Leaf composting in cold climates: a theoretical and an experimental evaluation
There are many factors influencing the process of composting organic waste. This paper provides an experimental and theoretical evaluation of the leaf composting process to elucidate the importance of these various factors during composting of leaves. The analysis is performed specifically for the environmental conditions encountered in cold climates. Theoretical models are developed to evaluate the changes of temperature profile of a windrow composting operation because of atmospheric temperature and compost windrow height. The theoretical model was validated using field data. The results indicate that the leaf composting process analysed does not satisfy the Canadian Compost Council criteria for a successful composting process. Windrow height and moisture content are found to be the most influential parameters for leaf composting.
Keywords: leaf composting, windrow composting, cold climates, aeration, aerobic, biodegradation, heat transfer, mass transfer, windrow geometry, convection, organic waste, modelling, atmospheric temperature, windrow height, moisture content