No dig diary, 7th November 2021

CompostWatch update: 😀

After measuring the temperature of the new heap late yesterday afternoon at about 28.5°C, this morning I put the thermometer in and it was up to 43°C! In the right light I could even see water condensing in the air above the heap, I assume from water vapour being given off as a result of the heat. I find it amazing that even in the mix of materials I’ve added, there are organisms happily munching away on it and driving up the temperature so fast. Possibly becoming far more organisms in the process. And presumably they must be fairly liberally covering all plants all of the time, just waiting for the right set of circumstances to occur so they can get to work.

There must be over a tonne of material in the bin now. I wonder how much energy it takes to raise the temperature of a tonne of green waste by 15°C? Assuming I’ve remembered my schoolboy physics correctly, to do the same for a tonne of water would take 63MJ or about 17.5kWh. The specific heat capacity of wood appears to average around the same as that for water and perhaps most green plant material isn’t that different. If that’s anywhere close it seems like a huge amount of energy being emitted. I might have to do some more research 🙂

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