The Secret to Composting is Oxygen – O2
O2Compost utilizes a method of composting referred to
as Aerated Static Pile Composting. Using an electric blower, we
induce airflow through the pile to maintain aerobic conditions at
all times. Most people believe that the compost pile needs to be
turned to maintain aerobic conditions. However, when air is introduced
into an active compost pile by turning, the oxygen level in the
pile drops off very quickly - often to less than 1% within 30 to
45 minutes. For this reason, “turning the pile” is an
expensive and purely ineffective approach to composting.
Controls the pile temperature, destroying pathogens, parasites
and weed seeds;
Significantly increases the rate of composting;
Mitigates problems with offensive odors, flies and rodents;
Degrades vaccines, antibiotics, deworming products and pesticides;
Converts a raw waste into a humus-rich soil amendment for
use in pastures;
Produces superior quality compost with strong market value;
Is ideal for pre-composting feedstocks for vermi-composting;
Produces a compost rich in aerobic microbes, ideal for compost
With aerated static pile composting, the pile temperature must exceed
55oC (131oF) for a minimum of three days to
ensure pathogen destruction and to produce a safe product for unrestricted
use on pastures and for sale into the community. The pile temperature
can be easily controlled by adjusting the airflow into the pile.
When air is first introduced into a static (non-aerated) compost
pile, the micro-organisms that are already in the mix “go
berserk” and their increased activity causes the pile temperature
to rise very rapidly, often to well over 150oF in 24
hours or less. We take advantage of this heat to destroy pathogens,
parasites, weed seeds and fly larvae.
However, hotter is not better with composting. Temperatures much
over 160oF actually decrease the rate of composting by
decreasing the number and diversity of the microbes in the pile.
While it may seem counter-intuitive, additional airflow into the
pile causes the pile temperature to drop by expelling (displacing)
excess heat to the environment. In short, by managing the frequency,
duration, and volume of airflow into the pile we are able to optimize
the composting process.
With aeration, the increased number and diversity of microorganisms
greatly expedites the composting process. With aerated composting,
the active phase typically lasts 21 to 30 days and the subsequent
curing phase lasts an additional 30 to 60 days.
With aerobic composting, our goal is to maintain the oxygen level
at 8% or greater. By maintaining aerobic conditions, the main by-products
are carbon dioxide, water and heat. Conversely, with anaerobic composting,
the by-products also include a wide variety of complex, highly odorous
chemical compounds. All life forms and organic systems (i.e., composting)
produce some odors. However, with aerobic composting, the quality
of the odor is often described as “pleasant” and the
intensity as “mild”. With anaerobic composting, the
odor is often intense and highly objectionable.
The O2Compost Training Program includes everything that
a horse owner or stable manager needs to construct and operate an
efficient, aerated composting system. For more information on our
Training Program, please click here: Take