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Research article2014Peer reviewed

Greenhouse gas emissions from home composting in practice

Ermolaev, Evgheni; Sundberg, Cecilia; Pell, Mikael; Jönsson, Håkan


In Sweden, 16% of all biologically treated food waste is home composted. Emissions of the greenhouse gases CH4 and N2O and emissions of NH3 from home composts were measured and factors affecting these emissions were examined. Gas and substrate in the compost bins were sampled and the composting conditions assessed 13 times during a 1-year period in 18 home composts managed by the home owners. The influence of process parameters and management factors was evaluated by regression analysis. The mean CH4 and N2O concentration was 28.1 and 5.46 ppm (v/v), respectively, above the ambient level and the CH4:CO2 and N2O:CO2 ratio was 0.38% and 0.15%, respectively (median values 0.04% and 0.07%, respectively). The home composts emitted less CH4 than large-scale composts, but similar amounts of N2O. Overall NH3 concentrations were low. Increasing the temperature, moisture content, mixing frequency and amount of added waste all increased CH4 emissions. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Ammonia; Carbon dioxide; Food waste; Methane; Nitrous oxide

Published in

Bioresource Technology
2014, Volume: 151, pages: 174-182 Publisher: ELSEVIER SCI LTD