In-Vessel Co-Composting of Food Waste Employing Enriched Bacterial Consortium

Mukesh Kumar Awasthi1,2small orcid_display_4pp, Quan Wang1small orcid_display_4pp, Meijing Wang1small orcid_display_4pp, Hongyu Chen1small orcid_display_4pp, Xiuna Ren1small orcid_display_4pp, Junchao Zhao1small orcid_display_4pp and Zengqiang Zhang1*small orcid_display_4pp

1College of Natural Resources and Environment, Northwest Agricultural and Forestry University, 712100 Yangling, Shaanxi Province, PR China
2Department of Biotechnology, Amicable Knowledge Solution University, 485001 Satna, India

Article history:
Received: July 26, 2017
Accepted: September 8, 2017

Key words:
oily food waste, composting mix formulation, bacterial consortium, lime

The aim of the present study is to develop a good initial composting mix using a bacterial consortium and 2 % lime for effective co-composting of food waste in a 60-litre in-vessel composter. In the experiment that lasted for 42 days, the food waste was first mixed with sawdust and 2 % lime (by dry mass), then one of the reactors was inoculated with an enriched bacterial consortium, while the other served as control. The results show that inoculation of the enriched natural bacterial consortium effectively overcame the oil-laden co-composting mass in the composter and increased the rate of mineralization. In addition, CO2 evolution rate of (0.81±0.2) g/(kg·day), seed germination index of (105±3) %, extractable ammonium mass fraction of 305.78 mg/kg, C/N ratio of 16.18, pH=7.6 and electrical conductivity of 3.12 mS/cm clearly indicate that the compost was well matured and met the composting standard requirements. In contrast, control treatment exhibited a delayed thermophilic phase and did not mature after 42 days, as evidenced by the maturity parameters. Therefore, a good composting mix and potential bacterial inoculum to degrade the oil are essential for food waste co-composting systems.

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Paper was presented at the 7th International Forum on Industrial Bioprocessing - IFIBiop 2017, May 21-24, 2017, Wuxi, PR China

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