Determination of an empirical formula for organic composition of mature compost produced in Isfahan-Iran composting plant in 2013

Document Type : Original Article


Environment Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences (IUMS), and Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Health, IUMS, Isfahan, Iran


Aims: The aims of this study were to analyze the carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, and oxygen (CHNS-O) content of compost derived from Isfahan-Iran municipal solid waste using thermal elemental analyzer and to develop an approximate empirical chemical formula for the organic fraction of the mature compost as a function of its elemental composition. Materials and Methods: The compost samples (1 kg) were collected from different parts of the windrows and thoroughly mixed in accordance with standard methods. After drying and milling, each sample was introduced to an elemental analyzer to measure their CHNS-O contents. The moisture content, temperature, and pH value were also monitored in three different windrows during the process. Results: An approximate chemical empirical formula calculated for the organic fraction of the compost was: C 204 H 325 O 85 N 77 S. Conclusion: According to this formula, it appears that the mature compost produced in the site contains higher value of nondegradable nitrogen, which leads to a lower total C/N ratio. Therefore, improving the primary separation of raw material in the composting plant particularly severance of plastic materials can result in an optimum C/N ratio.


Volume 4, April
April 2014
Pages 1-6
  • Receive Date: 31 January 2023
  • Accept Date: 31 January 2023