Rapid on site assessment of a compost chemical stability parameter by UV and fluorescence spectroscopy coupled with mathematical treatment


  • Madi Guirema Abaker
  • Michel Raynaud
  • Frédéric Théraulaz
  • Prudent Pascale
  • Roland Redon
  • Mariane Domeizel
  • Christian Martino
  • Stéphane Mounier


  • Partial Least Square regression
  • C/N ratio
  • Spectroscopic indices
  • Sewage sludge
  • Water extracts
  • Compost maturity

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Sewage sludges are problematic due to the constant increase of urban population. The high level of organic matter in sludges can be valorized by co-composting with green waste. Many chemical changes occur in the compost maturation process, resulting on stabilized organic matter by humification which is recoverable as soil amendment. In this way, the knowledge of organic matter stability and maturity of compost is essential. However, estimation of chemical parameters allowing the management of compost quality usually need complex time consuming laboratory measurements. Indeed, there is not yet rapid, simple and robust method for their on site assessment at the moment. Among usual parameters used to monitor compost evolution, the C/N 2 ratio is a fundamental chemical parameter. The aim of this work is the estimation of the C/N ratio using a Partial Least Squares regression based on UV and fluorescence spectroscopic data and pH from compost water extracts at various steps of composting process and measured on site. A mathematical linear model is established based on selected data (pH, spectroscopic indices) resulting on average relative error for C/N estimation of 5.26 % (range between 0.5 % min. and 9.5 % max.). This tool leads to a rapid and simple on site estimation of the compost stabilization, allowing qualification of the end-product resulting on a global spectroscopic index of stability.

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