The aim of this work was to study the transformations of nitrogen at lower value of C/N ratio (15) for co-composting pig manure with leaves and rice straw. A series of parameters such as pH, electrical conductivity (EC), ash contents, moisture contents, seed germination index (GI), and different nitrogen forms were monitored. The accumulative organic matter losses followed a first-order kinetic function in both piles, and the co-composting of pig manure with rice straw had a higher mineral rate constant. The concentration of ammonium nitrogen released during composting was higher in the co-compost of rice straw and pig manure, as a result, the total nitrogen losses by ammonia volatilization was higher. The concentration of ammonium nitrogen was correlated with the degradation of organic nitrogen and the moisture content. The increases of nitrate nitrogen were not observed in both piles in the thermophilic phase due to the high temperature and high concentration of ammonium nitrogen which could inhibit the activity and growth of nitrifying bacteria. Total nitrogen losses in the first two weeks were high as a strong emission of ammonia and the increase of the pH value during thermophilic phase in both piles. But the total nitrogen losses in the mature compost were low due to the mass loss of the compost, high height of compost layer and high moisture content. C/N ratio increased during the thermophilic phase then decreased to 10.14 and 8.48 at the end of composting.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Bernal, M.P., Alburquerque, J.A., and Moral, R., Composting of animal manures and chemical criteria for compost maturity assessment, A review, Bioresour. Technol., 2009, vol. 100, no. 22, pp. 5444–5453.
Huang, G.F., Wu, Q.T., Wong, J.W.C., et al., Transformation of organic matter during co-composting of pig manure with sawdust, Bioresour. Technol., 2006, vol. 97, no. 15, pp. 1834–1842.
Shepherd, M.W., Jr., S., Liang, P., Jiang, X., et al., Microbiological analysis of composts produced on South Carolina poultry farms, J. Appl. Microbiol., 2010, vol. 108, no. 6, pp. 2067–2076.
Awasthi, M.K., Wang, M., Chen, H., et al., Heterogeneity of biochar amendment to improve the carbon and nitrogen sequestration through reduce the greenhouse gases emissions during sewage sludge composting, Bioresour. Technol., 2017, vol. 224, pp. 428–438.
Tiquia, S.M., Richard, T.L., and Honeyman, M.S., Effect of windrow turning and seasonal temperatures on composting of hog manure from hoop structures, Environ. Technol., 2000, vol. 21, no. 9, pp. 1037–1046.
Bustamante, M.A., Paredes, C., Marhuenda-Egea, F.C., et al., Co-composting of distillery wastes with animal manures: Carbon and nitrogen transformations in the evaluation of compost stability, Chemosphere, 2008, vol. 72, no. 4, pp. 551–557.
Song, C., Li, M., Jia, X., et al., Comparison of bacterial community structure and dynamics during the thermophilic composting of different types of solid wastes: Anaerobic digestion residue, pig manure and chicken manure, Microb. Biotechnol., 2014, vol. 7, no. 5, pp. 424–433.
Iqbal, S., Guber, A.K., and Khan, H.Z., Estimating nitrogen leaching losses after compost application in furrow irrigated soils of Pakistan using HYDRUS-2D software, Agric. Water Manage., 2016, vol. 168, pp. 85–95.
Ogunwande, G.A., Osunade, J.A., Adekalu, K.O., et al., Nitrogen loss in chicken litter compost as affected by carbon to nitrogen ratio and turning frequency, Bioresour. Technol., 2008, vol. 99, no. 16, pp. 7495–7503.
Shen, Y., Ren, L., Li, G., et al., Influence of aeration on CH4, N2O and NH3 emissions during aerobic composting of a chicken manure and high C/N waste mixture, Waste Manage., 2011, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 33–38.
Zhang, Y., Zhao, Y., Chen, Y., et al., A regulating method for reducing nitrogen loss based on enriched ammonia-oxidizing bacteria during composting, Bioresour. Technol., 2016, vol. 221, pp. 276–283.
Onwosi, C.O., Igbokwe, V.C., Odimba, J.N., et al., Composting technology in waste stabilization: On the methods, challenges and future prospects, J. Environ. Manage., 2017, vol. 190, pp. 140–157.
Zhang, Y., Ji, G., and Wang, R., Drivers of nitrous oxide accumulation in denitrification biofilters with low carbon:nitrogen ratios, Water Res., 2016, vol. 106, pp. 75–89.
Garcia-Gil, J.C., Ceppi, S.B., Velasco, M.I., Polo, A., and Senesi, N., Long-term effects of amendment with municipal solid waste compost on the elemental and acidic functional group composition and pH-buffer capacity of soil humic acids, Geoderma, 2004, vol. 121, no. 1, pp. 135–142.
Li, X., Zhang, R., and Pang, Y., Characteristics of dairy manure composting with rice straw, Bioresour. Technol., 2008, vol. 99, no. 2, pp. 359–367.
Zmora-Nahum, S., Markovitch, O., Tarchitzky, J., et al., Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) as a parameter of compost maturity, Soil Biol. Biochem., 2005, vol. 37, no. 11, pp. 2109–2116.
Paredes, C., Roig, A., Bernal, M.P., et al., Evolution of organic matter and nitrogen during co-composting of olive mill wastewater with solid organic wastes, Biol. Fertil. Soils, 2000, vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 222–227.
Miaomiao, H.E., Wenhong, L.I., Xinqiang, L., et al., Effect of composting process on phytotoxicity and speciation of copper, zinc and lead in sewage sludge and swine manure, Waste Manage., 2009, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 590–597.
Nigussie, A., Bruun, S., Kuyper, T.W., et al., Delayed addition of nitrogen-rich substrates during composting of municipal waste: Effects on nitrogen loss, greenhouse gas emissions and compost stability, Chemosphere, 2017, vol. 166, pp. 352–362.
Miyatake, F. and Iwabuchi, K., Effect of high compost temperature on enzymatic activity and species diversity of culturable bacteria in cattle manure compost, Bioresour. Technol., 2005, vol. 96, no. 16, pp. 1821–1825.
Souza, A.C.D., Carvalho, F.P., Schwan, R.F., et al., Sugarcane bagasse hydrolysis using yeast cellulolytic enzymes, J. Microbiol. Biotechnol., 2013, vol. 23, no. 10, p. 1403.
Szanto, G.L., Hamelers, H.V.M., Rulkens, W.H., etal., NH3, N2O and CH4 emissions during passively aerated composting of straw-rich pig manure, Bioresour. Technol., 2007, vol. 98, no. 14, pp. 2659–2670.
Michel, F.C., Pecchia, J.A., Rigot, J., et al., Mass and nutrient losses during the composting of dairy manure amended with sawdust or straw, Compost Sci. Util., 2004, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 323–334.
Bernal, M.P., Navarro, A.F., Roig, A., Cegarra, J., and Garcia, D., Carbon and nitrogen transformation during composting of sweet sorghum bagasse, Biol. Fertil. Soils, 1996, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 141–148.
Tiquia, S.M., Richard, T.L., and Honeyman, M.S., Carbon, nutrient, and mass loss during composting, Nutr. Cycling Agroecosyst., 2002, vol. 62, no. 1, pp. 15–24.
Morisaki, N., Phae, C.G., Nakasaki, K., et al., Nitrogen transformation during thermophilic composting, J. Ferment. Bioeng., 1989, vol. 67, no. 1, pp. 57–61.
Mahimairaja, S., Bolan, N.S., Hedley, M.J., et al., Losses and transformation of nitrogen during composting of poultry manure with different amendments: An incubation experiment, Bioresour. Technol., 1994, vol. 47, no. 3, pp. 265–273.
Biey, E.M., Mortier, H., and Verstraete, W., Nitrogen transfer from grey municipal solid waste to high quality compost, Bioresour. Technol., 2000, vol. 73, no. 1, pp. 47–52.
Paillat, J.M., Robin, P., Hassouna, M., and Leterme, P., Predicting ammonia and carbon dioxide emissions from carbon and nitrogen biodegradability during animal waste composting, Atmos. Environ., 2005, vol. 39, no. 36, pp. 6833–6842.
We thank Lixia Wang, in whose lab some of these experiments were performed.
This work was supported by Distinguished Youth Project of Jinlin Province (CXGC2017-JQ012).
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. This article does not contain any studies involving animals or human participants performed by any of the authors.
About this article
Cite this article
Yanru Cui, Gao, H., Li, J. et al. Losses and Transformations of Nitrogen at Low Value of C/N Ratio Compost. Russ. Agricult. Sci. 45, 543–549 (2019). https://doi.org/10.3103/S1068367419060041
- carbon-nitrogen ratio