Document Type

Conference Proceeding


2007 ASABE Annual International Meeting

Publication Date



Minneapolis, MN


Monitoring of a passively-aerated plastic-wrapped mortality composting system designed for emergency disposal of diseased swine highlighted the importance of the physical characteristics of materials used to envelop the carcasses. Inadequate moisture was a problem when using envelope materials such as ground cornstalks or straw having low density and high air-filled porosity. High O2 concentrations throughout these materials, and significantly higher moisture levels in the top layers than in the materials surrounding the carcasses, suggested significant air movement and transport of carcass moisture away from the carcasses, resulting in carcass desiccation and incomplete decay. Although internal temperatures and moisture levels in test units constructed with corn silage were much more favorable than in those constructed with cornstalks or straw, less carcass decomposition occurred. Settling and compaction, resulting in high bulk density and low air-filled porosity, caused low O2 concentrations that appeared to impair carcass decay in the silage test units.


This is an ASABE Meeting Presentation, Paper No. 074038.

Copyright Owner

American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers




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