#### Title

The Effect Of The Thickness Of A Layered Compost On The Rate Of Decomposition And Temperature Change

#### School Name

Heathwood Hall Episcopal School

#### Grade Level

11th Grade

#### Presentation Topic

Environmental Science

#### Presentation Type

Non-Mentored

#### Abstract

This study investigated the possible relationship between the thickness of a layered compost system and the systems internal temperature on its rate of decomposition. The independent variable in this experiment are the amounts of each natural biodegradable materials in the compost such as: leaves, fruit, soil and the dependent variable is the rate of decomposition of the total compost pile. From this study, farmers, gardeners, etc. will be able to infer whether a thicker layered compost or one that is less thick is more effective, in the sense that it will decompose at a faster rate, with respect to the temperature. The problem being investigated was whether the thickness of a layered compost was related to either the temperature and or the rate of decomposition. In this experiment 12 compost bins were created 4 bins with 1 layering of compost, 4 bins with 2 layerings of compost, 4 bins with 3 layerings of compost. One to two times a week, measurements of the change in temperature and change in height over time were recorded. The hypothesis of this experiment was that if the compost bin that had more heat trapped in its compost box, then it will decompose faster. Thus, the null hypothesis is that the thickest of the layered compost bins which has the most heat trapped in its compost box will not have an effect on its rate of decomposition. The results suggest that there was not a statistically significant association between the change in temperature and rate of decomposition of the compost bins.

#### Recommended Citation

Smith, Carter, "The Effect Of The Thickness Of A Layered Compost On The Rate Of Decomposition And Temperature Change" (2016). *South Carolina Junior Academy of Science*. 216.

http://scholarexchange.furman.edu/scjas/2016/all/216

#### Location

Owens 210

#### Start Date

4-16-2016 9:30 AM

The Effect Of The Thickness Of A Layered Compost On The Rate Of Decomposition And Temperature Change

Owens 210

This study investigated the possible relationship between the thickness of a layered compost system and the systems internal temperature on its rate of decomposition. The independent variable in this experiment are the amounts of each natural biodegradable materials in the compost such as: leaves, fruit, soil and the dependent variable is the rate of decomposition of the total compost pile. From this study, farmers, gardeners, etc. will be able to infer whether a thicker layered compost or one that is less thick is more effective, in the sense that it will decompose at a faster rate, with respect to the temperature. The problem being investigated was whether the thickness of a layered compost was related to either the temperature and or the rate of decomposition. In this experiment 12 compost bins were created 4 bins with 1 layering of compost, 4 bins with 2 layerings of compost, 4 bins with 3 layerings of compost. One to two times a week, measurements of the change in temperature and change in height over time were recorded. The hypothesis of this experiment was that if the compost bin that had more heat trapped in its compost box, then it will decompose faster. Thus, the null hypothesis is that the thickest of the layered compost bins which has the most heat trapped in its compost box will not have an effect on its rate of decomposition. The results suggest that there was not a statistically significant association between the change in temperature and rate of decomposition of the compost bins.