Characterization of recycled mushroom compost leachate by chemical analysis and thermogravimetry-mass spectrometry

G. Lyons, M. Kilpatrick, H. S. Shekhar Sharma, R. Noble, A. Dobrovin-Pennington, P. J. Hobbs, F. Andrews, E. Carmichael

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10 Citations (SciVal)


Recycled compost leachate (RCL or euphemistically named ?goody water?) can be a potent source of foul odor on mushroom substrate production sites and contributes to composting smells. A complex mixture of sulfur compounds, fatty acids, and nitrogen containing compounds is responsible for odor production. Fifty samples, collected from 14 compost production sites in Ireland and the U.K. over a 2 year period, were analyzed for chemical properties and by thermogravimetry−mass spectrometry (TG−MS) for compositional differences. Results indicated that aerated samples had lower values of electrical conductivity, redox potential, and dry matter content than nonaerated samples and that the higher thermal stability of aerated samples measured by TGA could be attributed to greater mineralization of the substrate due to aerobic processes. The lower temperatures noted for peak evolution of methane, water, and carbon dioxide from TG−MS analysis suggested that a more energetic process had occurred in aerated RCL storage facilities, producing greater decomposition of macromolecules that volatilized at lower temperatures. Chemical composition, thermal stability of the freeze-dried leachate, pyrolysis profiles, and relative amounts of pyrolysis products were all markers of as to how effective control measures could influence RCL quality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6488-6497
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • mass spectrometry
  • recycled compost leachate
  • thermogravimetry
  • odors.


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