There is proposed a process and an apparatus for utilising organic material, in which the material is suitably comminuted and subsequently processed in mixing and reaction steps to give utilisable compost. The apparatus (100) essentially comprises a heatable fermenter (70) equipped inside with a stirrer (75). For a more or less closed process circuit, the comminuted material, as so-called unfermented material, is fed from a feed shaft (35) to a conveying shaft (60) designed as a heat exchanger, where it is heated in a suitable manner.; Further feeding of unfermented material feeds the unfermented material which has already been heated to the fermenter (70), where it is mixed by means of the stirrer (75), with further heating. During the entire process circuit, the fermented material which is formed in the fermenter 70 can be admixed to the unfermented material in a certain ratio during the feeding of further unfermented material in the form of a so-called bacterial inoculum. The gases which are formed in the container during the fermentation process can either be used as process energy in the apparatus (100) or, alternatively, fed through a pipe 80'' to a different plant for providing energy.