[ASC-media] Media Release: Super Composting

Pepita Maiden p.maiden at ebcrc.com.au
Fri Nov 18 17:21:19 EST 2005


Environmental Biotechnology CRC
 
Media Release 18-11-05
 
18 November 2005
 
 


Super Composting for your Garbage


 

Australian Biotechnologists are reducing municipal organic waste more
efficiently than ever before


 

Large scale composting requires a large area and generally must be
located a long way from collection points. In addition, methane - a
greenhouse gas - is often lost to the atmosphere in the process. 

 

The Environmental Biotechnology CRC (EBCRC), together with Organic
Resource Technologies (ORT) and Murdoch University, is using
biotechnology in a $1.3m project to enhance a process that can convert
large amounts of organic waste to compost more efficiently than ever
before.

 

"This system reduces landfill and the time needed to create compost, is
energy efficient and does not smell," said EBCRC researcher, Lee Walker,
based at Murdoch University. 

 

"The system allows methane to be collected and used to generate
electricity to run the whole process, making it self-sufficient," he
said.

 

Advanced biotechnology is being applied to a patented process, called
DiCOM(r), developed by ORT. The process operates within specially
designed sealed tanks that allow control over all environmental factors,
with each tank able to take the organic fraction from around 1000 tonnes
of municipal solid waste every 3 weeks.

 

Tom Rudas from ORT explains that biotechnologists can make a big
difference to composting processes, "advanced biotechnologies are
allowing us to further investigate how the microorganisms involved in
our composting process work."

 

"This knowledge makes the process more efficient in terms of energy
production and nutrient availability to produce superior compost," he
said.

 

Since the process is compact and lacks offensive odours, existing
municipal sites can use this new technology to process the organic waste
they receive and produce stable compost, consistent with Australian
standards, suitable for agricultural and amenities use, all for around
the same cost as current practices. 

 

In the process, air is pumped into the tank for the first five days.
The airflow into the tank is then stopped so different bacteria can work
in an oxygen free environment for the next seven days. 

 

Methane is produced during this stage and can be used to generate
electricity. Air is pumped in again during the last seven days to
produce garden-quality compost. 

EBCRC is exhibiting at next week's Ausbiotech Conference at the Perth
Exhibition Centre, where a session will be held on the benefits of
Environmental Biotechnology.

 

Fact sheets and photos can be obtained from Pepita Maiden, phone: 0422
989 899.

For interview: Lee Walker (EBCRC) (08) 9360 2506 or Tom Rudas (ORT) (08)
9358 5444.

 
 
________________________________________________________________________
____
 
MS. PEPITA MAIDEN
Communication Manager
Environmental Biotechnology CRC
 
 www.ebcrc.com.au <http://www.ebcrc.com.au/> 
 
Suite G01 Bay 3
Locomotive Workshop Building
Australian Technology Park
Eveleigh NSW 1430
 
(     0422 989 899
*   +61 2 9209 4969
6   +61 2 9209 4980
@   p.maiden at ebcrc.com.au 
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