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Article

Using Food Waste in Organic Fertilizer: Modelling Biogenic Carbon Sequestration with Associated Nutrient and Micropollutant Loads

Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
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Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7399; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187399
Received: 11 August 2020 / Revised: 3 September 2020 / Accepted: 6 September 2020 / Published: 9 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Organic Waste Management)
What are the effects, measured as flows of biogenic carbon, plant nutrients, and pollutants, of moving organic waste up the waste hierarchy? We present a case study of Denmark, where most of the organic fraction of household waste (OFHW) is incinerated, with ongoing efforts to increase bio-waste recycling. In this study, one-third of the OFHW produced in North Zealand, Denmark, is diverted away from incineration, according to the Danish Waste Resource Plan 2013–2018. Co-digestion of OFHW, and digestate application on agricultural soil, utilizes biogenic carbon, first for energy conversion, and the remainder for long-term soil sequestration, with additional benefits for plant nutrient composition by increasing the N:P ratio in the digestate. We show a dynamic model of the biogenic carbon flows in a mix of OFHW co-digested with livestock manure and sewage sludge, addressing the contribution of OFHW to long-term carbon sequestration compared to other agricultural residues and bio-wastes over a time span of 100 years. In addition, we trace the associated annual nutrient and cadmium loads to the topsoil. At constant annual input rates and management practices, a diversion of 33% of OFHW would result in an increased organic carbon build-up of approximately 4% over the current amounts applied. The addition of OFHW, moreover, beneficially adjusts the N:P ratio of the digestate mix upwards, albeit without reaching an ideally high ratio by that measure alone. Cd loads from OFHW remain well below regulatory limits. View Full-Text
Keywords: dynamic material flow analysis; bio-waste; food waste; biogas; carbon sequestration; nutrient cycling dynamic material flow analysis; bio-waste; food waste; biogas; carbon sequestration; nutrient cycling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Klinglmair, M.; Thomsen, M. Using Food Waste in Organic Fertilizer: Modelling Biogenic Carbon Sequestration with Associated Nutrient and Micropollutant Loads. Sustainability 2020, 12, 7399. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187399

AMA Style

Klinglmair M, Thomsen M. Using Food Waste in Organic Fertilizer: Modelling Biogenic Carbon Sequestration with Associated Nutrient and Micropollutant Loads. Sustainability. 2020; 12(18):7399. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187399

Chicago/Turabian Style

Klinglmair, Manfred, and Marianne Thomsen. 2020. "Using Food Waste in Organic Fertilizer: Modelling Biogenic Carbon Sequestration with Associated Nutrient and Micropollutant Loads" Sustainability 12, no. 18: 7399. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187399

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