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Composting with additives to improve organic amendments. A review

Abstract : AbstractComposting and vermicomposting are sustainable strategies to transform organic wastes into organic amendments, valuable as potting media or soil conditioner. However, the negative aspects of these processes are emissions of greenhouse gases and odorous molecules and final product potentially containing toxic compounds. These negative aspects can be limited through the addition of organic, inorganic or biological additives to the composted or vermicomposted mixture. The aims of this review are (1) to present the main characteristics of composting and vermicomposting processes with and without additives, (2) to show the influence of additives on greenhouse gas emissions during waste degradation and (3) to report the effects of additives on the properties of the final products (heavy metal and nutrient contents), in view of their use as a soil conditioner or potting media. Finally, the feasibility and potential environmental benefits of co-composting and co-vermicomposting are discussed. Our results show that additives affect composting parameters such as temperature, pH and moisture and thus have an impact on the composting process. They may be used to reduce gas emissions and mobility of mineral ions. The various additives have contrasting effects on the quality of the final product and its impact on soil quality. The use of worms and additives seems to increase plant available nutrient contents, while decreasing N leaching, heavy metal mobility and composting time. Co-composting and co-vermicomposting strategies need to be locally optimised, involving the generated amendments in a circular economy to improve sustainability of agricultural systems.
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Justine Barthod, Cornelia Rumpel, Marie-France Dignac. Composting with additives to improve organic amendments. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, Springer Verlag/EDP Sciences/INRA, 2018, 38 (2), pp.17. ⟨10.1007/s13593-018-0491-9⟩. ⟨hal-01731152⟩



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