Aerated Static Pile
The Aerated Static Pile is a composting method that transforms municipal organic waste into a marketable product.
The Aerated Static Pile is a modular composting technology for biological stabilisation of municipal organic waste under a controlled environment. The design can be used for over 500 kg of organic waste, with minimal leachate, to produce a soil enhancer for agricultural fields, gardens, and/or forest land. The process decreases the composting cycle time, is space-efficient, and can be used in cold climates.
1107 to 1212 USD cost of ingredients and operations per 76.5 cubic metre batches. Converted August 2020
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
The Aerated Static Pile is built on site which can be designed for large scale industrial compositing systems or for smaller scale operations.
This product can be constructed by the users or by contacting retailers.
Due to the open-source nature of this technology, the distributions to date are unknown.
How much organic waste/how often added
Volume out compared to volume in
Time to decompose
Amount of nutrients recovered at the end of processing
Additional disinfection or other processes needed
Aerated Static Pile is composting with airflow introduced into the composting system to control pile temperatures in order to yield high-quality compost that is effectively free of pathogens, parasites and weed seeds. Through this process, offensive odours and flies are controlled. This consists of five components.
- A blower connected to a timer or temperature sensor that controls airflow in or into the system, depending on the oxygen requirements.
- A ‘manifold’ to deliver air. Typically PVC pipes with holes.
- A plenum layer to diffuse columns of air escaping the PVC pipes to ensure uniform distribution into the bottom of the composting pile.
- An active layer with the material to compost. Air promotes aerobic composting in the active layer. Depending on the composting material, the Carbon-to-Nitrogen ration needs to be controlled (typically 25-30:1). Sometimes through the use of wood chips.
- A biofiltration layer, typically comprised of mulch or compost to trap heat, odours, and protects the active layer from animals.
There is no technical support provided as users are expected to maintain the product on their own.
Replacement components include additives such as wood chips and the feedstock material to be composted.
The lifecycle of the Aerated Static Pile is the time it takes for feedstock to be composted, approximately 30 to 60 days for a bulk product. The process can then be repeated for future composting products.
Performance targets of the Aerated Static Pile include:
- No flies/mosquitoes
- No odour
- Minimal leachate is generated
- Can be used for 500 kg of organic waste and above
- Sellable quality product
Testing by the University of Leeds evaluated hybrid Aerated Static Piles (suck and blow aeration) compared to sole blow aeration. Hybrid piles produced higher and even temperatures through the pile and increased pathogen inactivation compared to solely blow aeration. Hybrid piles presented higher sanitization due to the high temperatures but lower microbial activity and compost stability the the blow piles in the initial stages of composting.
Offensive odours must be controlled during the process through a thick bio layer. Monitoring the temperature is essential to ensure efficient eradication of faecal coliforms and salmonella bacteria while achieving a high quality composting product.
The Aerated Static Pile can be extended as it is a modular system. Organic product can be used for agricultural fields, gardens and forest land soil enhancers.
Sikora, L. J., et al., 1981, “Materials Balance in Aerated Static Pile Composting,” Journal (Water Pollution Control Federation, 53, pp. 1702-1707.
Robinson, J. J., Stentiford, E. I., 1993, “Improving the aerated static pile composting method by the incorporation of moisture control,” Compost Science & Utilization, 1, pp. 52-68
Sesay, A. A., Lasaridi, K.E., Stentiford, E. I., 1998, “Aerated static pile composting of municipal solid waste (MSW): a comparison of positive pressure aeration with hybrid positive and negative aeration,” Waste Management & Research, 16, pp. 264-272.
Notton, D., 2005, “Theoretical and experimental determination of key operating parameters for composting systems,” Ph.D. dissertation, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK.
Isobaev, P. et al., 2014, “An enhanced compost temperature sampling framework: Case study of covered aerated static pile,” Waste Management, 34, pp. 1117-1124.
Brodie, H. L., et al., 2013, “A comparison of static pile and turned windrow methods for poultry litter compost production,” Compost Science & Utilization, 8, pp. 178-189.
The composting industry has adopted criteria for all organic waste materials to ensure that finished compost products are safe for use. The technical term is “Process to Further Reduce Pathogens” (PFRP), covered under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 40 CFR Part 503. To ensure:
- Pile temperatures shall be maintained at 55oC (131oF) or higher for a minimum of 3 days.
- Faecal Coliforms must be less than 1000 MPN/g total solids.
- Salmonella sp. Bacteria must be less than 3MPN/4g of total solids.
Evaluation criteria for Aerated Static Piles include pile temperatures shall be maintained at 55oC (131oF) or higher for a minimum of 3 days, and a Carbon-to-Nitrogen ratio of 25-30:1.
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