Assessment of maturity degree of composts from domestic solid wastes by fluorescence and fourier transform infrared spectroscopies

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Provenzano, M. R.
de Oliveira, S. C.
Silva, MRS
Senesi, N.

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Amer Chemical Soc


Methods of assessment of compost maturity are needed so the application of composted materials to lands will provide optimal benefits. The aim of the present paper is to assess the maturity reached by composts from domestic solid wastes (DSW) prepared under periodic and permanent aeration systems and sampled at different composting time, by means of excitation-emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). EEM spectra indicated the presence of two different fluorophores centered, respectively, at Ex/Em wavelength pairs of 330/425 and 280/330 nm. The fluorescence intensities of these peaks were also analyzed, showing trends related to the maturity of composts. The contour density of EEM maps appeared to be strongly reduced with composting days. After 30 and 45 days of composting, FT-IR spectra exhibited a decrease of intensity of peaks assigned to polysaccharides and in the aliphatic region. EEM and FT-IR techniques seem to produce spectra that correlate with the degree of maturity of the compost. Further refinement of these techniques should provide a relatively rapid method of assessing the suitability of the compost to land application.



composting processes, compost maturity, spectroscopic characterization

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Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Washington: Amer Chemical Soc, v. 49, n. 12, p. 5874-5879, 2001.