This study applied a modified OxiTop® system to determine the oxygen uptake rate during a 2-day respiration test of selected composting materials at different moisture contents, air-filled porosities and composition of composting mixtures. The modification of the OxiTop® respirometer included replacement and adjustment of a glass vessel (i.e. a 1.9-L glass vessel with wide mouth was used instead of a standard 1-L glass bottle, additionally the twist-off vessel lid was adjusted to attach the measuring head) and application of a closed steel mesh cylinder of 5 cm in diameter and 10 cm in height with the open surface area of the mesh of approximately 56.2%. This modification allowed obtaining different bulk densities (and thus air-porosities) of the investigated composting materials in laboratory composting studies. The test was performed for apple pomace and composting mixtures of apple pomace with wood chips at ratios of 1:0.5, 1:1, 1:1.5 (d.w), moisture contents of 60%, 65% and 75% and air-filled porosities ranging from 46% to 1%. Due to diverse biodegradability of the investigated apple pomace and composting mixtures this test allows for the determination of the effects of different air-porosities (due to compaction in a pile) on the oxygen uptake rate for mixtures with a fixed ratio of a bulking agent. The described method allows for laboratory determination of the effects of moisture content and compaction on biodegradation dynamics during composting.
The substrates to biogas production in anaerobic digestion, except plant materials, can also be animal feces and manure. It should be highlighted that Poland is one of leaders in the European Union in animal breeding. However, there is no precise data in the literature on the potential of biogas production from animal feces in this country. The aim of the paper was to analyze the biogas production potential from manure in Poland. The aim of work included anaerobic digestion research following materials: cow manure, pig manure, poultry manure and sheep manure. In the next step, based on the obtained results of the biogas yield, energy potential calculations were made. The methane yield for the investigated feedstock materials in the batch culture technology was performed following the internal procedures developed based on the adapted standards, i.e. DIN 38 414-S8 and VDI 4630. Animal wastes were obtained from the Agricultural Experimental Stations of Poznan University of Life Sciences (Poznan, Poland). On a base of achieved results it was concluded that tested substrates have a high energy potential (approx. 28.52 GWh of electricity). The largest potential for electricity production was found in chicken manure (about 13.86 GWh) and cow manure (about 12.35 GWh). It was also shown which regions of Poland have the best chance for development of agriculture biogas plants (Wielkopolskie and Mazowieckie voivodships) and where the potential is the least (Lubuskie and Opolskie voivodeships).