Food Waste and Biomass Recovery
- Wun Jern Ng, Wun Jern NgNanyang Technological University, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Keke Xiao, Keke XiaoHuazhong University of Science and Technology, School of Environmental Science and Technology
- Vinay Kumar Tyagi, Vinay Kumar TyagiIndian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Department of Civil Engineering
- Chaozhi PanChaozhi PanNanyang Technological University, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
- and Leong Soon PohLeong Soon PohNanyang Technological University
Agriculture waste can be a significant issue in waste management as its impact can be felt far from its place of origin. Post-harvest crop residues require clearance prior to the next planting and a common practice is burning on the field. The uncontrolled burning results in air pollution and can adversely impact the environment far from the burn site. Agriculture waste can also include animal husbandry waste such as from cattle, swine, and poultry. Animal manure not only causes odors but also pollutes water if discharged untreated. However, agricultural activities, particularly on a large scale, are typically at some distance from urban centers. The environmental impacts associated with production may not be well recognized by the consumers. As the consumption terminal of agricultural produce, urban areas in turn generate food waste, which can contribute significantly to municipal solid wastes. There is a correlation between the quantity of food waste generated and a community’s economic progress.
Managing waste carries a cost, which may illustrate cost transfer from waste generators to the public. However, waste need not be seen only as an unwanted material that requires costly treatment before disposal. The waste may instead be perceived as a raw material for resource recovery. For example, the material may have substantial quantities of organic carbon, which can be recovered for energy generation. This offers opportunity for producing and using renewable and environment-friendly fuels. The “waste” may also include quantities of recoverable nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus.