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Integrated Biowaste Research: Emerging Opportunities and Challenges

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Waste and Recycling".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2024) | Viewed by 4814

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR), 27 Creyke Road, Christchurch 8041, New Zealand
Interests: phytomanagement; soil-plant interactions; circular economy; biowaste land application; ecotoxicology

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR), 27 Creyke Road, Christchurch 8041, New Zealand
Interests: biowaste reuse; soil science; environmental chemistry; nutrient cycles; circular economy; ecological restoration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biowaste can be defined in general terms as any solid or liquid organic and biodegradable waste, which includes agricultural or aquaculture waste, sewage sludge, organic industrial waste, green waste, food waste, compost, sewage effluent, and greywater. Given its organic matter content and generally high concentration of plant nutrients, it has demonstrated potential to be reused on land as a soil conditioner or fertilizer or to produce energy. The rising awareness of current environmental crises, such as climate change, depletion of phosphorous, increased droughts, and soil degradation, provides new incentives to optimize and valorize the reuse of these resources and reduce their incineration or disposal into landfills or oceans, which is still a common practice in many countries around the world. However, the reuse of biowaste poses challenges that require careful investigation and management, such as the potential presence of human pathogens, including antimicrobial-resistant organisms, or contaminants such as trace elements, emerging organic contaminants, and microplastics. These challenges, including the inextricable mix of economic, social, political and cultural factors, make the management of biowaste a complex problem that requires a multidisciplinary and holistic approach.

The aim of this Special Issue is to explore novel theoretical and experimental research that demonstrates the emerging opportunities that biowaste can offer to mitigate current environmental crises as well as to highlight challenges that need to be taken into consideration with a focus on potential solutions. In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. María Jesús Gutiérrez-Ginés
Dr. Alexandra Meister
Guest Editors

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2400 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

  • organic waste
  • nitrogen
  • phosphorous
  • carbon
  • energy
  • circular economy
  • greenhouse gas
  • metals
  • organic contaminants
  • microplastics
  • antimicrobial resistance

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 1568 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Chemical and Phytotoxic Properties of Frass Derived from Black Soldier Fly-Based Bioconversion of Biosolids
by Kristin Bohm, Gregory A. Hatley, Brett H. Robinson and María J. Gutiérrez-Ginés
Sustainability 2023, 15(15), 11526; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151511526 - 25 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1245
Abstract
Black soldier fly (BSF)-based bioconversion can reduce significant volumes of biosolids and other organic waste while generating high-value BSF larvae (BSFL) and frass. While the mass of frass is greater than the BSFL biomass, its end use is less explored, especially when the [...] Read more.
Black soldier fly (BSF)-based bioconversion can reduce significant volumes of biosolids and other organic waste while generating high-value BSF larvae (BSFL) and frass. While the mass of frass is greater than the BSFL biomass, its end use is less explored, especially when the bioprocessed waste, such as biosolids, contains high concentrations of contaminants. We assessed the potential to use frass from bioconverted biosolids as fertiliser by analysing chemical parameters and conducting phytotoxicity germination tests. We included frass from bioconverted food waste and wheat bran as comparisons. The chemical composition and phytotoxicity of the frass was related to the type of feedstock. Frass originating from biosolids and from wheat bran had the highest phytotoxicity, which was correlated with increased NH4+-N and EC. Initially, these feedstocks had significantly higher total N compared to food waste. Frass derived from food waste showed the lowest phytotoxicity, which was related to low NH4+-N and EC. This study demonstrates that frass from BSF-based bioconversion could be used as fertiliser; however, the original feedstock will dictate how this by-product has to be used. In this study, frass from food waste was most suitable as fertiliser. Frass originating from bioconverted biosolids needs to be applied at similar rates as unconverted biosolids to avoid phytotoxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Biowaste Research: Emerging Opportunities and Challenges)
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14 pages, 3004 KiB  
Article
Elemental Composition of Palm Kernel Expeller Used as Supplementary Stock Fodder
by Hadee Thompson-Morrison, Elena Moltchanova, Sally Gaw and Brett Robinson
Sustainability 2022, 14(23), 15752; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142315752 - 26 Nov 2022
Viewed by 3185
Abstract
Palm kernel expeller (PKE) is a biowaste by-product of palm oil processing in Southeast Asia that is exported as stock fodder. Global production of PKE totals 11M t yr−1, of which New Zealand imports 1.9M t yr−1, worth >USD [...] Read more.
Palm kernel expeller (PKE) is a biowaste by-product of palm oil processing in Southeast Asia that is exported as stock fodder. Global production of PKE totals 11M t yr−1, of which New Zealand imports 1.9M t yr−1, worth >USD 325M, most of which supports NZ’s dairy herd of 5.5M cows. We aimed to determine the concentrations of the chemical elements in PKE imported into New Zealand and compare this to pasture, as well as to assess chemical concentrations against maximum tolerable levels (MTLs) in stockfeed for animal health and ruminant requirements. Palm kernel expeller was analysed for a suite of essential and trace elements using a HNO3 digestion and analysis by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Palm kernel expeller contained statistically significantly higher concentrations of B, Mg, P, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu and Zn than pasture. Magnesium, P and Fe exceeded MTLs in PKE, whereas Al, S, K and Cu were within 90% of their MTL. The N, P and K contained in PKE represent the equivalent of 14%, 20% and 28%, respectively, of dairy fertiliser use in New Zealand. As PKE contained 3.3 mg Cd kg P −1, there may be potential for PKE to offset fertiliser use in dairy systems, with a low Cd source of P. There were statistically significant differences in elemental concentrations between different batches of PKE indicating that this product is not uniform. Further research of the effects of PKE on animal health is recommended. The excess elements contained in PKE may present risks or benefits to dairy farming systems and determining these would be beneficial in protecting both animal health and environmental sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Biowaste Research: Emerging Opportunities and Challenges)
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