Abstract for:A Simple System Dynamics Model to Examine the Impacts of Operating Parameters on Organic Waste Composting

The composting of organic solid waste has been recognized as an effective approach to deal with challenging solid waste management problems faced by various communities, industries, municipalities, and governments. It was reported that many operating parameters may affect the biodegradation extent of organic waste, which can be described by system dynamic simulation models. Due to complexities within the composting process, the simulation model needs to consider a variety of input variables. In this paper, a simple system dynamics model using STELLA Professional modelling platform was established to simulate the dynamic variation of organic waste degradation ratio under different composting operating conditions. Four selected parameters including composting temperature, moisture content, free air space, and oxygen concentration were examined for their impacts on the waste degradation performance. A series of sensitivity simulation runs were implemented based on the developed composting process model to examine the individual and combined effects of these parameters that were assumed to follow normal probability distributions. The results indicated that composting temperature, oxygen concentration, and moisture content had significant effects on the composting performance, while free air space showed a relatively minor influence. An optimal operating condition for effective composting performance was then identified.