Quantitative effects of composting state variables on C/N ratio through GA-aided multivariate analysis
- Additional Document Info
- View All
It is widely known that variation of the C/N ratio is dependent on many state variables during composting processes. This study attempted to develop a genetic algorithm aided stepwise cluster analysis (GASCA) method to describe the nonlinear relationships between the selected state variables and the C/N ratio in food waste composting. The experimental data from six bench-scale composting reactors were used to demonstrate the applicability of GASCA. Within the GASCA framework, GA searched optimal sets of both specified state variables and SCA's internal parameters; SCA established statistical nonlinear relationships between state variables and the C/N ratio; to avoid unnecessary and time-consuming calculation, a proxy table was introduced to save around 70% computational efforts. The obtained GASCA cluster trees had smaller sizes and higher prediction accuracy than the conventional SCA trees. Based on the optimal GASCA tree, the effects of the GA-selected state variables on the C/N ratio were ranged in a descending order as: NH₄+-N concentration>Moisture content>Ash Content>Mean Temperature>Mesophilic bacteria biomass. Such a rank implied that the variation of ammonium nitrogen concentration, the associated temperature and the moisture conditions, the total loss of both organic matters and available mineral constituents, and the mesophilic bacteria activity, were critical factors affecting the C/N ratio during the investigated food waste composting. This first application of GASCA to composting modelling indicated that more direct search algorithms could be coupled with SCA or other multivariate analysis methods to analyze complicated relationships during composting and many other environmental processes.
has subject area