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[greenyes] [USCC] Energy from organic "waste" via composting

With all the discussion of burning solid waste, this note reminds us that there is heat produced in composting that could also be productively used. I know of projects in MN where they used the heat of composting for heating greenhouses - which sounds like a good application.


From: "John A. Crockett" <jac@no.address>
To: "US Composting Council discussion List" <Compost@no.address>
Date: Sat, 11 Sep 2004 17:21:32 -0400
Subject: [USCC] Energy from organic "waste",

I agree that methane from anaerobic digesters is a nice option,
though digesters, and the scrubbers to clean the methane are major capital

Last night I turned the compost in two of my compost research silos.... and
within 4 hours... the compost was up at 158°F, and raising, with forced
aeration at a rate of 7.36cfm per cubic yard of compost; and the vacuum
pulling the air through the compost was 0.068"wc. I've set up to be able to
heat my house with the surplus microbial metabolic heat from my compost
research silos (I have a patent pending on the process for capturing the
heat from aerobic compost). I realize that we may manage our compost more
aggressively than most composters.

We use computerized temperature monitoring on our compost research silos
(modified HDPE 55 gal barrels), forced aeration, negative pressure, in
up-draft mode most of the time, and we send the off-gas through our dynamic
bio-filters to scrub all the foul odors. We maintain CO2 < 2%.

In the very near future we expect to assay the active bacteria when we
duplicate these conditions. We're curious to see how many active bacteria
we have under these conditions. Back in July we assayed 5.48 billion
active bacteria, per gram dry weight... and think we'll find a lot more.
In the early stage of the composting process, active bacteria are our
criteria for how well we're managing the composting process.

There is a lot of heat potential... for those who choose to manage compost
well. We can save millions of gallons of oil when we capture this heat and
use it wisely.

Working Together to Create a Sustainable Environment,
John A. Crockett, C.E.O.
a,k.a. Dr. Mike Robe
Mother Nature's Farms, Inc.
1 (845) 225-7763

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