Michell Instruments’ XZR500 oxygen analyser, available from AMS Instrumentation and Calibration is being used by an organic fertiliser manufacturer to monitor oxygen levels in their composting process.
Forming part of the control system, the XZR500 assists the innovative process to dramatically reduce the time taken to break down animal dung into a useable state. The conventional process takes about 21 days for the animal dung to compost; however the fertiliser manufacturer achieves this in just 24 hours, with great benefits to their efficiency and costs.
The previous analyser used in the process needed a sampling system with a more complex installation and routine maintenance. The original sensor used in this application was an electro-chemical cell, which depleted over time, needed periodic replacing and added to the cost of ownership.
The dung is fed into a rotating cylinder, which agitates it for 24 hours during which time the composting process is completed. Conditions in the compositing chamber are very aggressive with the chicken and cow dung used as compost feedstock producing high levels of ammonia. The conditions in the chamber are also very humid with temperatures ranging between 20°C and 70°C. The compost is dried and powdered on completion of the process.
Typically utilised to measure combustion efficiency in boilers, incinerators and furnaces, the XZR500 oxygen analyser helps keep the levels of oxygen in the composting chamber at optimum levels for maximum performance.
The XZR500’s probe is placed directly into the air outlet and an ejector used to pull a sample out to the sensor housed in the ex-situ head. Able to withstand the harsh atmosphere in the composting chamber without the need for a sampling system, the MSRS zirconium oxide sensor does not require frequent replacement, ensuring low running costs.