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A heterotrophic organism (including bacteria and fungi) which breaks down the complex compounds of dead protoplasm, absorbs some decomposition products, and releases substances usable by consumers. Also known as microcomposer; microconsumer; reducer.



an apparatus that decomposes aluminate solutions in order to isolate crystalline aluminum hydroxide.

A decomposer is fitted with a mechanical stirrring device or an air mixer. A decomposer with mechanical stirring consists of a steel tank (diameter and height, 8 m), inside which a chain stirrer turns slowly in order to keep the seeding crystals in suspension. Air-stirred decomposers have come into extensive use (height, about 30 m; diameter, 8 m; available capacity, over 1,000 cu m). The stirring equipment consists of two vertical tubes along the decomposer’s axis. The inner tube, through which compressed air is sent under a pressure of 0.5 meganewtons per sq m, is 300 mm shorter than the outer one.

Air mixing with the solution forms an air-pulp mixture less dense than the pulp itself. Rising through the space between the tubes, this mixture attracts adjacent layers of pulp, mixes with them, and creates continuous upward motion of the pulp. Decomposers are connected in series (10-15 units). The aluminate solution and seeding are sent continuously to the head decomposers of each series, while the hydrated pulp is removed continuously from the tail end.


Lainer, A. I. Proizvodstvo glinozema. Moscow, 1961.
Beliaev, A. I. Metallurgiia legkikh metallov, 6th ed. Moscow, 1970.




a saprophytic organism that mineralizes dead organic matter, that is, breaks organic matter down into more or less simple inorganic compounds. The overwhelming majority of decomposers are microorganisms that live in soil and water. They belong to the group of consumers.

References in periodicals archive ?
A GROUP of Indian and American researchers have found that some species of bacteria have the potential to decompose residues of commonly used pesticide Hexachlorocyclohexane ( HCH), which is now identified as a global pollutant.
The furnace atomization method is a method in which the waste liquid is sprayed into a furnace at a temperature of over 1,000 degrees Celsius to decompose cyanogen compounds.
In addition it also meets the requirements of EN 13432 certification, which specifies that the material must decompose to a level of 90% within 180 days under industrial composting conditions.
They found that plastics believed to be virtually indestructible decompose with surprising speed in the sea.
While many people might question the point of raking leaves at all if they are going to decompose anyway, especially in a woodland garden, don't forget the more fragile specimens which are so often planted underneath the trees, such as herbaceous plants and pint-sized bulbs, which could be smothered by the thick blanket of leaves.
ELCAT is a two-stage wastewater treatment system that decomposes and treats persistent organic substances by making them easier to decompose.
I've heard conflicting reports regarding how long it really takes for a plastic grocery bag to decompose.
Similar methods for decomposing corpses have been developed elsewhere, but they decompose corpses at much higher temperatures.
Schuyler says the fascinating marsh plant he named more than three decades ago now urgently deserves further study of its potential to decompose oil.
Extensive tests on the products, carried out by Lincoln & York, show that the metalized packaging decomposes within one year and the transparent packaging takes just six to seven months to decompose.
Crop residues decompose into soil organic matter, which provides nutrients to crops, limits erosion, and helps retain soil moisture.
He explained that many things we throw away decompose when they are eaten by tiny living organisms, such as bacteria.