How it Works
AEROBIC VS ANAEROBIC
Aerobic composting is decomposition of organic matter using microorganisms that require oxygen.
The microbes responsible for composting are naturally occurring and live in the moisture surrounding organic matter. Oxygen from the air diffuses in to the moisture and is taken up by the microbes. As aerobic digestion takes place the by-products are heat, water and carbon dioxide (CO2).
While CO2 can be classified as a greenhouse gas it’s evolution from the composting process is not counted in emissions. Additionally, CO2 is only 1/20th as harmful to the environment as methane, the main by-product of anaerobic degradation.
The heat produced in aerobic composting is sufficient to kill harmful bacteria and pathogens as these organisms are not adapted to these environmental conditions. It also helps support the growth of beneficial bacteria species including psychrophilic, mesophilic, and thermophilic bacteria which thrive at the higher temperature levels.
From start to finish, the in-vessel aerobic composting process takes only 1-2 days. No leachate is produced as most surplus moisture is exhausted as water vapour.
Anaerobic composting is decomposition that occurs using microorganisms that thrive in a zero oxygen environment.
These bacteria do not require oxygen to survive. In an anaerobic system the majority of the chemical energy contained within the starting material is released as methane. Besides methane, there are other undesirable gasses that are produced such as Hydrogen Sulphide, which can be lethal. The process is characterized by very strong odours and only a small amount of heat is generated, meaning decomposition.