Composting of EFB and POME Using a Step-feeding Strategy in a Rotary Drum Reactor: The Effect of Active Aeration and Mixing Ratio on Composting Performance
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School of Civil Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia
Rosnani Alkarimiah   

SCHOOL OF CIVIL ENGINEERING, UNIVERSITI SAINS MALAYSIA, Engineering Campus Universiti Sains Malaysia 14300, 14300, Nibong Tebal, Malaysia
Submission date: 2019-05-07
Final revision date: 2019-07-05
Acceptance date: 2019-07-07
Online publication date: 2020-02-26
Publication date: 2020-04-21
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2020;29(4):2543–2553
In this study, the effect of active aeration and the different mix ratio has been carried out in the rotary drum reactor by adapting step-feeding strategy. The main biowaste used is empty fruit bunches (EFB), palm oil mill effluent (POME) sludge and recycled compost. In the composting process, 4 experimental runs were carried out. Namely, as Mix 1 on Run A and Run B using the same mix ratio of 10 kg EFB:1 kg POME sludge:5 kg recycle compost. For Run A no active aeration is used, while Run B uses active aeration. While Run C (Mix 2) and Run D (Mix 3) are a study to determine the most effective mix for obtaining quality compost with the optimum percentage of moisture content. Run C using a mix ratio of 5 kg EFB:0.5 kg POME sludge:2.5 kg recycled compost. Run D using a mix ratio of 5 kg EFB:2.0 kg POME sludge:0.5 recycled compost. The moisture content of Phase 3 in the four runs is within the range of 58.6-70%. Final C/N ratios for Run A, Run B, Run C and Run D are 20.61, 17.54, 13.06 and 14.51 respectively. The highest temperature achieved is 55ºC (Run A), 45.2ºC (Run B), 43ºC (Run C) and 53.3ºC (Run D). Continuous aeration is ineffective for achieving a thermophilic temperature in the drum. Besides, the mixed ratio of fresh EFB, recycled compost and POME sludge plays an important role in achieving optimum composting conditions in terms of C:N ratio and moisture content percentage.