The patent pending Earth Flow is an automated in-vessel composting system designed for on-site composting at universities, corporate campuses, resorts and other organizations. Since mixing, aeration and moisture addition is automated, this system requires very little labor beyond loading and unloading. The Earth Flow provides excellent control over moisture, odors, vectors, and leachate.

The Earth Flow system is available in two primary configurations:

In-Vessel Earth FlowIn-Vessel Earth Flow
Housed in a custom-built stainless steel vessel with a greenhouse roof enclosure.
Site Built Earth FlowSite-Built Earth Flow
Housed in a site-built concrete vessel with a variety of options for an enclosure.

In-Vessel Earth Flow Composting System


Introduction video for In-Vessel Earth Flow.

Earth Flow on a college campus.

White Post Earth Flow ComposterUsing the proven mixing technology of the traveling auger, the Earth Flow In-Vessel Composting System incorporates automated mixing, aeration and moisture addition to create one of the most sophisticated in-vessel composting systems on the market. The Earth Flow is capable of composting between 300 lbs and 10 tons per day of biodegradables (depending upon system size and retention time of material).

The Earth Flow system excels at producing compost of superior quality. The auger mixes, breaks up, and aerates the compost producing an extremely friable (e.g., light and fluffy) mix. Oxygenating compost creates a rich environment for beneficial microorganisms which break down the material quickly.

In-Vessel Earth Flow Features And Benefits
In-Vessel Earth Flow Features And Benefits
Earth Flow Business Case White Letter
Earth Flow Business Case White Letter
Earth Flow 2014 Building Green Award
Earth Flow 2014 Building Green Award

The Earth Flow can be run either as a batch or a continuous flow composting system:

  • With a Batch process, the Earth Flow can be fully loaded with feedstocks. These are then composted as a batch and then fully discharged.
  • With a Continuous Flow process, feedstocks are added into one end of the vessel and compost is discharged from the other end. In the process, the auger moves the compost slowly toward the discharge end of the vessel. Once materials arrive at the discharge end, the compost is ready to be discharged from the system.  New feedstocks can always be added on the load end and finished compost can always be removed from the discharge end.

The unique design of the Earth Flow allows a single inclined auger to macerate, mix, aerate and homogenize the compost with each pass. Programmable controls allow the operator to adjust mixing program and adjust the number of times per day that the compost is mixed.

continuous-flow-design

  • Optimized for Food Waste Composting – The Earth Flow system was designed specifically for food waste composting and is the optimum technology for this application.
  • Prevent Pests and Nuisance Odors – The Earth Flow system incorporates five different engineering controls to prevent pests and nuisance odors.
  • Superior Compost Quality – The inclined/vertical auger combines with the positive aeration system to produce an extremely rich, light, homogeneous, oxygenated compost.
  • Cost Effectiveness – For its size and capability, the Earth Flow is the most cost effective in-vessel composting system on the market today.
  • Small Footprint  When space is restricted, the Earth Flow is ideal because it maximizes the amount of composting that can be done on its very modest footprint.
  • Complete Control  The Earth Flow gives you complete control of your composting process, allowing you to control temperature, moisture content by adjusting patterns for mixing, aeration and moisture addition.
  • Speed of Composting – The Earth Flow system is capable of thermophilically composting food waste in 14-21 days (an additional 1-2 months curing time is recommended after compost exits the Earth Flow).
  • Year Round Composting Capability  Designed and field tested for extreme weather conditions (such as snow, wind and extreme cold).

The Earth Flow has an integrated mixing system that allows the compost to be mixed on a daily basis (2-4 times per day). The Traveling Auger is the true magic of the Earth Flow and really is the optimum technology for hot food waste composting. The traveling auger provides seven different functions that facilitate the hot composting process:

  1. Shreds – The auger tears up food waste clumps as they cook to reduce particle size and make the food waste more available to the microbes.
  2. Mixes – The auger mixes material by smearing food waste onto bulking agent.
  3. Aerates – The auger continually fluffs the compost to add oxygen to the matrix.
  4. Distributes Moisture – The auger sweeps up wet material from the base of the pile and elevates it to on the surface. This maintains an even distribution of moisture through the pile.
  5. Homogenizes – The auger homogenizes food waste with bulking agent for an even distribution of nutrients.
  6. Transports – The auger slowly increments compost from the load end to the discharge end.
  7. Stacks – As compost reduces in volume, the auger continually stacks the material toward the back to maximize utilization of the space.

An organic “recipe” (i.e., a mixture of food waste and wood chips) is loaded into the Earth Flow™ through the loading hatch or via bucket loader, tote tipper or conveyor from the shredder.

Once the active composting cycle is complete (approximately 3 weeks), the auger discharges the compost through the discharge door of the vessel.  The compost can discharge into a container, pick-up truck or the bucket of the tractor.

This compost can be used directly as mulch or can be cured (in a pile) for 30-60 days before being used as a soil amendment. Screening will eliminate residuals (for example, bones and large wood chips) and contaminants making the finished product even finer!

1. Food Scrap Loading

The first step is to make sure that the food waste are collected for composting with as little contamination from plastics, etc. as possible. Hard foods such as pineapples, stale loaves of bread, etc., should be chopped up prior to disposing in the Earth Flow™. Because food scraps are wet, a dry bulking agent such as wood shavings must be added to create a balanced compost recipe.

2. Mixing and Shredding

Once the new material has been added, you are ready to begin mixing. The powered auger system has been designed to take the work out of turning over your compost pile. A complete mix should take approximately 30 minutes, and should be performed at least once per day.

3. The Active Composting “Baking” Phase

Thermophilic composting at temperatures above 115 F occurs rapidly in the insulated bin. The food waste becomes soft or “baked” at this temperature and is easily shredded by the notched auger. Continue adding material until the bin is full to the top of the auger screw. During this time, the operator should mix the material at least once per day.

4. Unloading and Curing the Compost

Once the compost has finished active composting, it is ready to be unloaded. In order to remove up to two yards of the compost, the discharge door is opened and the auger pushes the compost out of the vessel.  Alternatively, a bucket loader can enter the system to remove compost directly.

Earth Flow Specifications

Vessel Specifications EF-12 EF-16 EF-20 EF-24
System Capacity (cubic yards) 14 18 23 27
Processing Capacity (lbs / day) 665 1000 1330 1600
Processing Capacity (tons / day) ~0.33 ~0.50 ~0.67 ~0.80
Length – Overall 12′ 16′ 20′ 24′
Width – Overall 8′-4″ 8′-4″ 8′-4″ 8′-4″
Approx System Weight (lbs) 5,000 6,000 7,000 8,000

 

Earth Flow – Heavy Duty

Vessel Specifications EF-30 EF-40 EF-5010
System Capacity (cubic yards) 34 45 74
Processing Capacity (lbs / day) 2000 3000 6000
Processing Capacity (tons / day) ~1.0 ~1.5 ~3
Length – Overall 30′ 40′ 50′
Width – Overall 8′-4″ 8′-4″ 10′
Approx System Weight (lbs) 10,000 13,000 18,000

 

Mixing Auger Specifications

Mixing Auger 14″ 304 Stainless Steel (13″ on EF-12)
Gear Motor 5hp 3ph (3hp on EF-12, 208/230/460V – 50/60Hz)
Gear Box Helical bevel synthetic lube
Carriage Drive VS 1/4 hp motor (1/2 hp for EF-30 and up)
Rail Drive VS 1/4 hp motor (1/2 hp for EF-30 and up)
Control Panel Programmable PLC in NEMA 4X panel
Power Requirements (Motors) 30A 220V single or 208V 3 phase
Vessel Insulation R-18 (optional)
Temperature Probe 30″ Hand Held

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Earth Flow™?
  2. What is unique about the Earth Flow™?
  3. What are the key features of the Earth Flow™?
  4. How much organic waste must an institution generate to use the Earth Flow™?
  5. What if your organic waste stream increases?
  6. What are acceptable materials for composting?
  7. How cold can it be and still maintain compost temperatures in the Earth Tub?
  8. Do I need a shredder for the Earth Flow?

 

What is the Earth Flow™?

The Earth Flow™ is a mid- scale in-vessel composting system for recycling organic waste materials at the site where they are generated. Attached to a bio-filter for odor processing and control, this system provides a neighborhood-friendly efficient composting technology. The
Earth Flow™ has been developed specifically to meet the composting needs of universities/schools, restaurants/cafeterias, commercial food processors, hospitals, multi-unit residential dwellings, resorts, corporate campuses and other institutional organic waste generators who generate from 500-1,500 pounds of food waste per day.

What is unique about the Earth Flow™?

The Earth Flow offers the sophistication of large in-vessel composting systems to the mid-sized institutional generator at an affordable price. The Earth Flow produces some of the highest quality compost in the business. This is due to the Earth Flow’s traveling auger technology, which produces an extremely friable (i.e.,”fluffy”), oxygenated compost..

What are the key features of the Earth Flow™?

  • High rate composting reduces volume and stabilizes material quickly.
  • Powered auger is thoroughly effective for mixing and shredding most foods.
  • Optional insulation package facilities operation in winter conditions.
  • Attachment to bio-filter which processes odors and accelerates the compost process.
  • How much organic waste must an institution generate to use the Earth Flow™?
  • For on-site composting, the Earth Flow™ is capable of processing as little as 300 lbs per day or as much as 1,500 lbs per day. The modular design of the system allows it to be adapted to a wide variety of applications and configurations.

How much organic waste must an institution generate to use the Earth Flow™?

For on-site composting, the Earth Flow™ is capable of processing as little as 300 lbs per day or as much as 1,500 lbs per day. The modular design of the system allows it to be adapted to a wide variety of applications and configurations.

What if your organic waste stream increases?

Expansion capability is one of the key features of the Earth Flow System™. By virtue of its modular design, the system is ideally suited to incremental capacity increases. This system is a perfect application for gradually introducing composting to the institutional organic waste generators.

What are acceptable materials for composting?

The system is designed to process Kitchen prep waste and plate scrapings. Green garden waste and manures will easily compost in the system. Meats, cheese, and other fatty foods should be kept below 20% of total waste input. Avoid adding large pieces of meat, fats or oils to the system.

How cold can it be and still maintain compost temperatures in the Earth Tub?

The Earth Flow has been installed in some very cold locations. It may need a supplemental infloor heating system if the temperature remains below 10F for more than 7 days. The aeration system should be shut down during this type of cold weather.

Do I need a shredder for the Earth Flow?

If you are composting organic waste that is collected with cardboard, biodegradable utensils or biodegradable bags then we recommend a high torque type shredder to prepare the waste for composting. If it is only food waste and pre-ground wood chips, then a shredder is not required.

Earth Flow at a high school.

Earth Flow at IslandWood.

Earth Flow at an equine facility.

Site-Built Earth Flow Composting System

Introduction video for the Site-Built Earth Flow Video

The Site-Built Earth Flow represents a new phase in the evolution of the Earth Flow and a major breakthrough in composting technology. The Site-Built Earth Flow combines the low-cost and flexibility of pile-based systems with the containment and control of in-vessel systems to create a unique and completely innovative composting solution.

Instead of composting in a steel box, we build a vessel directly on top of the concrete pad within a hoop house enclosure. This allows us to significantly reduce capital costs and provide unparalleled accessibility to the compost for materials handling and process control.

  • Lower Capital Costs.  Roughly half the cost of in-vessel systems.
  • Increased Capacity.  Up to 5 tons per day.
  • Lower Labor Costs.  Less turning of compost required after exiting the system.
  • Reduced Shipping Costs.  Ships on pallets.  No crane required for placing equipment.
  • Flexible/Scalable.  Can be installed on existing pads and in existing buildings.  Can be sized and configured to meet your project needs.
  • Odor and Leachate Control.  Hoop house can be completely enclosed and process air treated with a biofilter.
  • Utilizes the same amazing traveling auger technology as in our stainless steel system.
  • Side walls that are either concrete or wood with a stainless steel liner with coated concrete floor.
  • Optional gasketed stainless-steel-lined end doors for complete containment of leachate.
  • State-of-the-art in-floor aeration technology of the pad to provide for aerated curing and high levels of aeration in-vessel.
  • The hoop house can be completely enclosed for total odor control and biofiltration.
  • The hoop house can cover the Earth Flow vessel composting only or be enlarged to provide covered storage for bulking agent and curing.

The Site-Built configuration allows a front-end loader or dump truck to drive straight into the Earth Flow composting vessel to load or unload materials.

When we combine this optimum mixing technology with our deep expertise in aerated pile technologies, the Site-Built Earth Flow offers new achievements in thermophilic composting performance and value.

With a wide variety of possible configurations, the Site-Built Earth Flow provides a flexible, cost-effective, high-performance platform for institutional, agricultural, commercial and municipal composting applications.

To see how the Earth Flow can start saving you money right now, download our new Saving Money Through Composting white paper.

Mixing Auger Specifications

Mixing Auger 14″ 304 Stainless Steel (13″ on EF-12)
Gear Motor 5hp 3ph (3hp on EF-12, 208/230/460V – 50/60Hz)
Gear Box Helical bevel synthetic lube
Carriage Drive VS 1/4 hp motor (1/2 hp for EF-30 and up)
Rail Drive VS 1/4 hp motor (1/2 hp for EF-30 and up)
Control Panel Programmable PLC in NEMA 4X panel
Power Requirements (Motors) 30A 220V single or 208V 3 phase

Site-Built Earth Flow composting pumpkins.

Site Built Earth Flow Spec
Site Built Earth Flow Spec
Earth Flow Business Case White Letter
Earth Flow Business Case White Letter