Characterization of different decomposition stages of biowaste using FT-IR spectroscopy and pyrolysis-field ionization mass spectrometry
The decomposition stage and stabilization of organic matter in biowaste (mixture of yard waste and kitchen waste), originating from an open windrow process, were investigated using Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy and pyrolysis-field ionization mass spectrometry (Py-FIMS). These investigations provided detailed information about chemical constituents and their behavior during the composting process. The chemical compounds were classified by their molecular signals in Py-FIMS. Multivariate statistical analysis revealed, that during the composting process, the group containing lipids, fatty acids and other chemical compounds with aliphatic skeletons changed the most. Corresponding with Py-FIMS findings changes were observed in absorbance bands of infrared spectra that reflect this group of organic compounds: the aliphatic methylene bands at 2925 and 2850cm-1, the band of C=O vibrations of carboxylates at 1640cm-1, the O=H in-plane bend of carboxylic acids, the CO2 stretch of carboxylates and the CH2 group of alkanes at around 1430cm-1. During decomposition these bands decreased up to a steady level that indicated stabilization. The band at 1260–1240cm-1 that can be assigned to the C=O stretch of carboxylic acids or to the C=N stretch of amides and the band of aromatic amines at 1320cm-1 disappeared completely. The nitrate band at 1384cm-1 appeared at a later stage of the composting process. The relative increase of chemical compounds like moieties of lignin, humic acids and tannins in the composted material contributed to the aromatic C=C band at around 1640cm-1.