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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

Nitrous oxide and methane emissions from food waste composting at different temperatures

Jarvis, Åsa; Sundberg, Cecilia; Pell, Mikael; Ermolaev, Evgheni; Smårs, Sven; Jönsson, Håkan

Abstract

Emissions of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) from composting of source-sorted food waste were studied at set temperatures of 40, 55 and 67 degrees C in 10 trials performed in a controlled environment 200 L compost reactor. CH4 and N2O concentrations were generally low. In trials with 16% O-2, the mean total CH4 emission at all temperatures was 0.007% of the mineralized carbon (C), while at 67 degrees C this fraction was 0.001%. Total CH4 production was higher in the 40 degrees C trial and the limited oxygen (1% O-2) trial, with emissions of 0.029 and 0.132% of the mineralized C respectively. An early increase in N2O production was observed in trials with higher initial nitrate contents. Increased CH4 and N2O production in trials at 40 and 55 degrees C after 50% of the initial C was mineralized resulted in higher total greenhouse gas emissions. Overall, the global warming potentials in CO2-equivalents from CH4 emissions were higher than from N2O, except for composts run at 67 degrees C. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords

Aeration; Denitrification; Greenhouse gas; Methanogen; Nitrification; Waste management

Published in

Waste Management
2015, Volume: 46, pages: 113-119