Impact of zeolite amendment on composting of food waste digestate

M.K. Manu, Chen Wang, Dongyi Li, Sunita Varjani, Jonathan W.C. Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Food waste digestate (FWD) is an organic waste characterized by high NH4+-N content and its composting is challenging due to the higher NH3 emission and nitrogen loss. In the present study, FWD was co-composted with sawdust and mature compost, and zeolite was used as a physical additive for nitrogen conservation. The results demonstrated that amending 5% and 10% zeolite reduced the NH3 emission to 1.8% and 1.6%, respectively, compared to 2.5% in the control without any zeolite. Overall, the zeolite amendment had a positive impact on nitrogen conservation as the nitrogen loss could be mitigated by 34–39% using 5–10% dosages. Besides, the zeolite addition showed considerable improvement in the FWD decomposition as the degradation rate was increased by 30–32% resulting in a carbon loss of 27–29%. Furthermore, the phytotoxic nature of FWD could be diminished by zeolite amendment which reduced the NH4+-N contents to a permissible limit (≤500 mg/kg dm) and increased the seed germination index to > 80% in 14 days of co-composting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133408
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

User-Defined Keywords

  • Ammonia emission
  • Compost maturity
  • Food waste digestate
  • Nitrogen conservation
  • Phytotoxicity
  • Zeolite


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