Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Green waste management

Rotary anaerobic digestion provides premium quality compost and recycled fuel from organic and non-organic waste, that would otherwise be disposed into landfills.
Green waste management
Environmental concerns, together with European legislation, call for a significant reduction of the amount of waste that is disposed in landfills, in order to reduce methane production affecting the global warming of the planet, leachate affecting water supplies, as well as potential risk of explosions. This concerns both municipal solid waste and agricultural waste, such as fruit and vegetables, sewage sludge, abattoir effluent and non-organic waste.

In this framework, an innovative technology has been developed, the Rotary Anaerobic Digestion (RAD), which can produce organic fertiliser and recycled solid fuel from agricultural and municipal waste, based on the natural degradation processes that occur in landfills.

The degradation occurs in the absence of oxygen, in a specially designed rotating digester (drum), whereas a secondary rotating drum provides the necessary processing and stabilisation for the production of compost or recycled fuel, according to the waste stream. The laboratory prototype of the RAD plant, which is available for testing, provides premium quality compost, when the waste is of agricultural origin, and recycled fuel, when it is of municipal origin. The degradation and stabilisation requires 2-4 days to be completed, for the different stages to take place; rise in temperature, attrition and extraction of moisture.

The RAD plant eliminates the need for landfills and incinerators, while the products themselves can generate income, making it extremely cost-effective. The premium quality compost can be used in agriculture and forestry, whereas the recycled fuel can be used as an alternative energy source for electricity generation.

Furthermore, with a loading capacity of 2-3 times higher than other processes, greater speeds, a 50-70% less initial investment, and 30-50% less operating costs, producing no emissions or odours, make this integrated waste management technique very effective and beneficial to the environment.

Related information

Record Number: 80526 / Last updated on: 2005-09-18
Domain: Environment