Mathematical Modelling of the Composting Process
Composting is an environmentally sustainable way of managing organic waste that has been used since ancient times. Mathematical modeling can help us better understand, predict and optimize the composting process. Most of the composting models developed to date are for in-vessel composting and cannot be used to model an industrial process. In addition, the majority of existing models are spatially uniform, which is a reasonable simplification for modelling in-vessel composting. However, modern facilities most often employ windrow technology. In a windrow, temperature, oxygen concentration and moisture profiles can become highly inhomogeneous, which makes considering average measurements impossible, and thus requires a spatial model. In my research I am working on developing a spatial model of composting, which predicts temperature, oxygen and available substrate profiles over time and allows for 2D or 3D modeling of a compost windrow.