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Environmental Impact Assessment of Food Waste Management Using Two Composting Techniques

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submitted on 2024-05-26, 11:27 and posted on 2024-05-26, 14:14 authored by Aisha Al-Rumaihi, Gordon McKay, Hamish R. Mackey, Tareq Al-Ansari

Food waste is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and therefore global warming. As such, the management of food waste can play a fundamental role in the reduction of preventable emissions associated with food waste. In this study, life cycle assessment (LCA) has been used to evaluate and compare the environmental impact associated with two composting techniques for treating food waste using SimaPro software; windrow composting and the hybrid anaerobic digestion (AD) method. The study, based on a 1 tonne of food waste as a functional unit for a case study in the State of Qatar, concludes that anaerobic digestion combined composting presents a smaller environmental burden than windrow composting. The majority of the emissions generated are due to the use of fossil fuels during transportation, which correspond to approximately 60% of the total impact, followed by the impact of composting with 40% of the impact especially in terms of global warming potential. Environmental assessment impacts were the highest in windrow composting for the acidification impact category (9.39 × 10 − 1 kg SO2 eq). While for AD combined composting the impact was highest for the human toxicity impact category (3.47 × 10 kg 1,4 − DB eq).

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Published in: Sustainability
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  • English



Publication Year

  • 2020

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Science and Engineering - HBKU

Geographic coverage