Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Measuring the stability of organic waste

29.03.2010
A new tool developed to measure stability in organic wastes

The number of waste treatment facilities using biological processes to biodegrade waste has been increasing over the years. These installations receive municipal and industrial organic wastes with the common main goal of reducing their biodegradable organic matter content.

Composting, anaerobic digestion, and mechanical-biological treatment plants contribute to organic matter recycling and energy recovery, and avoid landfilling.

The general goal of those facilities is to stabilize the organic wastes. Stability is defined as the extent to which readily biodegradable organic matter has decomposed. Microorganisms perform the work of decomposition, but what determines when they are finished? A consensus has not yet been reached concerning the most suitable measurement of biodegradable organic matter, or stability, in a solid organic waste. A method for the measure of stability will allow for the proper analysis and design of waste treatment facilities and it is required to evaluate their efficiency.

The composting research group at Autonomous University of Barcelona led by Dr. Antoni Sánchez has investigated different methodologies to measure stability focusing on biological indicators, in a study funded by the Spanish Science and Education Ministry and the Catalonia Waste Agency. Authors have presented an improved methodology in the March-April 2010 issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality, which offers a reliable measurement of the biodegradable organic matter content in organic solid materials, useful for researchers and industrial operators. The journal is published by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.

This study analyzed samples of food and garden wastes, mixed municipal solid wastes and sludge from wastewater treatment plants. The proposed methodology measures the respiration activity of microorganisms in the waste samples and establishes different respiration indices based on how fast those microorganisms consume oxygen and how much oxygen they have consumed.

The authors have established that respiration indices can be used as a measure of the biodegradable organic matter content and stability of organic materials and have defined the most suitable form of expression for those indices. Highly biodegradable wastes will have higher respiration rates, and wastes of low biodegradability will have lower respiration rates.

Research is ongoing at the Autonomous University of Barcelona to apply the developed methodology as a diagnostic tool in waste treatment facilities as well as to investigate the effect of stability on greenhouse gas emissions and the overall environmental impact of waste management systems. The authors highlight the need for an agreement of an international standard to be used by researchers and operators in the waste management field.

The full article is available for no charge for 30 days following the date of this summary. View the abstract at http://jeq.scijournals.org/cgi/content/full/39/2/706.

The Journal of Environmental Quality, http://jeq.scijournals.org is a peer-reviewed, international journal of environmental quality in natural and agricultural ecosystems published six times a year by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA). The Journal of Environmental Quality covers various aspects of anthropogenic impacts on the environment, including terrestrial, atmospheric, and aquatic systems.

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) www.agronomy.org, is a scientific society helping its 8,000+ members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives, and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services.

Sara Uttech | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.sciencesocieties.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA laser communications to provide Orion faster connections

30.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study

30.03.2017 | Studies and Analyses

Unique genome architectures after fertilisation in single-cell embryos

30.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>