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What is Composting? Composting is the natural biological breakdown of organic material into a more stable organic substance. During the process of aerobic composting (presence of oxygen), microorganisms consume organic matter (carbon) and release heat and carbon dioxide (CO 2 ). Aerobic composting methods decompose material faster and more efficiently than anaerobic composting methods (absence of oxygen), such as stock piling manure (Fig. 1). Persistent odours and the risk of water contamination by surface runoff are reduced when agriculture wastes are composted compared to conventional land management (stock piling manure). Further, composting is a waste management system that createsa recycled product, which is carbon rich and free of most pathogens and weed seeds. How Do Nutrients Affect the Composting Process? Microorganisms involved in composting require a “balanced diet” to operate efficiently. Carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are the primary nutrients required by microorganisms. The most important nutrient balance in compost is the carbon to nitrogen ratio (C:N); the optimum is approximately 25:1. This C:N ratio ensures that other nutrients are present in adequate amounts (Table 1). In comparison, soil C:N ratio is 10:1. When compost has a C:N ratio less than 25 it is considered mature (CCME 1996).

Table 1: Initial characteristics of various
composting materials Compost Material C:N Ratio Class* Moisture Class** Compost Rating Cattle manure Low High Good Poultry manure Low Moderate Good Horse manure High Low Excellent Swine manure Low High Fair to good Crop residues Moderate Moderate Excellent Spoiled hay and silage Moderate Varies Fair Straw, sawdust, leaves High Low Good Grass clippings Low Moderate Good Slaughterhouse wastes Low High Fair * Low C:N<10; moderate C:N is between 10 and 50; high C:N>50
** Low moisture <20%; moderate moisture is between 40 and 60%
Source: Rynk 1992

Figure 1: Stockpile of bedding material What are the Optimum Environmental Conditions of Composting? Temperature, moisture and oxygen availability must be adequate for microorganisms to thrive. Compost pile temperatures between 43°C and 66°C are optimum for composting, and desirable to destroy pathogens, weed seeds and fly larvae. Moisture content between 40 and 65 percent is optimum. Below 40 percent, microbial activity slows, while above 65 percent, water displaces air-filled pore spaces and limits aeration. Aerobic conditions for the composting process require oxygen concentrations above 10 percent. What Materials Can be Composted? Generally, organic materials such as manure, crop residues or animal mortalities, are composted. Other materials called ‘bulking agents’ are sometimes added to provide structure, allow air to circulate more freely, and increase carbon content. Wood chips, straw or leaves are examples of bulking agents.
For some producers, these organic materials are generated in large volumes making disposal a challenge. If not disposed of properly, animal manure can cause nitrate contamination of groundwater and nuisance odours for nearby residents. Animal mortalities may also carry pathogens that can contaminate other stock. With the expansion of the livestock sector in Alberta, it is important to address the issues of agricultural waste disposal. What are the Different Composting Methods? There are four general groups of composting methods used on farms: passive, windrows, aerated piles, and in-vessel composting. Each method changes the composting process by changing aeration, temperature and/or material movement, and requires a different investment of time, equipment and land. Passive composting
Passive composting involves piling organic materials to decompose with minimal turning and management. Generally, this method is used for materials that have high porosity, such as leaves, because oxygen supply is dependent on passive diffusion. Passive composting piles still need to be turned periodically to increase aeration and rebuild porosity. This composting process is slow, taking months to years to mature, and is more likely to produce odours, because of its low aeration rate. Machine-turned windrow composting
Machine-turned windrow composting consists of placing organic materials in long narrow piles or windrows, which are agitated or turned ona regular basis. Turning the compost pile increases porosity, releases trapped heat, water vapor and gases. The size and shape ofa windrow depends on the type of machine used to turn the material and the characteristics of the material. Light and porous compost materials can be built into larger windrows than materials that are dense with high moisture content. During the winter, windrows can be made larger to increase insulation and reduce heat loss.

Aerated windrow or pile composting
Aerated composting systems can be aerated either passively or actively. Passively-aerated composting eliminates the need for turning by supplying air to the composting materials through perforated pipes or layers of porous material embedded in each windrow. Open-ended perforated pipes are placed at the base of a compost pile. Compost material is then loaded on top of the pipes, and airflow is achieved through convection. The pipes are pulled out once composting is completed. Actively-aerated composting uses a fan to supply air to the compost material through the pipes. Theoretically, no turning of the materials is required; however occasional turning breaks up air channels, redistributes moisture, and exposes fresh material to microbial attack. The advantage of aerated composting systems is it takes much less time to compost than passive systems. In-vessel composting
In-vessel composting involves the confinement of compost materials in a building, container or vessel. Although there are different in-vessel composting methods, most rely on a variety of forced aeration and mechanical turning techniques to speed up the composting process. It is the fastest and most costly composting method but requires the least area and involves the greatest level of control over the composting process.

What are the Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Composting? Carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), methane (CH 4 ) and nitrous oxide (N 2 O) are all by-products of the composting process. These three greenhouse gases (GHG) contribute to global warming by absorbing radiation emitted by the earth. The ability of each GHG to trap heat depends on its capacity to absorb and re-emit radiation and on how long the gas remains in the atmosphere. This is referred to as the global warming potential (GWP). To compare GHG emissions of different gases the GWP is multiplied by the amounts of each gas emitted to get units of CO 2 equivalents (CO 2 e) (Table 2).

Table 2: Greenhouse gas global warming potentials (GWP) over 100 years Greenhouse Gas Global Warming Potential
(GWP) Nitrous Oxide 310 Methane 21 Carbon Dioxide 1

Are There Environmental Benefits from Composting? Composting represents a recycled, low input form of slow release fertilizer. Compost application to soil reduces the amount of inorganic fertilizer required. Therefore, the net GHG emission is reduced because the energy-intensive fertilizer production and associated GHG emission is reduced. In addition, compost amended soil is more resistant to wind and water erosion because soil structure is improved and soil moisture-holding capacity is increased. Adding compost to soil alleviates soil compaction by improving root penetration, water absorption and drainage.

Composting manure reduces the weight and volume of raw manure, allowing it to be hauled longer distances. Specially designed composts can help break down contaminants in water or soil after industrial accidents. The life of landfills can be extended by diverting organic wastes into a waste treatment process (composting), which sanitizes wastes into a new high quality product. Summary Composting is an alternative to conventional management of agricultural wastes. It producesa recycled product, which is carbon rich, free of most pathogens and weed seeds, and enhances soil quality. Studies suggest that aerobic composting systems emit less total GHG (CO 2 e) than anaerobic composting systems. However, further research is needed to quantify the amount of GHG emitted from the composting process. . To order more copies of this bulletin, contact Agri-Environmental Management Branch, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development at (780) 422-4385 Sources:
1. Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME). 2006. Guidelines for compost quality. Composting Subcommittee, Solid Waste Management Task Group, Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, CCME-106E, p11. 2. Hao, X., Chang, C, Larney, F., and Travis, G. 2000. Greenhouse gas emissions during cattle feedlot manure composting. In 37 Annual Alberta Soil Science Workshop Proceedings. February 22-24, 2000, Medicine Hat, Alberta, pp28-34. 3. Rynk, R. F. 1992. On-farm composting handbook. NRAES-54. Ithaca, NY: Northeast Regional Agricultural Engineering Service. 4. Watson, R. T., Zinyowera, ., Moss, R. H. and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 1996. Climate change 1995 impacts, adaptations and mitigation of climate change: scientific-technical analyses: contribution of WGII to the second assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. New York: Cambridge University Press.

In addition to AAFRD staff, we would gratefully like to acknowledge the following external reviewers: Dr. Jerry Leonard from the University of Alberta; Alfredo Carcamo from Olds College; and Dr. Frank Larney from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.         For more information about the content of this document, contact Sheilah Nolan .
This document is maintained by Laura Thygesen .
This information published to the web on July 12, 2005.
Last Reviewed/Revised on December 1, 2015.  

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Carbon dioxide is soluble in water, in which it reversibly forms H
2 CO
3 ( carbonic acid ), which is a weak acid since its ionization in water is incomplete.

The speed with which the oxygen sensor reacts to oxygen changes in the exhaust is very important for accurate fuel control, peak fuel economy and low emissions. The air/fuel mixture in an older carbureted engine doesn't change as quickly as that in a throttle body fuel-injected vehicle, so response time is less critical. But, in new engines with multipoint fuel injection, the air/fuel mixture can change extremely fast, requiring a very quick response from the oxygen sensor.

The National Research Council has developed a series of videos that explain how scientists have arrived at the state of knowledge about current climate change and its causes.

2. Check Engine Light Off - Check engine light should not be on. As discussed in our functional test page, an illuminated check engine light will cause your vehicle to not pass the emissions test automatically. A certified emissions repair shop can use a trouble code retrieval tool to extract trouble code data from the ECU and perform necessary repairs to turn the check engine light off . 3. Inflate Tires - If your vehicle is model year 1999 or older it will be driven on a dynomometer while a sample of its exhaust is collected by the smog machine. Ensuring your vehicle's tire pressures are even and correct will help you pass the emissions test. Correct tire pressure will allow the vehicle to be driven with greater stability and control during the emissions test. This will greatly improve your chances of passing the emission test by allowing the engine to maintain a constant and steady load. Accurate tire pressure (as required by the tire and vehicle manufacturer) may be the deciding factor between a borderline vehicle passing or not passing the emissions test. 2000 and newer vehicles are not administered the exhaust emissions portion of the smog test. This passing tip, as well as tips number 5 and 7 don't really apply to your vehicle if it's 2000 model year or newer; this is not to say your vehicle's tires shouldn't be properly inflated, of course. 4. Change Engine Oil - If you haven't performed an oil change within the last 5,000 miles, go ahead and do it before the emissions test. This will assist in getting passing emission test results. Your vehicle's Positive Crank Ventilation (PCV) system is designed to allow the engine to breath fumes from the oil compartments. The fumes are then burned through the combustion process. If the oil in your engine is contaminated due to inadequate oil changes it may very well cause your vehicle to fail the emissions test. Contaminated oils are high in Hydrocarbons (HC) and will present a rich mixture to the combustion chambers. Not performing regularly required oil and filter changes not only causes premature engine wear but can also cause your vehicle to not pass the emissions inspection. 5 . Take a Drive - Drive your vehicle for at least 20 minutes prior to arriving at the smog station. This will ensure your coolant, oil, and catalytic converter reach and maintain optimum operating temperature. This will help your vehicle pass the emissions test as well. Remember your engine is a fuel burning machine. To ensure a passing emissions test and adequate combustion it needs to have sufficient time to warm-up and this can be accomplished through driving for at least 10 to 15 miles. Emission test standards require a smog check technician to ensure a vehicle is at proper operating temperatures prior to administering the emissions test, however this is one conditioning that will help pass the emissions test which you can perform as well. 6. Use Fuel Additives - Fuel additives can be very helpful in lowering emission levels and helping your car, truck, van or SUV pass the emissions inspection. Fuel additives are generally poured into a vehicle's gas tank during fuel refueling. The additive is mixed with your vehicle's fuel. The purpose is to clean carbon deposits within your engine's intake and exhaust paths, allowing for both fuel and air to flow freely within its passages, thus lowering emission levels, improving combustion, increasing overall engine performance, and helping you pass the emission test. These types of products offer helpful solutions to various vehicle emission and smog test problems. We'd like to encourage you consider using a trusted fuel additive known as Blue Sky Clean Air which is 100% green and guaranteed. Note : Read your fuel additive's instructions regarding having your vehicle smog tested while using the additive. Fuel system additives and fuel system treatments require using the complete application and refueling with fresh fuel prior to the smog check. 7. Avoid Wet Weather - Try to pick a nice day to have your vehicle tested. This will help your car pass the emissions test. Avoid the rain. Let us point out a few problems with rainy days. Your vehicle (assuming it's registered in one of the larger counties in California and is model year 1999 or older) will need to be driven on a dynamometer during the emissions test. Obviously when wet, your car's tires will be slipping and losing traction as the smog technician tries to maintain required test speeds. Unstable engine and drivetrain torque is not the best conditioning your vehicle should receive if you plan on getting passing emissions test results. You want your vehicle's engine running super comfortable, not high stress. This is not to say you can't get a passing emissions test on a rainy day, certainly not. The smog machine has a "dry tires" mode, which will dry your vehicle's tires before the test. However as we mentioned, you don't want to place any extra strain on the engine before or during the emissions test. 8. Battery Recently Disconnected? - If your vehicle's battery has recently been disconnected due to it having needed replacement or battery charging, or if your vehicle recently needed a jump start, we recommend holding off on getting the smog check for at least one week while you drive your vehicle regularly. Chances are while your vehicle's computer lost power, its internal self test monitors were erased. Without these important and required emission monitors your vehicle can not pass the smog test. You will be required to drive between 100-200 miles and over the course of a week in order to reset or "complete" the emission monitors. This period of driving is referred to as a "Drive Cycle". Additional Advice on Passing The Emissions Test To be observed: During the emissions test at the smog station.

48 Responses to “ Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change ” Earl Katz April 18, 2014. We must do this. Reply; Frank McQuoid April 19, 2014

CHANDIGARH: The State Transport Authority (STA) has served notices to the web-based taxi aggregators, UBER and Ola, asking them to deposit the entry tax for their taxis registered in the other states but operating in the city.

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