Effects of external additives: Biochar, bentonite, phosphate, on co-composting for swine manure and corn straw

Huanhuan Li, Tao Zhang, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Guoxue Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

123 Citations (Scopus)


Composting is an acceptable and economically feasible process for recycling agricultural biomass waste. The addition of external additives to adjust the process of composting has been attracted lots of research attention. To investigate the effects of external additives on nutrients transformation process of composting, a laboratory reactors scale co-composting based on swine manure and corn straw (CK) with the additives of phosphate (MP), calcium bentonite (CB) and biochar (BC) were performed for 30 days. The results showed the addition of phosphate and biochar could contribute to accelerating temperature rise and shorten the thermophilic phase. The germination index (GI) of MP and BC achieved 180% and 150%, respectively. The excitation-emission matrix (EEM) demonstrated the intensities of the peak C (humic acids) of the MP treatment was 829.5, and the PV,n/PIII,n value (9.59) of MP treatment was particularly higher compared to other three treatments according to the fluorescence regional integration (FRI) analysis. The Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) indicated the rate of decomposition of aliphatic C substances was higher than that of aromatic C substances. According to the X-ray diffraction (XRD) spectra results, characteristic peaks at both 16° and 22° were decreased, indicating cellulose and amorphous components were degraded. It further proved the formation of struvite component in MP treatment. Therefore, based on the maturity indicators, EEM and XRD results, phosphate is an efficient additive and recommended for swine manure and corn straw co-composting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125927
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Bentonite
  • Biochar
  • Biomass recycling
  • Manure composting
  • Phosphate
  • Sustainable waste management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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