Food waste digestate composting: Feedstock optimization with sawdust and mature compost

Bing Song, M. K. Manu, Dongyi Li, Chen Wang, Sunita Varjani, Narsi Ladumor, Lui Michael, Yunjie Xu, Jonathan W. C. Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Direct land application of food waste digestate (FWD) leads to 60–70% of nitrogen loss through NH3 volatilization due to its innate characteristics like high ammonium nitrogen (NH4+-N) (~6000 mg/kg dry matter) and high moisture content (~75%). Hence, bio stabilization of FWD through composting is a promising solution to curb the environmental and occupational hazards. Hence the aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of using sawdust and/or mature compost as a bulking agent to achieve effective composting. The results showed that mixing of FWD with sawdust alone or together with mature compost could produce quality compost with reduced NH4+-N (<700 mg/kg dry matter) and increased seed germination index (>80%) within 2 weeks of co-composting. Composting FWD with both sawdust and mature compost effectively reduced ~ 83% of NH3 volatilization demonstrating that this approach can effectively produce mature nitrogen enriched FWD compost.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125759
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

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

User-Defined Keywords

  • Ammonium nitrogen
  • Compost quality
  • Composting
  • Food waste digestate
  • NH3 volatilization


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