Process control systems currently available on the market for composting systems are suitable for measuring temperature, and in some - but not all - cases for measuring oxygen content. Based on the type of waste being composted, the process is regulated through preset aeration programmes or interval control that can be adjusted freely during the process. These measurement systems are suitable for the treatment of waste, or in other words, reaching a state where end-of-waste criteria are satisfied. However, they are not suitable for regulating composting processes where ensuring biological and biochemical quality is important. In the circular economy programme of the EU producing organic fertilizers from organic wastes is assigned a prominent role. Composts that are used for the production of such fertilizers have to satisfy quality criteria going beyond end-of-waste criteria (e.g. high humus content).
In order to produce premium quality composts, biological and chemical processes occurring during composting need to be monitored more closely.
The integrated compost measurement system to be developed in the framework of the project will be innovative and will offer such a close monitoring solution.
With the help of the new measurement system we will be able to monitor several physical and chemical properties that appropriately characterize the composting process. Thus, with the help of the algorithms processing the data from the measurement system it will be possible to produce composts with higher biological quality.
During the development process we pay special attention to creating a modular structure as well as creating a system that can later be expanded.