Anaerobic Composting

This is a process of making compost that does not use air. Anaerobic composting is reliant on bacteria and microbes that survive in oxygen deprived states or environments. It is a very slow process due to the lack of oxidation that tends to speed up decomposition. An anaerobic compost can stay for years before it can be considered mature or rather fit enough to harvest or to use. There is no exact way to monitor the compost since most times it is dug underground. Once covered, the compost is first of all decomposed by aerobic bacteria – those that require oxygen. This goes on until all the oxygen that was covered up with the compost is depleted, the bacteria are then rendered useless. Over time, anaerobic bacteria – those that do not use oxygen – begin acting on the compost.Anaerobic composition gives out very strong odours such as that of ammonia as a by product. The gases are usually because the compost is moist and therefore there is the subsequent mixture of nitrogen and hydrogen to give off ammonia.

Heat is also another by product of anaerobic composting. The heat from this is generally stronger than that of aerobic composting. It is essential for getting rid of harmful micro-organisms and organisms that might slow down the process even further.

Aside from that, there is also a considerable amount of acid accumulation in an anaerobic compost. The acid can be very harmful to plants of the humus is used without waiting for the acid to clear. Generally, the acidity disintegrates by itself over time, therefore you should just give the compost suitable time to let the decomposition process complete fully.

Anaerobic composting is mostly done underground where you dig a compost pit, pile in the organic compounds and cover it up with soil. Alternatively you could use a container  by making it air tight. You just use a container to hold your organic compounds and then seal it shut.

Anaerobic composting is very suitable for individuals who wish to make compost manure but do not have the time to maintain the conditions necessary for aerobic composting such as regular turning of the compost. It also comes in handy in places with regulations about open composts. Some individuals also want to make compost manure but do not want the outlook of an open pit so they can also use anaerobic composting.

Enroll at the Open Permaculture School and Regenerative Leadership Institute where you can learn more about anaerobic composting from experts in the field.

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