Enzymatic hydrolysis of organic waste materials in a solid-liquid system

Jordan, Siobhan N. and Mullen, George J. (2007) Enzymatic hydrolysis of organic waste materials in a solid-liquid system. Waste Management, 27 (12). pp. 1820-1828. ISSN 0956-053X (Submitted)

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In the current climate of increasing emphasis on environmental protection and efficient waste management, regional management bodies and environmental agencies are striving to achieve an economical and environmentally acceptable system for the recycling of biodegradable organic wastes. Composting would appear to be a cost effective solution to this problem but in its entirety, composting is an inherently lengthy and variable process and is restrictive in terms of the demand on resources and space in composting plants. The aim of this study was to compare a biological composting process of solid residues with an enzymatic hydrolysis process of residues. The length of time required to naturally compost three organic materials, spent mushroom substrate (SMS), farmyard manure (FYM) and dairy wastewater sludge (DWS) under optimal conditions was 42 days, 98 days and 84 days respectively. In an attempt to accelerate this process, commercial enzymes were added to the waste products in a heterogeneous solid - liquid system. The enzymes utilised included a range of proteases, cellulases, ligninases, lipases and pectinases, which are responsible for the hydrolysis of protein, cellulose, lignin, lipids and carbohydrates respectively. Preliminary results indicate that all the organic materials were stabilised within 9 hours and that the enzymes used would, therefore, improve the efficiency of a waste management plant, if such a system were employed. Spent mushroom compost has a mean N/P/K ratio of 20:10:10 recorded for composted SMS, while a similar ratio of 20:10:20 was obtained for hydrolysed SMS. In contrast composted farmyard manure has a N/P/K ratio of 30:0:30 and a ratio of 10:1:10 for hydrolysed FYM. Finally, composted DWS has a N/P/K ratio of 20:1:30 while DWS hydrolysate has a N/P/K ratio of 40:1:20, with the decrease in nitrogen in the composted DWS attributed to the addition of wood chippings and sawdust as a bulking agent. While all three materials have a considerable supply of plant nutrients, the variability in nutrients could be overlooked when employed as a soil amendment.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Enzymatic hydrolysis; Composting; Organic waste
Subjects: Science
Research Centres: Centre for Freshwater and Environmental Studies
Depositing User: Concepta Woods
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 12:37
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2014 16:10

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