A Literature Review and Analysis of Compost Aeration Emissions Measurement Methods

This literature review evaluated current compost emissions testing methods to provide an analysis of current practices as well as constraints associated with those practices and potential new approaches that have the potential to be more cost-effective while providing an acceptable level of accuracy. The initial part of this review has been completed. It is currently in the process of getting ready to go out for peer review. If accepted, the CREF will make that full version available, open access, as it did with the soluble salts project.

The researchers chosen to do this project, Andrew Carpenter & Lauren Souther, Northern Tilth and Sally Brown, University of Washington, were asked to do the following:

  1. Identify current air emissions testing methods used at compost facilities and costs associated with these methods, and interview source testing companies that gather the samples and the analytical laboratories that analyze the samples and,
  2. Interview compost facility owners who contract out these services to corroborate cost data and understand how they view the testing services they have access to, and
  3. Review and analyze air emissions data sets generated by previous testing of air emission sampling at compost facilities to assess the strengths and weaknesses of these methods, and
  4. Review peer-reviewed publications where alternative sampling and analysis methods have been used to measure air emissions from composting facilities.
  5. Recommend next steps for development and testing of alternative sampling and analysis methods required to bring them into practice.


The project researchers wrote a shorter version of the potential peer-reviewed paper summing up their findings. You can read that version HERE

Andrew Carpenter, founder of Northern Tilth, is a certified soil scientist, certified crop advisor and certified nutrient management planning specialist. Andrew has recently joined the CREF Board of Trustees.





Dr. Sally Brown is a Research Associate Professor, Ecosystem Science Division, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington in Seattle. Sally has done other projects for CREF including as one of the editors of the Compost & Climate Connection.





Lauren Souther graduated with a BS in Wildlife Biology from Unity College. She currently works as a Nutrient Management Planner for Northern Tilth.







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