environ. Sci. Technol. (2022).

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  • Accelerated composting
  • Bioaugmentation
  • In-vessel bioreactor
  • On-site treatment
  • Microbial inoculants
  • Effective microorganisms