Digestion of bio-waste - GHG emissions and mitigation potential
Energy, Sustainability and Society
For a precise description of the emission situation of the anaerobic digestion (AD) of the separately collected organic fraction of household waste (bio-waste), only a few data are available. The paper presents the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions measured at 12 representative AD plants treating bio-waste. The results of the emission measurements were used to assess the ecological impact of bio-waste digestion and to describe possible mitigation measures to reduce the occurring GHG emissions.
... respect to the climate protection, a quantitative assessment of the emissions of energy generation from biomass and biological waste treatment is important. Biogas plants need to be operated in a way that negative environmental effects are avoided and human health is not compromised. Methods: GHG balances were calculated based on the measured emissions of the gases methane, nitrous oxide, and ammonia of bio-waste AD plants. The emission analysis supports the reduction of GHGs in biogas production and contributes to a climate-efficient technology. Results: The results show that GHG emissions can be minimized, if the technology and operation of the plant are adjusted accordingly. The open storage of active material (e.g., insufficient fermented residues from batch fermentation systems), open digestate storage tanks, missing acidic scrubbers in front of bio-filters, or insufficient air supply during the post-composting of digestate can cause relevant GHG emissions. Conclusions: Consequently avoiding open storage of insufficient fermented residues and using aerated post-composting with short turnover periods, smaller heaps, and an optimized amount of structure (woody) material can reduce GHG emissions.