A new Technology for Composting: Suction Aeration for Opening Composting Works


Courtesy of OTTO Technologies GmbH & Co AG

Cost-efficient solution for smell emission reduction

The enormous waste quantities that are produced day by day are one of the most difficult problems for the economy as such, for cities and communities and for private households. Storage capacities for waste are scarce everywhere. Therefore solutions of all kinds that reduce waste quantities or recycle waste materials to be reused in the material cycle are top priority for all concerned. For some time now, compost production has been a widely used approach to solve this problem. Unfortunately, strong, sometimes even pungent smells occur on the site of compost production as a very unpleasant side effect.

We would like to introduce a very economic solution for this problem. The OTTO-system reduces the occurrence of unpleasant smells. Above that, our procedure is able to monitor and control the composting process precisely. The result is considerable reduction of composting times. With this method you can produce hygienic, top-quality compost. Such compost is much easier to market (e.g. in agriculture or horticulture).


The OTTO-procedure for composting or cold pre-treatment combines the simple technical concept of open pit composting with controlled rot management in longish trapezoid pits, known as intensive rot. The OTTO-procedure is suitable both for composting green waste (from private households or from the food industry) and for communal waste remainders.

One of the decisive advantages of the described procedure is dramatic investment cost saving (only little construction expenses required). Another important effect is increased productivity of the composting plant.The pit is mounted on a negative-pressure channel laid in the floor. The negative-pressure and the specially designed channel provide even suction ventilation over the whole section of the pit.

Temperature and oxygen contents of the suction air serve as measure for rot process control. This control assures the oxygen supply, regulates heat activation of microorganisms, shortens the rot process and hence reduces the emission of smells by the factor 10-30. Hygienization is controlled and takes place at the optimum point of time during the rot process.


  • Reduction of passive smell burden to 3-10%
  • Cost-efficient even for de-central systems <6,500 Mg/a
  • Reduced rot times
  • Independent of turning system
  • Operating costs savings through lower shift requirements
  • Independent of pit shape (trapezoid, triangular, or board pit)
  • Suction air burdened with smell is cleaned through biowashers and biofilters
  • System can be designed according to water household law (WHG) Applications


  • New composting systems
  • Optimization of old systems with the aim of reducing the smell burden and expanding capacities
  • Composting of green wastes
  • Mechanical and biological treatment of waste remainders
  • Post-rot for all commercial intensive rot systems
  • Post-rot for anaerobic waste treatment Sanitation of store management for finished compost
  • Function of the OTTO-groove-system

Function of the OTTO-groove-system

The OTTO-groove-system consists of individual suction sections, a system of connecting pipes, a technology center and a biofilter-system. The suction sections again consist of the actual groove elements and the so-called catch pit (material: polymer concrete).

The OTTO-system first of all serves for suction ventilation of the pits placed above the OTTO-groove-system. The suction ventilation assures that the pit body is evenly supplied with oxygen all over the length of each groove element (up to 25 m) at any point of the composting process. By providing a sufficient number of system sections, very large rot zones can be operated. This method can also control the temperature and the water household in the pit. (Water supplies inlet through the already existing turning system during the turning process in the pit).

Another important function of the OTTO-groove-system is discharging leakage water that is brought in with newly spread material, or may occur on the surface under certain operating conditions. The condensate produced out of saturated exhaust air within the OTTO-groove-system is likewise discharged.

The catch pits accommodate the measuring and regulating equipment.

All elements are designed according tot load class D 400 (according to Din 19580) in order to cope with the specific static and dynamic loads applied to the system (e.g. through mobile turning systems, large wheel-loaders etc.).

The individual groove elements are installed according to layout with plane level or hydraulic level gradient. This assures self-cleaning of the groove elements.The system of connecting pipes (ventilation, wastewater and empty tube pipes for drawing the electric wires) is normally provided within the scope of civil engineering.

Normally, the components of the system for conditioning and cleaning of waste air are placed outside the actual rot zones. These components are: first the technology center (container with one or more ventilators, pumps and switch cabinet) and second the biofilter containers. In this way, the emission of the whole composting plant can be controlled precisely.

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