American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers



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FOOD WASTE COMPOSTING NITROUS OXIDE AS GHG EMISSION

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Paper number  131620588,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.13031/aim.20131620588) @2013
Authors:   Subhash C Paul, Brajesh Dubey
Keywords:   Food waste compost denitrification nitrous oxide

Abstract. N2O is considered the dominant ozone-depleting GHG in the 21st century after the decline of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) production. In this study, emissions of N2O from aerated food waste composting were investigated from various published data. A city such as Guelph is producing about 150 Kg/capita/year of food waste which is roughly amount to 25% of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). In the city of Guelph, food waste is collected separately as part of organic waste for organic waste processing facility (composting). During composting of food waste, N2O emission was estimated to 0.5% of its total nitrogen content. N2O emission is the peak during the composting days 36-40 of 60 days composting life cycle. N2O is produced during nitrification and denitrification phases of food waste composting. Improving aeration techniques, facility to produce CH4 gas during composting period, keeping optimum C/N ratio (20/1 - 25/1) of composting materials can inhibit denitrification to control N2O emission. But N2O losses for nitrification can’t be prevented.

Separate collection facility of food waste than yard waste, recyclable waste and garbage in separate streams can create reuse facility of food waste for other potential alternative products such as ethanol production. Optimum C/N ratio, optimum moisture content (40% - 60%) and oxygen flow during composting can control denitrification stage N2O emission. A city can make a long term plan for alternative reuse options of her food waste management. N2O capture is important to protect GHG emission.

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