Optimization of waste combinations during in-vessel composting of agricultural waste
Varma, V.S.; Kalamdhad, A.S.; Kumar, B.
Waste Management and Research the Journal of the International Solid Wastes and Public Cleansing Association Iswa 35(1): 101-109
ISSN/ISBN: 1096-3669 PMID: 27899717 DOI: 10.1177/0734242x16678068
In-vessel composting of agricultural waste is a well-described approach for stabilization of compost within a short time period. Although composting studies have shown the different combinations of waste materials for producing good quality compost, studies of the particular ratio of the waste materials in the mix are still limited. In the present study, composting was conducted with a combination of vegetable waste, cow dung, sawdust and dry leaves using a 550 L rotary drum composter. Application of a radial basis functional neural network was used to simulate the composting process. The model utilizes physico-chemical parameters with different waste materials as input variables and three output variables: volatile solids, soluble biochemical oxygen demand and carbon dioxide evolution. For the selected model, the coefficient of determination reached the high value of 0.997. The complicated interaction of agricultural waste components during composting makes it a nonlinear problem so it is difficult to find the optimal waste combinations for producing quality compost. Optimization of a trained radial basis functional model has yielded the optimal proportion as 62 kg, 17 kg and 9 kg for vegetable waste, cow dung and sawdust, respectively. The results showed that the predictive radial basis functional model described for drum composting of agricultural waste was well suited for organic matter degradation and can be successfully applied.