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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2011

Current-use and Organochlorine Pesticides and Polychlorinated Biphenyls in the Biodegradable Fraction of Source Separated Household Waste, Compost, and Anaerobic Digestate

Hellstrom, Anna; Nilsson, Marie-Louise; Kylin, Henrik


Several current-use (a parts per thousand currency sign80 ng g(-1) dry weight) and organochlorine pesticides (a parts per thousand currency sign15 ng g(-1) dry weight) and polychlorinated biphenyls (a parts per thousand currency sign18 ng g(-1) dry weight) were found in the biodegradable fraction of source separated household waste, compost, and/or anaerobic digestate. The degradation rates of individual compounds differ depending on the treatment. Dieldrin and pentachloroaniline, e.g., degrade more rapidly than the waste is mineralized and accumulates in the products after all treatments. Many organochlorines degrade at the same rate as the waste and have the same concentrations in the waste and products. Chlorpyrifos degrades slower than the waste and accumulates in all products and ethion during anaerobic digestion. The polychlorinated biphenyls and some pesticides show different degradations rates relative the waste during different processes. Understanding the degradation of the contaminants under different conditions is necessary to develop quality criteria for the use of compost and digestate.


Organic waste; Composting; Mesophilic digestion; Thermophilic digestion; Recirculation

Published in

Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
2011, Volume: 86, number: 1, pages: 60-64