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A Review of Composting Process Models of Organic Solid Waste with a Focus on the Fates of C, N, P, and K

Yang, Zheng; Muhayodin, Furqan; Larsen, Oliver Christopher; Miao, Hong; Xue, Bing; Rotter, Vera Susanne

To foster a circular economy in line with compost quality assessment, a deep understanding of the fates of nutrients and carbon in the composting process is essential to achieve the co-benefits of value-added and environmentally friendly objectives. This paper is a review aiming to fill in the knowledge gap about the composting process. Firstly, a systematic screening search and a descriptive analysis were conducted on composting models involving the fates of Carbon (C), Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) over the past decade, followed by the development of a checklist to define the gap between the existing models and target models. A review of 22 models in total led to the results that the mainstream models involved the fates of C and N, while only a few models involved P and K as target variables. Most of the models described the laboratory-scale composting process. Mechanism-derived models were relatively complex; however, the application of the fractionation of substrates could contribute to reducing the complexity. Alternatively, data-driven models can help us obtain more accurate predictions and involve the fates of more nutrients, depending on the data volume. Finally, the perspective of developing composting models for the fates of C, N, P, and K was proposed.
Published in: Processes, 10.3390/pr9030473, MDPI