Anaerobic digestion of green waste as an alternative for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in landfills (In Spanish)

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Aristizabal Zuluaga, BH ; Vanegas C., E ; Mariscal Moreno, JP ; Camargo-Valero, MA (2015)
  • Publisher: Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Landfilling is the main disposal technology for municipal solid wastes (MSW) in Colombia. Currently, about 50% of the landfill systems are close to the end of their useful life. It is necessary to evaluate alternative of disposal and treatment for MSW. Municipal solid wastes generated in Colombia contain a high proportion of organic material, which contributes to the generation of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in landfills. In this regard, anaerobic digestion is an alternative technology for waste treatment. Additionally, the produced methane (CH4) could be used as an energy source. This paper seeks to make a direct comparison between GHG emissions produced in landfills and the anaerobic digestion process as options for the disposal and treatment of municipal organic wastes in Colombia. The emissions of GHG were calculated considering a study case in the landfill disposal of garden wastes in the city of Manizales, Colombia. Theoretical models were used to quantify the emissions of methane and carbon dioxide. The calculation methodologies applied in this study showed considerable differences in its results, mainly for the assessment of anaerobic digestion by emission factors. However, it was possible to estimate that about 50 tons of methane and 1200 tons of carbon dioxide, would be avoided annually in the city of Manizales if the anaerobic digestion was used as an alternative to the current green waste disposal technology.
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