Compost gets hot because of the heat of biological activity. All of the living organisms that are breaking down the compost generate heat as they eat and respirate. Thus, where there’s a lot of biological activity going on, there’s heat.
The heat produced from composting is due to the microbial oxidation of carbon. What this means is that there are tiny microorganisms (bacteria) that break down organic matter in the compost, which contains high levels of carbon. The process of microbial oxidation (taking electrons away from the material) creates heat.
In any biological process, especially when dealing with microbial oxidation heat is released. In a compost, you have various organic material compacted together being continuously broken down by bacteria (releasing heat) and getting very hot hot hot.
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