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The use of life cycle assessment for the comparis on of biowaste composting at home and full scale.

2010, WASTE MANAGEMENT - número/volum 30 - Pàgines 983-994 - DOI 10.1016/j.wasman.2010.02.023

Autors de l'ICTA:
Adriana Artola Casacuberta, Xavier Font Segura, Xavier Gabarrell Durany, Julia Martínez Blanco, Joan Rieradevall i Pons, Antoni Sánchez Ferrer

Tots els autors:
Julia Martínez-Blanco, Joan Colón, Xavier Gabarrell, Xavier Font, Antoni Sánchez, Adriana Artola, Joan Rieradevall

Environmental impacts and gaseous emissions associated to home and industrial composting of the
source-separated organic fraction of municipal solid waste have been evaluated using the environmental
tool of life cycle assessment (LCA). Experimental data of both scenarios were experimentally collected.
The functional unit used was one ton of organic waste. Ammonia, methane and nitrous oxide released
from home composting (HC) were more than five times higher than those of industrial composting
(IC) but the latter involved within 2 and 53 times more consumption or generation of transport, energy,
water, infrastructures, waste and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) emissions than HC. Therefore,
results indicated that IC was more impacting than HC for four of the impact categories considered (abiotic
depletion, ozone layer depletion, photochemical oxidation and cumulative energy demand) and less
impacting for the other three (acidification, eutrophication and global warming). Production of composting
bin and gaseous emissions are the main responsible for the HC impacts, whereas for IC the main contributions
come from collection and transportation of organic waste, electricity consumption, dumped
waste and VOCs emission. These results suggest that HC may be an interesting alternative or complement
to IC in low density areas of population.

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