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 reports about: > Agronomy > Autonomous > Science TV > Soil > Soil Science > biological process > crop > environmental risk > gas emission > greenhouse gas emission > organic material > organic waste > treatment facilities > treatment plan > treatment plants > waste management > waste treatment
Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF
Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
18.07.2018 | Life Sciences
18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine