Special Issue "Biochar and Greenhouse Gas Emissions during Livestock Bio-Waste Composting"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Ravindran Balasubramani
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Energy and Engineering, Kyonggi University, Youngtong-Gu, Suwon 16227, Korea
Interests: composting; greenhouse gas; biochar; vermicomposting; solid waste management; water and wastewater pollution monitoring and treatment
Dr. Obulisamy Parthiba Karthikeyan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Visiting Research Scientist, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105, USA
Interests: greenhouse gas; biomass; bioenergy; composting; bioengineering
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Mukesh Kumar Awasthi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Natural Resources and Environment, Northwest A&F University, Taicheng Road 3#,Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
Interests: soil fertility; composting; biochar; microbial diversity and technology
Dr. Abdul-Sattar Nizami
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Head of Solid Waste Management Unit, Center of Excellence in Environmental Studies (CEES), King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Interests: waste to energy; biofuels; pyrolysis; anaerobic digestion; waste biorefinery
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Zengqiang Zhang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environment Science & Engineering, College of Natural Resources and Environment, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
Interests: Composting; Greenhoues gases emission and nutrients recovery
Prof. Dr. Janardhan Reddy Koduru
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Engineering, Kwangwoon University, Seoul, 01897, Korea
Interests: water remediation; environmental remediation nanomaterials; biogenic materials
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. M.K. Manu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay, Mumbai 400076, India
Interests: solid waste management; composting; biomass valorisation; circular economy; waste to energy; landfill mining; biodegradation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Bio-waste treatment by composting processes is considered as a sustainable approach through which the carbon and nitrogen are restored and re-introduced into the soil as fertilizers. Live-stock operations generate large quantities of Bio-waste, including yard waste, animal bedding, animal manures, feed material, and urine, which are usually treated by composting processes. However, greenhouse gas emission, nutrient/metal leaching, and bad odor are major bottlenecks for live-stock bio-waste composting. Also, the fertilizer quality and soil applications are hampered because of the presence of antibiotics and pathogens, if the composting process is not well defined. Therefore, in-vessel composters or industrial composters are recommended for live-stock bio-waste treatment. However, the stability and fertilizer quality of compost related to the initial feed stock characteristics and operational conditions/strategies (i.e., the addition of bulking agent’s, waste pre-treatment, temperature regulations, special inoculum additions, and composter designs). However, moisture management is key for the successful operation of any bio-waste composting process, and is achieved through ash or biochar amendments or through co-composting. The addition of biochar, and a larger surface area, help to not only improve the moisture content, but also reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. Biochar addition also changes the microbial dynamics of the composting process and adsorbs heavy metals from the waste material/liquids, while acting as a catalyst for reducing the pathogen load. Even though the merits of biochar addition in the bio-waste composting process are very clear, there is much more that needs to be explained and understood.

With this background, the Special Issue, “Biochar and Greenhouse Gas Emissions during Livestock Bio-Waste Composting”, will cover the following topics (but not limited to), in order to provide the current state of art technology for improving the composting process:

  • Centralized vs. decentralized composting processes and benefits
  • Carbon and nitrogen mass balance in open pit composting and in-vessel composting
  • Effective bulking agents for the composting of high-moisture bio-wastes
  • Role of biochar as a bulking agent and end product quality
  • Microbial community dynamics of compost process and pathogen reductions
  • Greenhouse gas emissions and capture from the composting process
  • Leaching of metals, organic volatiles, and toxic compounds from the composting process
  • Cost benefit analysis and energy substitutions
  • Future composting process at urban environments—pros and cons
  • Vermi-composting and bio-augmented composting processes
  • Compost quality and standard requirements for different types of compost.
Prof. Dr. Ravindran Balasubramani
Dr. Obulisamy Parthiba Karthikeyan
Prof. Dr. Mukesh Kumar Awasthi
Prof. Dr. Abdul-Sattar Nizami
Prof. Zengqiang Zhang
Prof. Dr. Janardhan Reddy Koduru
Dr. M.K. Manu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • composting
  • biochar
  • livestock waste
  • manure
  • soil amendments
  • greenhouse gas emission
  • microbiology of composting
  • pilot scale compost operations
  • special inoculum additions

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Composting of Vegetable Waste Using Microbial Consortium and Biocontrol Efficacy of Streptomyces Sp. Al-Dhabi 30 Isolated from the Saudi Arabian Environment for Sustainable Agriculture
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6845; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236845 - 02 Dec 2019
Abstract
Thirty-seven root-associated Actinomycetes were isolated from the tomato plant for plant growth promoting activity. Among these, ten were selected for phosphate solubilisation, the production of siderophores, and indole acetic acid. Out of ten, eight Actinomycetes solubilised phosphate, whereas, Streptomyces sp. Al-Dhabi 30 showed [...] Read more.
Thirty-seven root-associated Actinomycetes were isolated from the tomato plant for plant growth promoting activity. Among these, ten were selected for phosphate solubilisation, the production of siderophores, and indole acetic acid. Out of ten, eight Actinomycetes solubilised phosphate, whereas, Streptomyces sp. Al-Dhabi 30 showed better activity (43.1 mg/dL). Actinomycetes produced siderophore and the concentration ranged between 1.6 and 42.1 μg/mL. Streptomyces sp. Al-Dhabi 30 showed the ability to produce a maximum amount of indole acetic acid (IAA) (43 μg/mL), chitinase (43.1 U/mL), cellulase (67 U/mL), and protease (121 U/mL) than other strains. Further, vegetable waste was used as the bulk material for composting using Streptomyces sp. Al-Dhabi 30 along with microbial consortium. Total nitrogen content was 3.8% in Streptomyces sp. Al-Dhabi 30 inoculated compost, whereas 2.7% organic nitrogen was detected in the control. In the compost vegetable waste, the C:N ratio was 10.07, whereas it was 17.51 in the control. The vegetable waste composted with Streptomyces sp. Al-Dhabi 30, Lactobacillus plantarum ATCC 33222, and Candidautilis ATCC 9950 showed antagonistic activity and the supplemented compost enhanced shoot, root height, and total weightin tomato plants. These findings clearly suggest the use of Streptomyces sp. Al-Dhabi 30 as a potential biocontrol agent. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Assessment of a Cattle Manure Vermicomposting System Using Material Flow Analysis: A Case Study from Uganda
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5173; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195173 - 20 Sep 2019
Abstract
Growth in cattle population is associated with increased manure generation whose current management in low-income countries is associated with health and environmental problems as well as low utilization rates. This trend can be reversed by promoting better manure management technologies. This study assessed [...] Read more.
Growth in cattle population is associated with increased manure generation whose current management in low-income countries is associated with health and environmental problems as well as low utilization rates. This trend can be reversed by promoting better manure management technologies. This study assessed vermicomposting as one of the technologies to manage organic wastes, using the case study in Uganda. A vermicomposting system using cattle manure and earthworms (Eudrilus euginea) was monitored for one year with the harvesting of products (compost, earthworm biomass) after every three months. Vermicompost samples from the beginning of the experiment and after every harvest were analyzed for the following parameters: pH, ash content, volatile and total solids, nutrients N, P, K, and C. Emissions of CO2, CH4, NH3, and N2O were also measured. Material flow analysis was used to determine the flows and retention of nutrients within the system. Results showed that total solids, ash, N, P, and K content significantly increased, while contents of volatile solids and C, as well as the pH, significantly decreased over time. Of the materials that entered the vermicomposting system, 46% went to vermicompost, 2% into earthworms, and 52% was lost to the atmosphere. Substance flow analysis showed that 30% of C went to vermicompost, 69% was emitted to the atmosphere, and 2% ended up in earthworms while 75% of N was transferred to vermicompost, 7% went to earthworms, and 18% escaped into the atmosphere. The cumulative emissions were 102 g CO2 kg−1 waste, 7.6 g CH4 kg−1 waste, and 3.943 × 10−5 g N2O kg−1 waste on a dry basis, while NH3 was not detected throughout the measurement time. Compared to other manure management methods, vermicomposting demonstrated good potential in conserving nutrients as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
CO2 Flux Characteristics of Different Plant Communities in a Subtropical Urban Ecosystem
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 4879; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11184879 - 06 Sep 2019
Abstract
Shanghai, China, is a city that is relatively representative of various cities in China due to its geographical location and socio-economic dynamics. The role of urban vegetation in the carbon cycle of urban developments in these types of cities is now being studied. [...] Read more.
Shanghai, China, is a city that is relatively representative of various cities in China due to its geographical location and socio-economic dynamics. The role of urban vegetation in the carbon cycle of urban developments in these types of cities is now being studied. We focus on identifying which urban plant community types have a greater influence on CO2 flux in cities, thus providing a scientific basis for low-carbon urban greening. Based on the eddy covariance (EC) observation system, ART Footprint Tool, plant inventory, and ecological community classification, we show that the CO2 flux characteristics of different plant communities vary temporally. The carbon sink duration during summer was the longest (up to 10 h) and the carbon sink duration was the shortest during winter (7.5 h). In addition, we discovered that the CO2 flux contribution rates of different plant community types are distinct. The annual average CO2 contribution rates of the Cinnamomum camphora-Trachycarpus fortunei community and the Metasequoia glyptostroboides+Sabina chinensis community are 11.88% and 0.93%, respectively. The CO2 flux contribution rate of the same plant community differs according to season. The CO2 contribution rate of the Cinnamomum camphora-Trachycarpus fortunei community exhibits local maxima during winter and summer, with a maximum difference of 11.16%. In contrast, the Metasequoia glyptostroboides+Sabina chinensis community has a CO2 contribution rate of 0.35% during the same period. In general, summer is the season with the lowest CO2 flux contribution rate of plant communities, and winter is the season with the highest CO2 flux contribution rate. However, the Cinnamomum camphora+Salix babylonica community and the Cinnamomum camphora+Sabina chinensis community present the opposite pattern. Finally, the diurnal variation characteristics of CO2 flux in different communities have the same trend, but the peak values differ significantly. Overall, daily CO2 flux peak value of the Metasequoia glyptostroboides community and the Cinnamomum camphora-Trachycarpus fortunei community indicate that these two plant communities exhibit a strong capacity for CO2 absorption in the study area. According to these research results, urban greening efforts in subtropical climates can increase the green space covered by the Cinnamomum camphora-Trachycarpus fortunei and the Metasequoia glyptostroboides community types when urban greening, so as to appropriately reduce the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. Full article
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