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Spatial Modeling of the Composting Process Open Access


Other title
composting model, spatial model, airflow, streamlines, windrow
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Lukyanova, Anastasia
Supervisor and department
Dr. Daryl M. McCartney
Dr. Gerda de Vries
Examining committee member and department
McCartney, Daryl (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
de Vries, Gerda (Mathematical and Statistical Sciences)
Flynn, Morris (Mechanical Engineering)
Minev, Peter (Mathematical and Statistical Sciences)
Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Spatial heterogeneity is an important characteristic of large-scale composting, however, only a few spatial models for composting exist to date. In this thesis, a novel spatial model for composting is developed. The model is applicable for any one-, two-, or three-dimensional pile geometry. It accounts for the consumption of organic matter and therefore considers the whole composting process from the beginning to the end of decomposition, gives a realistic prediction of the buoyant air flow patterns, incorporates the cooling by passing air, and includes the effects of compaction. The model is validated using existing data from a series of in-vessel composting experiments, and then utilized to simulate windrow composting. Effects of the windrow size variation are explored and it is demonstrated that decomposition speed increases as the pile height increases, however, for large piles this increase becomes smaller as oxygen concentration limitations become significant. Air floor technology is simulated, demonstrating a significant decrease in decomposition time even for passive aeration. The developed model can be a useful tool in process optimization and facility design.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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