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Bioremediation of leachate from a green waste composting facility using waste-derived filter media

By Sean F. Tyrrel, I. Seymour and Jim A. Harris


The evaluation of two waste-derived materials used to treat compost leachate by biofiltration is described in this paper. Nine biofilters were constructed using 240 l, high density polyethylene containers. Three containers were filled without compaction with 200 l of each of three types of filter media. Waste-derived filter media (compost and oversize) were compared to a mineral control (granite chips). The filters were fed with compost leachate from a typical green waste composting facility at hydraulic loading rates ranging from 0.05 m3/m3/day to 0.5 m3/m3/day over a period of twelve months. The oversize medium emerged as the most effective demonstrating characteristics of consistency of effluent quality and resilience to stress. The oversize medium produced an effluent of <10 mg/l ammoniacal nitrogen on >95% of sampling occasions. The organic component of compost leachate was dominated by compounds that proved to be recalcitrant to biodegradation. The solids content of the treated effluent remained too high to be acceptable for direct discharge to a watercourse without further treatment and if discharge to a watercourse is to be considered, a polishing stage (e.g., reed bed) able to remove solids and dampen occasional peaks of ammoniacal nitrogen should be employed

Topics: Biofiltration, Compost, Leachate, Treatment, Wastewater
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.biortech.2008.01.079
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Cranfield CERES

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