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Open AccessArticle

OrganicWaste for Compost and Biochar in the EU: Mobilizing the Potential

Biotechnology in Resources Management, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Coudraystr. 7, Weimar 99423, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in Meyer-Kohlstock, D.; Sebök, S.; Schmitz, T.; Kraft, E. Municipal Organic Residues for Biochar and Compost in the EU27. In Setting the Course for a Biobased Economy, Proceedings of the 21st European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, Copenhagen, Denmark, 4 June 2013; pp. 71–77. doi:10.5071/21stEUBCE2013-1BO.6.1.
Academic Editor: Witold-Roger Poganietz
Resources 2015, 4(3), 457-475;
Received: 7 April 2015 / Revised: 8 June 2015 / Accepted: 17 June 2015 / Published: 25 June 2015
While several EU member states have working compost markets, only about one third of the bio-waste, around 35 Mio tons is used to produce compost, and to some degree, biogas. The major part is still incinerated or landfilled together with other waste. This paper proposes the improvement of existing and the creation of new compost markets based on the integration of biochar and the implementation of obligatory recycling targets with flexible implementation approaches. Based on a literature review, the production of compost with biochar reduces some of the nitrogen and carbon losses and accelerates the composting process. This indicates economical benefits for the compost producer and the farmer, as well as reduced greenhouse gas emissions. An obligation to recycle organic waste, may it be on a national or on EU level, together with the implementation of appropriate collection systems, could provide the economic and societal base to mobilize the currently unused bio-waste. Should this scenario be realized, the annual amount of biochar-compost out of bio-waste could be used to serve around 3.7% of all arable land in the EU. This would demand no large-scale application, but instead specific uses for specific soil-crop constellations. View Full-Text
Keywords: biochar; compost; European Union; feedstock; potential; bio-waste; collection biochar; compost; European Union; feedstock; potential; bio-waste; collection
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Meyer-Kohlstock, D.; Schmitz, T.; Kraft, E. OrganicWaste for Compost and Biochar in the EU: Mobilizing the Potential. Resources 2015, 4, 457-475.

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