From one side it looks like an ordinary shipping container.
From the other side it appears to be a perpetual motion machine which spins, hisses and makes a variety of other noises.
From the inside, the Solbien EWA Fermenter from the Czech company Agro Eko is a highly mechanised system for the rapid composting of waste.
“You put the waste you want to compost in one end of the container and then just start the process, which is completely computer controlled,” explains Lukas Mezulianak.
The waste is gradually shredded by the segmented floor and the process also ensures that the waste is constantly in motion.
“Basically we are just using nature’s own composting methods: air, heat and moisture are added in the right amounts and balanced to create optimal fermentation,” he adds.
A closed process
A computer unit on one end of the container monitors and controls the process.
“Forty-eight hours after you have put the waste in, it is composted and ready for use, for instance in agriculture. If you wait another 48 hours you will have a biofuel with the correct amount of dry matter,” Mezulianak says.
The capacity is 10 to 14 tonnes of waste in each load.
“The process is closed and it balances the bacteria level for every load. There are no byproducts. You get a hygienic and clean end product that is environmentally friendly and certified.”
What sort of customer would want such a machine?
“All businesses that produce compostable waste and want to find a way to reuse it themselves,” Mezulianak says. “For example, the process can handle compostable waste from gardens and parks, food production, forest operations, paper manufacturing, or restaurants and cafes.”
He demonstrates an example of composted material that came from an equestrian farm and spent two days in the container.
“Look, it’s fine and dry, and smells like earth in the forest. It’s quite unbelievable in only 48 hours, isn’t it?”