• Agromin and Engineered Compost Solutions Testing CASP Technology at Chino Facility - Saturday, March 31, 2018 at

  • A study is currently underway at Agromin's Chino Organics Recycling Compost Facility that is investigating the feasibility of using a covered aerated static pile (CASP) composting system for the production of high-quality compost using food waste and green waste feedstock.

    Agromin has teamed with Engineered Compost Systems, Inc. (ECS), which has designed a negative-air CASP compost system for the Agromin site that is hoped to be a cost-effective technology for controlling emissions while also maintaining optimal pile conditions for composting.

    CASP System Overview. Each batch of food waste and green waste that is composted in the CASP system consists of up to 40% food waste and 60% green waste by volume. The Chino CASP system has the potential to run up to 10 compost piles simultaneously, each pile with a volumetric capacity ranging from approximately 465 cubic yards of feedstock per batch.

    The system utilizes a computerized negative aeration control technology to optimize composting conditions for all types of feedstocks and a biofilter to control odors.

    The CASP system pulls air down through the compost pile and exhausts the vapors into a biofilter where odor-causing compounds such as ammonia are removed.

    Research Process. Researchers will first baseline the performance of the system. Then, they will test the feasibility of adding biochar in various concentrations to the feedstock and in the biofilter to further reducing odors, accelerate the process, enable the use of higher concentrations of food waste and enhance the quality of the finished compost.

    After the CASP process is complete, the finished biochar compost will be cured for at least another 30 days.

    All existing regulations governing composting operations at the site will be adhered to in addition to regulations stipulated for research composting operations.

    Projected Outcomes. We expect the use of biochar will completely eliminate odors from the biofilter, enable higher concentrations of food waste in the composting piles and reduce the time required for composting from its current 30 days. Adding biochar is also expected to enhance the quality of the compost by reducing C/N ratio of the product, while increasing plant available nutrients that otherwise are locked in the compost.

    For agriculture, the resulting compost would provide better germination and growth, and reduce the amount of chemical fertilizers needed. 

    For more information about CASP and other compost research, contact Rick Wilson, Agromin's Chief Technology Officer, 858-480-9478, rickwilson@agromin.com.

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