Composts prepared using different solid and liquid organic wastes from various sources can be used as growing media when these materials present adequate proprieties for plant development. The stability and maturity are among the main characteristics of composts. The purpose of this study is to recommend specific bands of the IR spectrum recorded on different composts to enable qualitative and rapid monitoring of the stages of biodegradation during composting. At the beginning of humification, the significant decrease in the intensity of the band located at 1735 cm–1 shows that lignin is affected at the first stage of the composting process. At the end of the humification, the band located toward 3450–3420 cm–1 at the beginning of the process undergoes a systematic shift (Δν of the order of 10 cm–1) toward lower wave numbers. The band located at 1660–1650 cm–1 on the Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectra before composting shifts systematically toward 1640 cm–1 at the end of humification. This phenomenon can be used as index of compost maturity. Measuring the band at 1035 cm–1 as an internal standard, it is possible to quantify the degradation rate of organic matter.
Part of the book: Biodegradation and Bioremediation of Polluted Systems