A field and two container experiments were conducted to assess uncomposted wool and hair wastes as a nutrient source for crops and to evaluate their potential to improve soil biological and chemical properties. Overall, addition of wool or hair waste to soil increased yields of basil (Ocimum basilicum L. 'Trakia'), thorn apple (Datura innoxia Mill. 'Inka'), peppermint (Mentha x piperita L. 'Black Mitchum'), and garden sage (Salvia officinalis L. 'Desislava'), increased NH(4)-N and NO(3)-N in soil, increased total N (and protein) content in plant tissue, stimulated soil microbial biomass, and decreased mycorrhizae colonization of plant roots of thorn apple but not in basil. Wool and hair waste additions to soil altered slightly the content and composition of plant secondary metabolites (essential oils or alkaloids); however, overall the constituents remained within the "typical" range for the respective crops. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis demonstrated that wool and hair wastes decompose slowly under field or greenhouse conditions, and act as a slow release S, N, P, and K fertilizer. These results, along with the measured concentrations of NO(3)-N in soil at harvest, suggest that the addition of wool or hair waste of only 3.3 g kg(-1) of soil may support two to five harvests or crops under greenhouse conditions and two to four field seasons in field production systems, and would improve soil biological and chemical characteristics. Further research is needed to optimize the rate of application of these waste materials to the nutrient requirements of specific crops to avoid nitrate leaching into the ground water. In addition, the effect of wool and hair waste on other environmental end points should also be further investigated before specific recommendations for growers are provided.
Limited natural resources and landfill space, as well as increasing amounts of ash produced from incineration of bio fuel and municipal solid waste, have created a demand for useful applications of ash, of which road construction is one application. Along national road 90, situated about 20 km west of Sollefteå in the middle of Sweden, an experiment road was constructed with a 40 cm bio fuel ash layer. The environmental impact of the ash layer was evaluated from soil solutions obtained by centrifugation of soil samples taken on four occasions during 2001-2003. Soil samples were taken in the ash layer, below the ash layer at two depths in the road and in the ditch. In the soil solutions, pH, conductivity, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and the total concentration of cations (metals) and anions were determined. Two years after the application of the ash layers in the test road, the concentrations in the ash layer of K, SO4, Zn, and Hg had increased significantly while the concentration of Se, Mo and Cd had decreased significantly. Below the ash layer in the road an initial increase of pH was observed and the concentrations of K, SO4, Se, Mo and Cd increased significantly, while the concentrations of Cu and Hg decreased significantly in the road and also in the ditch. Cd was the element showing a potential risk of contamination of the groundwater. The concentrations of Ca in the ash layer indicated an ongoing hardening, which is important for the leaching rate and the strength of the road construction.
Organic wastes, such as the organic fractions of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) or sewage sludge (SS), have become a serious environmental problem in Russia as well as in other countries. The use of these wastes as soil amendments allows their negative impact on the environment to be minimized. However, before these wastes can be used, they need to be treated appropriately in order to decrease their level of hazard. In this study, composting of raw SS, OFMSW, a mixture of these two wastes (OFMSW+SS) at a ratio 1:2 as well as the anaerobically digested variants of these wastes (SSd, OFMSWd and OFMSWd+SSd) mixed with oiled sawdust was performed. Composting was conducted in the containers containing 20kg of the wastes. The results of three elutriate bioassays (with water flea Daphnia magna, infusoria Paramecium caudatum and radish plant, Raphanus sativus) and one contact bioassay (with oat plant Avena sativa) were used to indirectly estimate changes in the hazardous properties of the biological treatments. Besides, Corg, Ntot content and pH were analyzed in the process of composting. Within the study stability tests to determine maturation process completion were not carried out. It was revealed, that in the process of anaerobic pretreatment for 15days, the toxicity increased by a mean of 1.3-, 1.9- and 1.1-fold for OFMSW, SS and OFMSW+SS, respectively. During composting, the toxicity level of these pretreated samples decreased more rapidly as compared with those which were not pretreated. As a result, the toxicity levels of the elutriates from the final composts made of pretreated wastes OFMSW, SS and OFMSW+SS were three-, two- and 17-fold lower for D. magna and 15-, 21- and 12-fold lower for P. caudatum. As follows from phytotoxicity estimations, composts from digested substrates became mature on the 60th day and had a stimulation effect on the plants after the 90th day of incubation. For the composts prepared from raw substrates, a significantly longer period was needed for maturation. On the basis of ecotoxicity changes of the wastes treated, it can be concluded that anaerobic pretreatment of the municipal solid wastes is an effective acceleration tool for further composting and that waste mixtures can be treated more efficient as compared with raw wastes.
Problems associated with sewage treatment and human wastes at high latitudes are briefly reviewed. In view of the fact that E. coli and other faecal bacteria can survive in the snow and the coastal waters of polar regions, several methods of how to deal with sewage outfalls in the Arctic and Antarctic are compared and discussed. Some consequences of raw sewage on the health of captive populations of a variety of Antarctic invertebrates and fish are described. Locomotion and respiration appear to be most affected. However, gaps, both in understanding the biological impact of human sewage on polar ecosystems and in finding optimal solutions for the disposal and treatment of the wastes generated by people who live in polar settlements, unfortunately still remain.
Beneficial use of waste relies on efficient systems for collection and separation. In Sweden, a bring system involving recycling centres for collection of bulky, electr(on)ic and hazardous waste has been introduced. A significant share of this waste is incorrectly sorted, causing downstream environmental implications. At present, however, there is a lack of affordable and accurate monitoring methods for providing the recycling centres with the necessary facts for improving the sorting of waste. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the usability of a simplified and potentially more suitable waste monitoring method for recycling centres. This method is based on standardised observations where the occurrence of incorrect sorting is monitored by taking digital pictures of the waste which then are analysed according to certain guidelines. The results show that the developed monitoring method could offer a resource-efficient and useful tool for proactive quality work at recycling centres, involving continuous efforts in developing and evaluating measures for improved sorting of waste. More research is however needed in order to determine to what extent the obtained results from the monitoring method are reliable.
The aim of this study was to compare the effect of mesophilic anaerobic digestion with aerobic storage on the survival of selected indigenous microorganisms and microbial groups in blackwater, including the effect of addition of Greenlandic Halibut and shrimp offal. The methane yield of the different substrate mixtures was determined in batch experiments to study possible correlation between methanogenic activity in the anaerobic digesters and reduction of indigenous microorganisms in the blackwater. By the end of the experiments a recovery study was conducted to determine possible injury of the microorganisms. In both anaerobic and aerobic samples, survival of Escherichia coli was better in the presence of Greenlandic Halibut offal when compared to samples containing blackwater only and blackwater and shrimp offal, possibly due to more available carbon in the samples containing Greenlandic Halibut offal. Reduction of faecal streptococci was large under both anaerobic and aerobic conditions, and the results indicated a complete removal of faecal streptococci in the anaerobic samples containing blackwater and a mixture of blackwater and shrimp offal after 17 and 31 days, respectively. Amoxicillin resistant bacteria were reduced in the anaerobic samples in the beginning of the study but increased towards the end of it. The opposite pattern was observed in the aerobic samples, with a growth in the beginning followed by a reduction. During the anaerobic digestion tetracycline resistant bacteria showed the least reduction in the mixture of blackwater and shrimp offal, which had the lowest methane yield while the highest reduction was observed in the mixture of blackwater and Greenlandic Halibut, where the highest methane yield was measured Reduction of coliphages was larger under anaerobic conditions. Addition of fish offal had no effect on survival of coliphages. The results of the recovery study indicated that a fraction of the E. coli in the aerobic blackwater sample and of the faecal streptococci in both the anaerobic and aerobic samples containing blackwater and Greenlandic Halibut were injured only, and thus able to resuscitate during recovery. The use of anaerobic digestion in the Arctic is limited to substrate types like those tested in this study because of absence of agriculture. The results indicate that anaerobic digestion of wastewater could benefit from the addition of fish offal, with respect to both microbial reduction and energy production.
This study examined the effects of an increased load of nitrogen-rich organic material on anaerobic digestion and methane production. Co-digestion of fish waste silage (FWS) and cow manure (CM) was studied in two parallel laboratory-scale (8L effective volume) semi-continuous stirred tank reactors (designated R1 and R2). A reactor fed with CM only (R0) was used as control. The reactors were operated in the mesophilic range (37°C) with a hydraulic retention time of 30 days, and the entire experiment lasted for 450 days. The rate of organic loading was raised by increasing the content of FWS in the feed stock. During the experiment, the amount (volume%) of FWS was increased stepwise in the following order: 3% - 6% - 13% - 16%, and 19%. Measurements of methane production, and analysis of volatile fatty acids, ammonium and pH in the effluents were carried out. The highest methane production from co-digestion of FWS and CM was 0.400 L CH4 gVS(-1), obtained during the period with loading of 16% FWS in R2. Compared to anaerobic digestion of CM only, the methane production was increased by 100% at most, when FWS was added to the feed stock. The biogas processes failed in R1 and R2 during the periods, with loadings of 16% and 19% FWS, respectively. In both reactors, the biogas processes failed due to overloading and accumulation of ammonia and volatile fatty acids.
An environmental assessment of six scenarios for handling of garden waste in the Municipality of Aarhus (Denmark) was performed from a life cycle perspective by means of the LCA-model EASEWASTE. In the first (baseline) scenario, the current garden waste management system based on windrow composting was assessed, while in the other five scenarios alternative solutions including incineration and home composting of fractions of the garden waste were evaluated. The environmental profile (normalised to Person Equivalent, PE) of the current garden waste management in Aarhus is in the order of -6 to 8 mPE Mg(-1) ww for the non-toxic categories and up to 100 mPE Mg(-1) ww for the toxic categories. The potential impacts on non-toxic categories are much smaller than what is found for other fractions of municipal solid waste. Incineration (up to 35% of the garden waste) and home composting (up to 18% of the garden waste) seem from an environmental point of view suitable for diverting waste away from the composting facility in order to increase its capacity. In particular the incineration of woody parts of the garden waste improved the environmental profile of the garden waste management significantly.
By using life cycle assessment (LCA) modeling, this paper compares the environmental performance of six landfilling technologies (open dump, conventional landfill with flares, conventional landfill with energy recovery, standard bioreactor landfill, flushing bioreactor landfill and semi-aerobic landfill) and assesses the influence of the active operations practiced on these performances. The environmental assessments have been performed by means of the LCA-based tool EASEWASTE, whereby the functional unit utilized for the LCA is "landfilling of 1ton of wet household waste in a 10m deep landfill for 100 years". The assessment criteria include standard categories (global warming, nutrient enrichment, ozone depletion, photo-chemical ozone formation and acidification), toxicity-related categories (human toxicity and ecotoxicity) and impact on spoiled groundwater resources. Results demonstrate that it is crucially important to ensure the highest collection efficiency of landfill gas and leachate since a poor capture compromises the overall environmental performance. Once gas and leachate are collected and treated, the potential impacts in the standard environmental categories and on spoiled groundwater resources significantly decrease, although at the same time specific emissions from gas treatment lead to increased impact potentials in the toxicity-related categories. Gas utilization for energy recovery leads to saved emissions and avoided impact potentials in several environmental categories. Measures should be taken to prevent leachate infiltration to groundwater and it is essential to collect and treat the generated leachate. The bioreactor technologies recirculate the collected leachate to enhance the waste degradation process. This allows the gas collection period to be reduced from 40 to 15 years, although it does not lead to noticeable environmental benefits when considering a 100 years LCA-perspective. In order to more comprehensively understand the influence of the active operations (i.e., leachate recirculation, waste flushing and air injection) on the environmental performance, the time horizon of the assessment has been split into two time periods: years 0-15 and 16-100. Results show that if these operations are combined with gas utilization and leachate treatment, they are able to shorten the time frame that emissions lead to environmental impacts of concern.
The total volume of the coal processing wastes (filter cakes) produced by Russia, China, and India is as high as dozens of millions of tons per year. The concentrations of CO and CO2 in the emissions from the combustion of filter cakes have been measured directly for the first time. They are the biggest volume of coal processing wastes. There have been many discussions about using these wastes as primary or secondary components of coal-water slurries (CWS) and coal-water slurries containing petrochemicals (CWSP). Boilers have already been operationally tested in Russia for the combustion of CWSP based on filter cakes. In this work, the concentrations of hazardous emissions have been measured at temperatures ranging from 500 to 1000°?. The produced CO and CO2 concentrations are shown to be practically constant at high temperatures (over 900°?) for all the coal processing wastes under study. Experiments have shown the feasibility to lowering the combustion temperatures of coal processing wastes down to 750-850°?. This provides sustainable combustion and reduces the CO and CO2 emissions 1.2-1.7 times. These relatively low temperatures ensure satisfactory environmental and energy performance of combustion. Using CWS and CWSP instead of conventional solid fuels significantly reduces NOx and SOx emissions but leaves CO and CO2 emissions practically at the same level as coal powder combustion. Therefore, the environmentally friendly future (in terms of all the main atmospheric emissions: CO, CO2, NOx, and SOx) of both CWS and CWSP technologies relies on low-temperature combustion.