What is composting and what is it for?
Nowadays, many people wonder what composting is and what it is used for, both at the domestic and industrial level. The explanation must begin with a context.
Currently, the accumulation of organic solid waste represents a serious problem for the environment and human health. These include the emission of potentially harmful gases and the contamination of soil and water. In this context, composting can serve as a good tool.
Composting is an attractive and environmentally low-risk recycling option. The idea is to reuse waste components that would otherwise become pollutants.
Composting is a biological process that involves different types of microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. These elements participate in the decomposition of organic materials generating a final product. This product is stable and easy to transport for application as biofertilizers in soils and crops. For this purpose, an organic substrate or raw material is used, which can be any biodegradable organic waste.
In recent decades, the process has been implemented on a large scale. Most industrialized countries have composting plants for organic wastes of various origins: municipal solid wastes, sludge from biological treatment plants, manure, food industry wastes, and mixtures of all of the above.
Virtually all organic wastes can be composted if a number of compositional, moisture and porosity conditions are met. This makes composting a simple and technologically uncomplicated practice.
However, this apparent simplicity hides a process that involves many factors that must be taken care of by professionals. Temperature, oxygen, humidity, pH, particle size and the ratio between carbon and nitrogen are some of them. All these determine the physical and chemical characteristics of the compost obtained.
At ProCycla we advise our clients in the implementation of composting techniques both on a small scale and on an industrial or municipal level.
A solution with multiple benefits
Currently, the agricultural sector represents a large potential market for organic compost. This is because its application contributes to nutrition, plant growth stimulation and soil bioremediation.
- The application of products such as compost generates direct and indirect benefits in agricultural production. This is due to its positive effect on the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil.
- Composting is an alternative for the agricultural management of slurry, one of the biggest problems in Spanish farms. This practice reduces its weight, volume and pathogenic microorganisms, also allowing the nutrients contained in the slurry to be safely exported. At the same time, it minimizes the environmental risks inherent to the storage and direct application of slurry to the soil.
- Its use in liquid extract form in agricultural crops favors microbial activation. This helps the mobilization of soil nutrients and active defense against certain pests, especially those of fungal origin.
- Compost is also used in the production of substrates for vegetable crops to replace non-renewable materials. An example of this is the case of peat, the extraction of which is very harmful to very weak ecosystems.