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Sustainability

How the Aerobin Hot Composter Works

The Aerobin utilises hot composting techniques to speed up the breakdown of food and garden waste

Who is the Aerobin for?   

For those passionate about reducing the food and garden waste their household or business sends to landfill, the Aerobin utilises a method of heating up organic waste to break it down in as little as 12 weeks. Reaching between 40°C-60°C - with highs of 70°C in the right conditions - hot composting not only speeds up the process of breaking down waste but also provides a nutrient-rich fertiliser for your plants.    

The benefits of hot composting compared to cold composting    

Operating at less than 20°C, traditional methods of composting are unlikely to reach a sufficient temperature to break down difficult waste such as bones, fly eggs, weed seeds and larvae. The Arrhenius equation, otherwise known as the Q10 formula, is a temperature dependency model for reaction speeds. This equation relates to the temperature variation of thermally induced reactions, meaning the reaction speed of breaking down waste significantly rises with every 10°C increase in temperature. 

In other words, an outdoor cold compost heap can typically take 12-24 months in the UK, which has an average temperature of 10°C. However, when the Aerobin operates at its most efficient this process can take as little as 12 weeks!

 

science of hot composting

 

How it works

The aerobic composting (hot composting) process is based on providing the decomposition cycle with plenty of oxygen to foster the required bacterial activity needed for breaking down waste into compost.  

In order to stimulate the required bacterial activity for aerobic composting to work, plenty of oxygen is needed to encourage the decomposition cycle.

 

How hot composting works

 

The rate of bacterial release from heat depends on the specific digestibility of the waste.  This is influenced by the type of waste added as well as the amount of waste added at one time. For example, digestion and heat release can be rapid from plant material or steadier for lignin. 

The production of methane - 2-4 times more potent than green-house gasses - would occur without oxygen and compost would not be generated efficiently. The most effective way to ensure adequate oxygenation for waste is through the formation of free air spaces. 

 

What is free air space (FAS)?

Free air space (FAS) is a physical parameter that can play a significant role in composting processes to preserve optimal aerobic conditions. One study in particular demonstrated that a mixture design methodology can be a valuable tool to predict the initial FAS of composting mixtures, specifically in making adjustments to improve composting processes. 

In other words, the Aerobin relies on buoyancy air flow aeration, which, in effect, is based on the preservation of about 20-30% 'free air space' (FAS). Turning the compost heap will allow bacterial growth for brief amounts of time because there are no self-supporting particles in the turned waste, so the heap would collapse rapidly and again hinder airflow. 

 

The Aerobin is made from 100% virgin polymer

Conversely, if the heap has self-supporting particles, no turning is needed, the Aerobin utilises a bulking agent (composted wood chip) to retain free air space to accomplish this. Any time waste is added to the Aerobin, this bulking agent should be added to maintain a buoyant air movement through the waste, which in turn helps the bacteria to easily digest the waste without the need to turn the compost. 

Our Aerobins are made from 100% virgin polymer, a robust material selected for its unparalleled insulation properties, which, while the bin is operating at its optimal temperature, retains heat and provides an ideal environment for bacteria to function efficiently. 

Which Aerobin is right for you? 

200 Litre Aerobin 

The 200L Aerobin is ideal for home use as it easily converts your household food and garden waste into compost, and the liquid created from the waste is great for plants. It has a useful pump too. 

400 Litre Aerobin 

For households containing a lot of food or garden waste, small to medium businesses – especially food stores – the 400L Aerobin is best for the job. 

600 Litre Aerobin 

For restaurants and bars, large businesses and food sites with greater volumes of food waste, the 600L Aerobin is the perfect solution. A significant volume of food waste can be composted by this hot composter with an extra-large capacity. 

Shop our range of hot composters today at Original Organics. 

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