[USCC] Compost as biomass fuel

A.Niv a.niv at masstech.pl
Wed Feb 9 09:32:26 CST 2005

> Andrew,  Tell us more about the BTU value of compost.  From what  you said
> earlier, compost can be expected to yield about the same heat value as
wood, on
> a dry matter basis at over 16,000,000 BTU per ton.  (Please  forgive me
> being stuck in the non-metric world)

1 J = 0.102 kG×m = 0.239 cal = 2.77 x 10-7 kW×h = 0.948 x 10-3 Btu

1 cal = 4.1868 J = 1.16 x 10-6 kW×h = 3.968 x 10-3 Btu

1 kW×h = 3.6 x 106 J (3 600 kJ) = 8.6 x 105 cal (869 kcal) = 3 413 Btu

1 Btu = 1.055 kJ = 0.252 kcal = 2.930 x 10-4 kW×h

      1 kJ

      1 Btu

>From our multiple research results compost has energetic value of 18-19
MJ/kg or 17,040-18,012 Btu/kg  on dry matter basis or 17-18 million BTU per
ton (metric). The compost we are testing is obtained from 70% animal
by-products (ofall) and 30% wood shavings and saw dust by weight.
The coal equivalent is 65%.

> Can we expect this to be true for a wide variety of feed stocks and
> composting techniques?
It depends on mineralisation and components and each compostion should be
checked but I believe the C:N ratio is the key to estimate the value.

> In some cases the heat value of compost may exceed its value as a soil
> amendment sold in bulk.  And, as you pointed out, it may be an effective
> control agent.

It is a legitimate green energy source and excellent way to dispose of
suspected risk material because burning dry compost more than pays for the
process of disposal of risk material. It also a good additional av enue to
sell the product since in the winter heating season there is a demand for
fuel and in the summer demand for soil amendment. I could attach my green
fuel certificate but it is unfortunately impossible on the list . I will
e-mail it to you privately. Compost at 30% moisture can burn efficiently in
holtz gas generator. If pulverized it can be applied in dust burners. In any
case temperature of burning is between 1000-1200 deg. C - absolutely enough
to destroy prions.

> Regards,
> Neal Van Milligen
> _www.kentuckyenrichment.com_ (http://www.kentuckyenrichment.com)
> _cavm at aol.com_ (mailto:cavm at aol.com)
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