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Volatile emissions during storing of green food waste under different aeration conditions

Agapiou, A., Vamvakari, J. P., Andrianopoulos, A., Pappa, A.
Environmental science and pollution research international 2016 v.23 no.9 pp. 8890-8901
acetic acid, aeration, alpha-pinene, ammonia, benzene, bioprocessing, carbon dioxide, carene, composting, decane, dimethyl disulfide, emissions, environmental factors, esters, field experimentation, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, gases, hydrogen sulfide, ketones, kitchen waste, linalool, methane, monitoring, odors, oxygen, solid phase microextraction, temperature, volatile organic compounds, volatilization
Controlled field experiments were carried out for monitoring the emissions of three plastic commercial household waste bins, which were adapted for studying the effect of aeration process in the evolved volatiles, during house storing of green food waste for 2 weeks, prior to collection. Three experimental scenarios were examined based on no aeration (“NA,” closed commercial waste bin), diffusion-based aeration (“DA,” closed commercial waste bin with tiny holes), and enforced aeration (“EA,” closed commercial waste bin with tiny holes and enforced aeration). The monitoring of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from organic household kitchen waste was performed using solid-phase microextraction-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (SPME-GC-MS) analysis. Portable sensors were also used for monitoring selected gases and parameters of environmental, bioprocess, and health interest (e.g., CO₂, O₂, H₂S, CH₄, NH₃, % RH, waste temperatures). VOC emissions are strongly dependent on the waste material. The most frequent VOCs identified over the storing waste, showing over 50 % appearance in all examined samples, were terpenes (e.g., di-limonene, beta-myrcene, delta-3-carene, alpha-pinene, alpha-terpinolene, linalool, etc.), sulfides (dimethyl disulfide), aromatics (benzene, 1-methyl-2-(2-propenyl)), alkanes (e.g., decane, dodecane), ketones (2-propanone), esters (e.g., acetic acid ethyl ester, acetic acid methyl ester), and alcohols (e.g., 3-cyclohexen-1-ol, 4-methyl-1-(1-methylethyl)). The prominent role of terpenes in the “pre-compost” odor and especially that of di-limonene was highlighted. In all examined scenarios, the emitted volatiles were increased at raised temperatures and later decreased in time. Aeration of waste bins slightly affected the volatilization process resulting in higher profiles of VOCs; uniformity in the composition of VOCs was also noted. Slight modifications of commercial waste bins may favor the initiation of home composting.