Volume 12 Part 1 Article 35: Production of Methame during Preparation of Mushroom Compost

Volume 12 Part 1 Article 35
Year 1989
Title: Production of Methame during Preparation of Mushroom Compost
Authors: P.J.L. Derikx, H.J.M. Op Den Camp, W.P.G.M. Bosch, G.D. Vogels, J.P.G. Gerrits and L.J.L.D. Van Griensven


The production of caipost as a substrate for the cultivation of Agaricus spp. is considered to be an aerobic process. Randle and Flegg (1978) reported that during outdoor composting (Phase I) oxygen concentrations, measured by gas sampling , were greater than 5 % i n 86 % of the windrow volume. However, considering the nature of the composting material it seems unlikely that anaerobic conditions (anaerobic pockets) can be avoided. The presence of sulfur crystals in the center of compost piles (Eicher 1981) supports this view.

The end-products of anaerobic degradation are carbondioxide and methane. Methanogenesis, the last step in this degradation, is brought about by strictly anaerobic bacteria. For an extended description of methanogenic bacteria, their ecology and biochemistry, we refer to the review of Archer and Harris (1986). In this paper we report for the first time the production of methane in the preparation of mushroom compost. To evaluate the role of anaerobic processes we determined the methane production and total counts of anaerobic and methanogenic bacteria at several stages during composting. Furthermore, the isolation of a pure culture of a methanogen from composting material is described.

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