Sparking a hot compost pile

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Composting Around the World: Sparking a hot compost pile
Author: Robert Krueger
Thursday, August 26, 2004 - 7:57 pm
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I have been a humanure composter for 3 1/2 years. I have noticed during this time that adding used vegetable oil to my piles increases the temperature into the hot range (over 105 degrees). Since I have an ample supply of used veg. oil from resturants, due to our use in our veg. oil diesel car, I have added 5-10 gallons over several week into each pile. I am guessing that the vegetable oil increases the amount of nitrogen and so brings the C-N ratio into an optimal range for hot composting. I usually add the oil (about 2-3 gallons initially) when the pile is about 70 degrees, and by the next day the pile is usually over 105 on its way to 140+ degrees.
I was wondering if anyone else has noticed this; does increased nitrogen in the veg. oil and its effect on the C-N ratio seem like a likely reason why I am seeing a spark effect? Our piles usually get up to 155 to 160 degrees and stay hot for about 2 and sometimes 3 months.

Author: TCLynx
Monday, January 02, 2006 - 10:46 am
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I have read that others have seen a pile stay active through a cold winter when they susally freeze when they added oil or wine leavings.

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