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Research article2004Peer reviewed

Formation of chloromethoxybenzaldehyde during composting of organic household waste

Eklind Y, Hjelm O, Kotheus M, Kirchmann H


Standardized household waste was mixed with different litter amendments, straw, leaves, hardwood shavings, soft-wood shavings, paper. and sphagnum peat, resulting in six compost mixtures. In addition non-amended household waste was composted. Composting was done in small rotatable bins and compost samples were taken on a regular basis until day 590. Extraction and analysis of wet compost samples showed no evidence for the presence of chloroorganic compounds. Drying and re-wetting of compost samples, however, revealed that chloromethoxybenzaldehyde (CMBA) was formed in all composts at concentrations varying between 5.6 and 73.4 mug kg(-1) dry matter. CMBA was not present in the original materials. During composting, there was a clear positive relation between formation of CMBA and microbial activity, as indicated by C losses and temperature. Formation took place during the most intensive phase of composting when C losses were highest. Under anaerobic conditions, however, which prevailed initially in the non-amended compost. no CMBA was formed. Calculation of total amounts of CMBA in composts revealed that there was a small decrease during storage in the hardwood, peat, and softwood composts. However, all composts contained CMBA after 590 days. The mean concentration was 33.4 mug kg(-1) dry matter (s.d. = 21.9). Possible biocidal effects of composts when used in cultivation may be explainable by the presence of natural toxic compounds formed during composting. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Published in

2004, Volume: 56, number: 5, pages: 475-480 Publisher: PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD

      SLU Authors

    • Kirchmann, Holger

      • Department of Soil Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Eklind, Ylva

        • Department of Soil Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Agricultural Science

      Publication identifier


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