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    Organic pollutants

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    semi-dry thermophilic anaerobic digestion suggests that pesticides preferentially end up in presswaterafter solidliquid separation.

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    compost and digestate on soil organisms were not found (Trslvet al., 1997; Pohl et al., in preparation) the occurrence of contami-nants raises some concern since recycling products of high qualityare expected to be free of hazardous compounds.

    Composting has been widely adopted as a strategy in biodegra-dation/bioremediation of organic pollutants in recent years (Sem-ple et al., 2001). It has been shown that pesticides mightdissipate during composting of organic residues (Buyuksonmez

    plants. It provides a basis to better assess the potential of compo-sting and anaerobic digestion for production of compost and dige-state with a low contamination level.

    2. Methods

    2.1. Composting and digestion plants investigated

    This study focuses on open windrow composting and semi-drythermophilic anaerobic digestion with subsequent aerobic

    * Corresponding author. Tel.: +41 31 910 21 17; fax: +41 21 910 22 99.

    Bioresource Technology 99 (2008) 79887994

    Contents lists availab


    lsev ier .com/ locate/bior techE-mail address: thomas.kupper@shl.bfh.ch (T. Kupper).agriculture and horticulture. However, compost and digestate con-tain a wide range of organic pollutants (Brndli et al., 2005,2007a,b). They enter compost via aerial deposition and splash orspray induced by road trafc on green waste, accidental input(mostly incorrect separation of input materials, e.g. plastic debris)and deliberate input (e.g. pesticides application on fruits, vegeta-bles, ornamental plants and lawn). Brndli et al. (2007b) and Buy-uksonmez et al. (2000) showed that pesticides widely occur incompost and digestate. Although concentrations of organic pollu-tants in compost and digestate were below the contents that im-pair terrestrial ecosystems, and clear negative impacts of

    waste, is, however, still sparse. Brndli et al. (2007c) showed thatextrapolation of available laboratory-derived ndings to real worldsystems was difcult for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) andpolycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Therefore, the basis forassessing the potential of composting and digestion in order to re-duce the contamination level of input materials is insufcient.Moreover, knowledge of the fate of currently used pesticides suchas triazole fungicides which are widely used commercially (Bromi-low et al., 1999) and commonly occur in compost and digestate(Brndli et al., 2007b) is not available. Therefore, the present studyaims to characterize the dissipation of pesticides at full-scaleFungicidesTriazolesFateOrganic residues

    1. Introduction

    Composting and digestion (i.e. aeof organic wastes) are important waEurope. The end products, compostsoil conditioner and fertilizer, there0960-8524/$ - see front matter 2008 Elsevier Ltd. Adoi:10.1016/j.biortech.2008.03.052 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    nd anaerobic treatmentnagement strategies ingestate, can be used ascling nutrients back to

    et al., 1999; Fogg et al., 2003; Vischetti et al., 2004; Kawata et al.,2006). Information on the fate of organic pollutants during compo-sting and digestion under full-scale conditions of green waste(originating from private gardens and public green areas) and or-ganic kitchen waste (raw organic leftovers from vegetable produc-tion and from private kitchens), i.e. source-separated organicKeywords:all pesticides detected in the input materials showed dissipation rates higher than 50% during compo-sting, whilst levels of most triazoles decreased slightly or remained unchanged. The investigation onDissipation of pesticides during compostof source-separated organic waste at full

    Thomas Kupper a,*, Thomas D. Bucheli b, Rahel C. Bra Swiss College of Agriculture, SCA, Laenggasse 85, CH-3052 Zollikofen, SwitzerlandbAgroscope Reckenholz-Tnikon Research Station ART, CH-8046 Zrich, Switzerlandc Food Authority Control of Geneva, CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland

    a r t i c l e i n f o

    Article history:Received 14 January 2008Received in revised form 19 March 2008Accepted 22 March 2008Available online 1 May 2008

    a b s t r a c t

    In the present study, concdigestion at full-scale planthe three windrows studi(d.m.) in input materials aFungicides and among the


    journal homepage: www.ell rights reserved.g and anaerobic digestioncale plants

    li b, Didier Ortelli c, Patrick Edder c

    ation levels and dissipation of modern pesticides during composting andere followed. Of the 271 pesticides analyzed, 28 were detected. Withintotal concentrations were between 36 and 101 lg per kg of dry matterbetween 8 and 20 lg kg d.m.1 in composts after 112 days of treatment.riazoles clearly dominated over other pesticides. More than two-thirds ofle at ScienceDirect


  • treatment, which are widely used in the recycling of source-sepa-rated organic waste. The prevailing conditions relevant for the fateof pesticides in these systems can be considered to be representa-tive for aerobic treatment and thermophilic anaerobic digestion.Additionally, open windrow composting allows for feasible sam-pling. Dissipation of pesticides during composting was character-ized by the investigation of three different windrows on twocommercial composting plants. One windrow consisted of mostlygreen waste (windrow CG), the second of a mixture of greenand organic kitchen waste (windrow CK) and the third com-

    input presswater (50 l) was simultaneously collected from its stor-age tank. After 12 days, the output material was sampled. Press-water was again taken from the storage tank. Digestate wassampled directly from the windrow at the composting plant wherethe material underwent aerobic treatment (windrow CDK).

    In the laboratory, samples collected on day 0 and 14 were cut bya shredder (Althaus, Ersigen, Switzerland, Model 300 K1) andmixed thoroughly in a concrete mixer before sub-samples(1000 g) for analysis were taken. The drying procedure was per-formed as gently as possible (at 40 C until the weight remained

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    T. Kupper et al. / Bioresource Technology 99 (2008) 79887994 7989prised output material from a thermophilic anaerobic digestionplant (windrow CDK; Table 1). In order to prepare the windrowsto be investigated, waste materials were shredded, thoroughlymixed and heaped up to windrows with a front loader. All threewindrows were covered with air-permeable fabric, irrigated withfresh water if necessary and turned regularly during composting.

    The study of pesticides dissipation during thermophilic anaero-bic digestion took place at a plant that employed the Kompogasprocess (for details on this process: see Brndli et al., 2007c). Theoutput of the fermenter undergoes solidliquid separation result-ing in digestate (solid phase with a dry matter (d.m.) content ofabout 35%) and presswater (liquid phase with a d.m. content ofabout 12%). The digestate was submitted to subsequent aerobictreatment (open windrow composting: CDK; see above).

    Details of the composting process parameters, such as temper-ature development, turning and irrigation frequencies, content ofwater, organic matter, nutrients and heavy metals, are providedin Brndli et al. (2007c).

    2.2. Sampling and processing of the samples

    Sampling periods at the composting plants reected the threephases of the process: thermophilic, cooling and maturation stage(Semple et al., 2001). Accordingly, sampling took place on day 0(input material) and on day 14, 56 and 112 of composting. Beforeeach sampling, the windrows were turned at least twice. The mostsuitable sampling techniques for obtaining composite sampleswere used according to the structure of the material: digging atransect or collection of drilling cores on both sides of the windrowover the entire transect about every 3 m of the windrow. The vol-ume of aliquots was large (>>1 l) and the number thereof plentiful(>100). The composite sample was thoroughly mixed and reducedto 600 l for input material and to 60 l of material collected on day14, 56 and 112 for transport to the laboratory.

    At the digestion plant input material was sampled on day 0from every shovel of the front loader lling the feeding tank (vol-ume: 54 m3) which continuously loads the fermenter over 24 h.Mixing and volume reduction of the gathered composite samplewas performed as for compost samples (see above). Material forinoculation of the fermenter (i.e. the output of the fermenter beforesolidliquid separation) could not be sampled directly because thefermenters output pipe was not accessible. Instead, the digestatewas sampled continuously over half a day and the corresponding

    Table 1Input material composition of the windrows investigated (further information is give

    Acronym of thewindrows

    Input material

    CG Green waste: 35% trimmings from trees and shrubs, 20%4% soil, 34% residues from processing of cereals, Copaz

    CK Mixture of green and organic kitchen waste: 50% greenmature compost

    CDK Output material from a thermophilic anaerobic digestion

    of a mixture of green waste, kitchen waste and approx. 10%

    * Parts of the input material has been chopped and stored on a large heap over severalconstant, i.e. up to seven days). This low drying temperature pre-vents evaporation of the mostly non-volatile pesticides. A furtherdegradation during sample treatment and storage seems unlikelysince a signicant reduction of the water content is achieved with-in the rst day of drying. The samples were stored at room temper-ature in the dark. Before analysis, the samples were milled in a ballmill at a particle size of

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