Research Papers


Assessment and mitigation of the environmental burdens to air from land applied food-based digestate

Tiwary A, Williams I D, Pant Dinesh Chander, Kishore V V N , 2015

Environmental Pollution, Vol 203: 262–270p


Anaerobic digestion (AD) of putrescible urban waste for energy recovery has seen rapid growth over recent years. In order to ascertain its systems scale sustainability, however, determination of the environmental fate of the large volume of digestate generated during the process is indispensable. This paper evaluates the environmental burdens to air associated with land applied food-based digestate in terms of primary pollutants (ammonia, nitrogen dioxide) and greenhouse gases (methane and nitrous oxide). The assessments have been made in two stages – first, the emissions from surface application of food-based digestate are quantified for the business as usual (BAU). In the next step, environmental burden minimisation potentials for the following three mitigation measures are estimated – mixed waste digestate (MWD), soil-incorporated digestate (SID), and post-methanated digestate (PMD). Overall, the mitigation scenarios demonstrated considerable NH3, CH4 and N2O burden minimisation potentials, with positive implications for both climate change and urban pollution.


Anaerobic digestion; Bio fertilizer; Digestate; Environmental burdens; OFMSW