Calcium cyanamide for better rotting
The accelerated rotting of organic matter using calcium cyanamide was formerly used to produce so-called "artificial manure" or "propagating manure". Today calcium cyanamide is used in the manufacture of compost.
The resulting organic materials often have a wide C/N ratio of about 80:1. However, the microorganisms responsible for the rotting require a narrower C/N ratio of about 20:1. So nitrogen has to be added to the rotting material so that the bacterial flora can develop better. During the rotting process organic acids are generated as intermediate products. These need to be neutralized before they can be used to build valuable humic substances.
Calcium cyanamide fulfills these two conditions that are required for rapid rotting of organic substances - additional nitrogen and neutralization of acids.
Tests at the University of Goettingen have shown that unlike other fertilizers calcium cyanamide not only ensures accelerated rotting but also fully converts the organic material.
The accelerated rotting causes the compost heap to sag faster and stronger, thus ensuring a better use of space.
Adding calcium cyanamide increases the bacterial activity and enables the compost heap to reach the ideal temperatures and achieve the reaction time necessary for killing off weed seeds and pathogens such as salmonella.
Due to the stronger increase in temperature in the compost, calcium cyanamide also combats fungal growth in the compost and the spread of weeds and fungal diseases. It also helps stop harmful rodents becoming established.