Full-scale composting of sewage sludge and market waste: Stability monitoring and odor dispersion modeling

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the odor immission derived from full-scale composting of different abundant and highly pollutant organic waste: sewage sludge with bulking agent (SL), sewage sludge pretreated through anaerobic digestion and supplemented with bulking agent (SL-AD), and market waste with olive leaves (MW-OL). The combination of dynamic olfactometry and Gaussian dispersion modeling allowed both the quantification of odor emissions from each waste and the evaluation of their global odorous impact in nearby urban areas. Wind speed, summer and winter seasons, and atmospheric conditions were considered in the dispersion model. The results revealed that high wind speed (2.6 m/s) increases the global odor immission in summer season, independently of atmospheric stability. However, the maximum odor immission concentration recommended for composting process was not exceeded in any case, which depends on each country/region. The experimental results also enable to evaluate the influence of several physico-chemical variables on odor emissions derived from composting. The removal of nitrogen and volatile solids was the main cause for odor generation. Moreover, the microbiological activity of each substrate was monitored throughout the process and different percentages of biodegradability were quantified depending on the type of substrate and pretreatment applied.

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