Keywords: herbicides, maturity, FTIR spectroscopy, composting process, green waste, Fourier transform infrared, aromaticity, polycondensation
This paper analyses the use of Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy as a maturity index for herbicide-contaminated green wastes composts. Four in-vessel composting systems were set-up with Compost A constituting of uncontaminated grass clippings and Composts B, C and D contaminated with atrazine, 2,4-D and tordon 101 respectively. The physicochemical properties of the composts were determined and they were characterised by FTIR spectroscopy. The infrared spectra showed an increase in aromaticity with composting time but a low degree of polycondensation. From the infrared peak ratio/time curves, it could be deduced that Composts A, B and D did not attain maturity.