Round two of my experiment is in the incubator as of 20 minutes ago! Our new design idea has accounted for the factors that may have influenced our last experiment such as the condensation in the jar was contaminating the plates. The solution to this was to place a blank petri dish at the top of the jar, over the stack of prepared plates, so that hopefully if there is condensation contamination, it happens in the blank plate.  We also took the screws out of the lids that go on the jars so that there are now two holes in the top of the jars. This will allow for the condensation to escape the jar and be less of a threat. Now you may be thinking; well won’t that allow all of the VOCs being emitted from the compost to escape?  The answer is not really. Because there is such a high concentration of VOCs being emitted and because the holes in the lid are relatively small, as well as the factor that the plates reach almost the very top of the lid on the jar(see picture below to make sense of this) the amount of VOCs that escape will be relatively low. To prevent the possible contamination of VOCs on the other plates already in the incubator, we have claimed our own incubator so that the volume of VOCs will be contained to only my experiment. Check back in 7 days for the results!

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