Advanced Compost Engineering

Our composting research integrates microbial degradation kinetics with analysis of heat and mass transfer phenomena to address challenges of high moisture feedstocks, aeration control, nutrient losses, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Applications range from backyard to farm to industrial scales. A current thrust is the development of an engineering design model based on physical, chemical, and biological processes, using computational fluid dynamics and 3-D visualization tools.

Larger scale experimentation occurs at the campus Organic Materials Processing and Education Center as well the Penn State Mushroom Research Facility (below).

composting bioreactor

Pilot-scale Composting Bioreactor

mushroom substrate composting facility

Mushroom Substrate Composting Facility