Feasibility of Composting Combinations of Sewage Sludge, Cattle Manure, and Sawdust in a Rotary Drum Reactor

  • Nayak, Ashish Kumar (Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati) ;
  • Kalamdhad, Ajay S. (Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati)
  • Received : 2013.09.27
  • Accepted : 2014.01.15
  • Published : 2014.03.30


The aim of this paper was to study the effect of five different waste combinations (C/N 15, C/N 20, C/N 25, C/N 30, and control) of sewage sludge coupled with sawdust and cattle manure in a pilot scale rotary drum reactor, during 20 days of the composting process. Our results showed that C/N 30 possesses a higher temperature regime with higher % reduction in moisture content, total organic carbon, soluble biochemical oxygen demand and chemical oxygen demand; and higher % gain in total nitrogen and phosphorus at the end of the composting period implying the total amount of biodegradable organic material is stabilized. In addition, $CO_2$ evolution and oxygen uptake rate decreased during the process, reflecting the stable behavior of the final compost. A Solvita maturity index of 8 indicated that the compost was stable and ready for usage as a soil conditioner. The results indicated that composting can be an alternate technology for the management of sewage sludge disposal.


Composting;C/N ratio;Rotary drum;Sewage sludge;Stability


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