Supporting scientific research is a core focus of the CREF mission. Here are some of the most current research projects and upcoming future project areas from the Foundation:
The CREF is in the process of completing the scientific review of the Soluble Salt Paper it has commissioned. Once the scientific review is completed it will be published here.
Field Sampling of Compost Materials
The Compost Sampling Video Project developed a two-part video series designed to educate composters on how to effectively and accurately take samples from both finished compost or an active heterogeneous stockpile or windrow. A Sampling Reference Guide is being written as an additional educational tool. Sampling Video Page
Compostables Field Testing Program
The CREF and partners have created a ready-to-go field test for certified compostable food packaging. This open source standardized field test will provide baseline data on composting conditions that impact disintegration of compostable products and packaging. This will allow the CREF to develop tools for composters wanting to understand best practices for processing these feedstocks. Field Testing Page
This literature review is evaluating current air quality testing methods to determine their effectiveness and identify possible changes or alternatives to current testing methods that are more cost-effective and will provide suitably accurate data regarding the emissions at a compost facility. This review is currently underway with a target completion in the spring 2019.
Awarded Two Young Investigator Scholarships to college students to encourage compost research. Research scholarships are given out annually.
- Donald De Alwis was awarded a scholarship for his project focused on the use of locally sourced compost to facilitate hydric soil conditions in wetland restoration.
- Sally Landefeld’s research project aims to characterize the relationship between soil health and plant health: Does healthier soil grow healthier food? Young Investigator Page
Other research projects being considered for 2019:
- Carbon storage in soils using compost: Collection and review of current research application rates based on soil types marketability ecosystem services credits of compost;
- Compost Use Green Infrastructure: Review of current research to summarize the concentration of nutrient leaching (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and trace metals) of compost in engineered soils;
- Review the current research on compost's water-holding capacity and its role in water conservation;
- Chemical Contaminant Testing Protocol: Summarize current remediation practices and develop testing protocols for pesticides/herbicides/contaminates in feedstocks & finished composts;
- Disease Suppression in Compost: Review current research and develop a background paper on the capacity of compost to suppress disease, including pathogen specific modes of action.
Go here to find a list of other research projects CREF has done over the years.