A review on nitrogen dynamics and mitigation strategies of food waste digestate composting

Manu Mathikere Krishnegowda, Dongyi Li, Liwen Luo, Jun Zhao, Sunita Varjani, Jonathan W.C. Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

116 Citations (Scopus)


Food waste digestate is a by-product of the anaerobic digestion of food waste. Presence of high ammonium nitrogen content significantly increase the nitrogen loss upon direct application on soil or by conventional composting. In this review, a comprehensive discussion regarding the effective management of food waste digestate is outlined, in which global food waste digestate production, characteristics, and composting are discussed. The nitrogen dynamics cycle considering high ammonium nitrogen content in the digestate is also evaluated, including ammonification, nitrification, denitrification, and other possible mechanisms based on the current literature. Mitigation strategies for reducing nitrogen loss via C/N ratio adjustment and the addition of physical, chemical, and microbial amendments were evaluated and estimated for 15 countries based on the available data on food waste anaerobic digestion plants. Reduced nitrogen loss and high quality compost could be produced from food waste digestate by adapting mitigation strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125032
JournalBioresource Technology
Early online date24 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

User-Defined Keywords

  • Composting
  • Denitrification
  • Food waste digestate
  • Gaseous emission
  • Nitrification


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