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Zeolite and potting soil sorption of CO2 and NH3 evolved during co-composting of grape and tobacco waste

Dajana Kučić, Nina Kopčić, and Felicita Briški

Department of Industrial Ecology, Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology, University of Zagreb, Marulićev trg 19, 10 000, Zagreb, Croatia



Abstract: The gaseous byproducts produced during the composting of different kinds of solid waste are carbon dioxide (CO2) and ammonia (NH3). CO2 is a greenhouse gas and NH3 is a toxic and corrosive air pollutant so, they must be removed from exhaust gases prior to release into the atmosphere. The purpose of this work was to investigate the sorption of CO2 and NH3, evolved during composting, on zeolite and potting soil. The composting of the mixture of grape waste (GW) and tobacco waste (TW) in the mass ratio GW: TW = 55: 45 (dry mass basis) was carried out under forced aeration (0.645 L min−1 kg−1) in a column reactor (10 L) under adiabatic conditions over 21 days. Adsorption of the gases evolved was carried out in the fixed-bed column reactor (0.166 L). The most important physical-chemical characteristics of the composting mass and adsorbents and the evolved CO2 and NH3 were closely monitored. The highest CO2 and NH3 concentrations were measured at the thermophilic stage and the cooling stage of composting, respectively. The results showed that zeolite and potting soil were good adsorbents for the sorption of CO2 and NH3. The zeolite adsorbed 31 % of the evolved CO2 and the entire concentration of ammonia, whilst the potting soil adsorbed 3 % of CO2 and 49 % of NH3 from the exhaust gases.

Keywords: co-composting – exhaust gases (CO2 and NH3) – sorption – zeolite – potting soil

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-013-0322-z


Chemical Papers 67 (9) 1172–1180 (2013)

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