Composting is an inexpensive and sustainable treatment for solid wastes. The composting industry has been growing rapidly because of a boom in the animal industry in China over the past decades. In this chapter, we introduce composting process and status in China, especially in Jiangsu Province. Meanwhile, the developed novel spectroscopy techniques are also introduced, which are more suitable for assessment of compost maturity than the conventional techniques in view of ease of sample preparation, rapid spectrum acquisition, and nondestructive nature of the analysis. These novel spectroscopy techniques include near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS)––partial least squares (PLS) analysis and fluorescence excitation–emission matrix (EEM) spectroscopy––parallel factor (PARAFAC) analysis. In addition, organic fertilizer amendments can not only improve soil fertility but also offset chemical fertilizers’ nanoscale changes. Emerging cutting-edge technologies of synchrotron-based X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) spectroscopy and nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) were used to identify the composition of organic carbon and minerals and their correlations, respectively. Recently, investigators have shown that organic fertilizer amendments could enhance the production of highly reactive minerals, for example, allophane, imogolite, and ferrihydrite, which further benefit for soil carbon storage and soil fertility improvement.
Part of the book: Organic Fertilizers