Aerated static pile composting: Characterizing the gas exhaust

Allison M. Leach1, John D. Aber1, Matt Smith1

1University of New Hampshire, 131 Main Street, 107 Nesmith Hall, Durham, NH, 03824 USA,


Aerated static pile (ASP) heat recovery composting is one strategy that can be used to promote the reuse of resources within a farm and potentially divert environmental pollution. Preliminary studies at the University of New Hampshire ASP heat recovery composting facility at an organic dairy farm have demonstrated the potential for heat recovery (Smith and Aber 2014), and such a facility could ultimately be connected to a greenhouse to heat and fertilize crops. The findings for this compost facility, which is located in the north eastern United States in a temperate region, are applicable to other livestock farms in similar climates that can collect and compost manure. The objectives of this study are to (1) present results characterizing the gas exhaust from an ASP heat recovery composting facility and (2) explore how this facility could divert ammonia, methane, and carbon dioxide emissions. For the former, preliminary results have found high concentrations of ammonia and carbon dioxide, especially early in the composting process. For the latter, the pollution diversion methods that will be explored are recovering manure for compost production, trapping composting emissions with a biofilter, and using compost gas exhaust to heat and fertilize a greenhouse.


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