The Earth Flow™ Site-Built System is an automated composting system that mixes, aerates and adds moisture with little labor required beyond loading and unloading. Instead of composting in a steel vessel, we build a structure on top of a concrete pad within a hoop house enclosure. This design allows us to significantly reduce capital costs and provide convenient accessibility to the compost for materials handling and process control. The Site-Built System provides excellent control over moisture, odors, vectors, and leachate. The system is an innovative solution since it combines the low-cost and flexibility of pile-based systems with the containment and control of in-vessel systems.
The Earth Flow In-Vessel Composting System can be operated as either a batch or a continuous flow composting system:
1. Feedstock Loading
An organic “recipe” (for example, a mixture of food waste and wood chips) is loaded into the Earth Flow through the load doors via a variety of means including manual emptying of containers, using a front-end loader, using tote tipper or chute.
Plastic contamination should be limited. Hard foods such as pineapples, hard crusted loaves of bread, etc. should be chopped up prior to addition. Since food scraps are wet, a dry bulking agent such as wood shavings must be added to create a balanced compost recipe.
Prohibited materials in an Earth Flow include: long-fiber materials such as tall weeds, rope, clothing, tree branches, bioplastic bags(these get wrapped around the auger) as well as large rocks and sand.
2. Mixing and Active Composting
Once the new material has been added, the traveling auger system blends the new feedstock with existing compost mass. A complete mix can take 30 minutes or more. The auger is programmed to mix automatically one to four times per day.
Thermophilic composting at temperatures above 115° F occurs rapidly in the insulated bin. The food wast “slow cooks” at this temperature and is easily shredded by the auger. Continue adding feedstocks until the bin is filled to the top of the auger screw.
3. Unloading and Curing the Compost
Once the active composting cycle is complete (approximately 14-21 days), composted material can be removed through the discharge end of the vessel. There should be no residual food waste and the material should have a pleasant odor and a black or dark brown color.
The composted material can be discharged automatically using the auger into a bin, rolling cart, truck or conveyor. Alternatively, a front end loader can enter the system to remove compost directly.
This compost can be used immediately as a cover 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 plastic contaminants, making the finished product even finer.
The Earth Flow Site-Built Composting System can process 1,000 pounds to 10 tons of material per day.
|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|