The aim of this research was to study whether electronic nose sensor technology (NST 3320, Applied Sensor, Sweden) can be used effectively for monitoring of the composting process. The effect of aeration on the composting process was examined using two aeration levels representing insufficient and optimal aeration for composting. An additional aim was to identify possible indicator gases in the volatile organic compound profiles of the composts by on-line FT-IR and gas chromatographic determinations. The results indicated that the electronic nose was able to distinguish between the two composter bins after 13 days of composting. Of the volatile metabolites that were identified, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) proved to be a suitable indicator compound of anaerobicity as it was only produced in considerable quantities in the insufficiently aerated composter bin.
- electronic nose
- gas chromatography