Effect of microplastics on greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions during aerobic composting

Yue Sun, Xiuna Ren, Junting Pan, Zengqiang Zhang, To Hung Tsui, Liwen Luo, Quan Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of polyethylene (PE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) microplastics on greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions during 60 days composting. PE, PVC and PHA microplastics were respectively mixed with the cow manure; and a treatment without microplastics was used as the control. Compared to the control, PE and PVC inhibited organic matter degradation. Conversely, PHA accelerated temperature increases and organic matter degradation. Meanwhile, PE and PHA aggravated CH4 and NH3 emissions by 7.9–9.1% and 20.9–33.9%, respectively. PVC decreased CH4 and NH3 emissions by 6.6% and 30.4%, respectively. Additionally, the N2O emissions of the PE and PVC treatments were higher than those of the control while PHA decreased N2O emissions by 11.8%. Furthermore, PE, PVC and PHA microplastics reduced the NO3-N contents and compost maturity. The results indicated that microplastics reduced compost quality while the effects of microplastics on greenhouse gases and ammonia emissions were related to their sources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number139856
Number of pages7
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume737
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

User-Defined Keywords

  • Ammonia emission
  • Compost maturity
  • Composting
  • Greenhouse gas
  • Microplastics

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