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Recycling 2019, 4(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling4010008

Viability of the Use of Leachates from a Mechanical Biological Municipal Solid Waste Treatment Plant as Fertilizers

Centro de Investigação da Montanha – CIMO, Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, 5300-253 Bragança, Portugal
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Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
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Abstract

The main environmental issue associated with compost production is the production of a liquid leachate. Leachate from municipal wastes contains carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and trace elements that can be used as nutrients by plants. The advantages of the use of organic wastes such as compost leachate as fertilizers are evident. Their use would reduce the consumption of commercial fertilizers, which need, with their production, high cost and energy. This work aims to determine the physical and chemical properties of a specific leachate with a variable composition, collected from the composting line of a mechanical and biological treatment facility. The goal is to assess if the leachates can be used as a potential source for fertilizers, and thus develop and design a sequence of processes which could effectively convert the leachates to commercial fertilizers according to the requirements of the proposal of regulation of the European Parliament of 2016 for fertilizers. Preliminary results show that the leachate samples qualitatively meet the requirements established for the composition of commercial fertilizers, especially organo-mineral fertilizers. Furthermore, there is no production cost of leachate as a raw material. The results show that the leachate is characterized by manageable concentrations of heavy metals which can be removed by adsorption processes, and it presents suitable amounts of organic carbon after a water removal procedure. However, the establishment of the conditions for suitable conversion processes are still under investigation considering the high composition variability due to factors like storage and environmental conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: leachate; fertilizers; waste valorization; treatment plant; nutrients; organic carbon; heavy metals leachate; fertilizers; waste valorization; treatment plant; nutrients; organic carbon; heavy metals
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Cardoso, J.; Gomes, H.T.; Brito, P. Viability of the Use of Leachates from a Mechanical Biological Municipal Solid Waste Treatment Plant as Fertilizers. Recycling 2019, 4, 8.

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