Decomposition of Organic Material.

Essay by ivory4646University, Bachelor'sA+, April 2003

download word file, 4 pages 3.0

Decomposition Lab Experiment

"Wasting Away"

Decomposition of Organic Material


For a period of eight weeks, an experiment was conducted to see how organic material would naturally decompose. On September 9, two plastic bags of the same size were filled with exactly the same amounts of organic material, a portion of banana peel, some bread, and some soil. The initial weight of each bag was 30.45 grams. One bag was labeled as control subject A, the second bag was labeled as subject B. For the next eight weeks, control A was to be stored in an incubator of 98 degrees. Subject B was to be stored at room temperature. My question was, would the weight of each specimen decline in weight, increase in weight, or stay the same? My guess was that the weight of each specimen would decrease, control A would decrease at a more rapid rate however, because bacteria multiplies quicker in warmer conditions.

Every seven days, each bag was weighed, and documented. The results were as I suspected, each specimen did in fact decrease in weight, and control A did loose mass at a quicker rate than subject B.


I initially had two different paths of thought when examining this project; that either the specimens would increase in weight after a period of time, or decrease over a period of time. I first assumed that because bacteria multiply, that it would obviously increase the weight of the subjects. After I reassessed this hypothesis, I realized that bacteria does in fact multiply, and consume more space, but it also consumes the organic material itself. Therefore, I needed to decide which had more weight mass: the bacteria that would eventually engulf my specimens, or the organic material itself. I decided to think that the organic material (banana,