Special Issue "Composting in the Framework of Circular Economy"

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental and Green Processes".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 5 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Antoni Sánchez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
Interests: design and use of biological systems for the treatment of organic waste (composting and anaerobic digestion); nanotechnology for environmental remediation; solid-state fermentation to convert wastes into bio-products
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Composting is a well-known technology that has been successfully implemented in many parts of the world. With the recent interest in circular economy, composting has become an attractive solution for the management of a wide range of organic wastes to be recycled as compost in agricultural or horticultural applications, as well as other uses such as restoration of contaminated soils or, more generally, amendment for bioremediation purposes.

Although a great deal of research has been published on composting, it is also evident that some knowledge gaps still exist, given the complexity of this technology, especially in the process—for instance, the relationship between physicochemical parameters and the biological phenomena, among others. This Special Issue “Composting in the Framework of Circular Economy” aims to present the recent advances of composting as a strategy to fulfil the objectives of circular economy. Topics include, but are not limited to: 

  • Co-composting of different organic wastes, especially process performance and the quality of final compost;
  • Composting for the removal of emerging contaminants in organic wastes;
  • Decentralized composting: pros and cons, process experiences;
  • Environmental impact of composting processes, especially gaseous emissions. 

In these topics, full- or pilot-scale studies are especially welcome, whereas non-representative few grams experiments are discouraged. 

Prof. Dr. Antoni Sánchez
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Processes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Composting
  • gaseous emissions
  • emerging pollutants
  • environmental impact
  • organic wastes

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Use of Phosphate Washing Sludge to Recover by Composting the Leachate from the Controlled Landfill
Processes 2021, 9(10), 1735; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pr9101735 - 28 Sep 2021
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Abstract
The percolation of rainwater and runoff water through household waste in the dumpsite generally leads to an overabundance of leachate in Moroccan landfills, which is a source of soil, surface water and groundwater contamination. In order to ecologically solve the problem posed by [...] Read more.
The percolation of rainwater and runoff water through household waste in the dumpsite generally leads to an overabundance of leachate in Moroccan landfills, which is a source of soil, surface water and groundwater contamination. In order to ecologically solve the problem posed by the leachate in the dump site, to safeguard the environment and to contribute to sustainable development, we have carried out this study which aims to study the possibility of composting leachate with green waste and phosphate washing sludge. Various combinations with five substrates (leachate, green waste, sugar lime sludge, phosphate washing sludge and olive mill wastewater) in different proportions were used to build five windrows. A 24 h contact between the phosphate sludge or sugar lime sludge and the leachate took place prior to the addition of the green waste for the construction of the different windrows. This contact time ensured the absorption of a significant portion of the leachate and the disappearance of bad odor. A significant reduction was obtained with streptococci and mesophilic flora after 24 h of contact. The monitoring of the physicochemical parameters throughout the composting process showed that the temperature of the different windrows followed a good pace presenting all composting phases. Moisture, pH, C/N ratio and the percentage of degradation of the organic matter conformed to the quality standards of the compost. The combinations of the alkaline treatment and the composting process allowed a significant hygienization of the leachate. The results of the humification parameters and the E4/E6 ratio suggest that the composts obtained with phosphate sludge were the most stable and mature and can be used in the agricultural field or green space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composting in the Framework of Circular Economy)
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Article
Advanced Characterization of Organic Matter Decaying during Composting of Industrial Waste Using Spectral Methods
Processes 2021, 9(8), 1364; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pr9081364 - 04 Aug 2021
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Abstract
To date, compost maturation monitoring is carried out by physical-chemical and microbiological analysis, which could be considered an overweening consumption of time and products. Nowadays, spectroscopy is chosen as a simple tool for monitoring compost maturity. In the present investigation, spectroscopy analysis was [...] Read more.
To date, compost maturation monitoring is carried out by physical-chemical and microbiological analysis, which could be considered an overweening consumption of time and products. Nowadays, spectroscopy is chosen as a simple tool for monitoring compost maturity. In the present investigation, spectroscopy analysis was performed in the interest of corroborating the compost maturity. This goal was achieved by using the X-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. X-ray diffraction analysis showed the presence of the cellulose fraction in compost samples. At the same time, the intensity of pics decreased depending on composting time, thus proving that there was organic matter degradation. Infrared and scanning electron microscopy analysis allow for confirming these results. The correlation between spectroscopies analysis and physical-chemical properties was employed by partial least squares-regression (PLS-R) model. PLS-R model was applied to build a model to predict the compost quality depending on the composting time, the results obtained show that all the parameters analysis are well predicted. The current study proposed that final compost was more stabilized compared with the initial feedstock mixture. Ultimately, spectroscopy techniques used allowed us to confirm the physical-chemical results obtained, and both of them depict maturity and stability of the final compost, thus proving that spectral techniques are more reliable, fast, and promising than physical-chemical analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composting in the Framework of Circular Economy)
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Article
Agronomic Characteristics of the Compost-Bedded Pack Made with Forest Biomass or Sawdust
Processes 2021, 9(3), 546; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pr9030546 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 624
Abstract
To ascertain the agronomic value of the material resulting from the compost-bedded pack (CBP) in dairy barns, a cross-over experiment was designed with eight dry non-pregnant Holstein cows. The study was performed in two 11-week periods. Bedding materials used were: (1) CBP with [...] Read more.
To ascertain the agronomic value of the material resulting from the compost-bedded pack (CBP) in dairy barns, a cross-over experiment was designed with eight dry non-pregnant Holstein cows. The study was performed in two 11-week periods. Bedding materials used were: (1) CBP with sawdust (S) and (2) CBP with forest biomass (FB). Samples were taken from the raw bedding materials and from the CBP across the experiment. We conducted an additional study preparing two piles, one of each CBP material, to accomplish a composting process of 3 months, where samples were also taken. Granulometry and some chemical composition characteristics of FB made it a suitable bedding material to be used as CBP, but its high moisture content limited the ability to absorb liquid manure. Both the degree of stability of the organic matter and the temperature evolution of CBP suggest that a real composting process did not occur. Finally, the composting process of the piles did not lead to any relevant change in CBP materials. From the agronomic point of view, S and FB present potentially valuable characteristics as regards organic amendment in the soil, thanks to their high organic matter content and low nutrient content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composting in the Framework of Circular Economy)
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Review

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Review
A Review of Composting Process Models of Organic Solid Waste with a Focus on the Fates of C, N, P, and K
Processes 2021, 9(3), 473; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pr9030473 - 06 Mar 2021
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Abstract
To foster a circular economy in line with compost quality assessment, a deep understanding of the fates of nutrients and carbon in the composting process is essential to achieve the co-benefits of value-added and environmentally friendly objectives. This paper is a review aiming [...] Read more.
To foster a circular economy in line with compost quality assessment, a deep understanding of the fates of nutrients and carbon in the composting process is essential to achieve the co-benefits of value-added and environmentally friendly objectives. This paper is a review aiming to fill in the knowledge gap about the composting process. Firstly, a systematic screening search and a descriptive analysis were conducted on composting models involving the fates of Carbon (C), Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) over the past decade, followed by the development of a checklist to define the gap between the existing models and target models. A review of 22 models in total led to the results that the mainstream models involved the fates of C and N, while only a few models involved P and K as target variables. Most of the models described the laboratory-scale composting process. Mechanism-derived models were relatively complex; however, the application of the fractionation of substrates could contribute to reducing the complexity. Alternatively, data-driven models can help us obtain more accurate predictions and involve the fates of more nutrients, depending on the data volume. Finally, the perspective of developing composting models for the fates of C, N, P, and K was proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composting in the Framework of Circular Economy)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Impact of composting process and compost application on greenhouse gas emissions

Author: Antoni Sánchez  

Affiliation: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

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