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Title: Development of biodegradable waste recycling system
Authors: Kaur, Simranjit
Supervisor: Goyal, Dinesh
Saini, R. S.
Keywords: biowaste;recycling system;bacterial consortium;rapid degradation
Issue Date: 21-Sep-2022
Abstract: In India, to handle one of the key environmental issue of managing solid waste, large-scale composting plants were installed which did not gave satisfactory results because improper segregation of waste and operation below capacity. Therefore, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Management Rules, 2016 lay focus on small units for onsite treatment of waste to minimize cost and environmental impacts. Accordingly, the aim and objectives of the study were (i) Evaluation of microbial decomposition of biodegradable waste and (ii) To design and fabricate a pilot scale biodegradable waste recycling system. Biodegradable solid waste was sourced from mess of an educational institution which was based on surveys conducted in cities of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali. The survey helped in determining quantity of biodegradable waste generation covering mess facilities in educational institutes, and kitchens of commercial establishments as hotels and residences. The study involved survey in 2 institutes located in knowledge city, Mohali; 11 three star hotels of Chandigarh (India) out of 70 three star hotels located in the province; and 1 residential township of Mohali. These are key stakeholders who can subsequently use the developed system on commercial scale. The survey helped identify that food waste alone was a major issue and these establishments face considerable problem in management of food waste generated. BioN – microbial consortium (developed at Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology) was used in the current study. Saw dust was also utilized which acts as filler for composting as it helps control moisture as per recommendations regarding culture usage. Saw dust adds the browns and helps in providing the necessary input carbon when treating kitchen waste, the greens which majorly contain nitrogen. 10 No. composting trials were done at ambient temperature using chopped input material (cooked food waste and Cooked + Raw food waste (1:1)) for zeroing on the best possible combinations for composting. Visual observations were recorded such as colour and change in texture of biomass, weight reduction, dryness/wetness, cottony fungal growth and leachate generation after 20 days of composting. Out of the 10 No. of trials, two trials i.e. Trial No. 2 (Cooked food waste+ 20% saw dust) and Trial No. 3 (Cooked + Raw food waste + 15% saw dust) have shown the maximum weight reduction and produced visibly better compost in 20 days’ time, thus they were selected for undertaking the physico-chemical analysis. The physical observations were supported with better chemical analysis of compost prepared using BioN having C/N ratio ranging from 20.52 to 29.75 which indicates a good quality compost. The inputs were used to design and fabricate a biodegradable waste recycler of 25 Kg/hour capacity. The primary function of the equipment in composting was to provide such conditions during mixing of culture and waste that helps reduce any enablers as saw dust; can subsequently reduce the time required for composting and eliminate the odour. Trials were undertaken using biodegradable waste recycler and the selected trials were also repeated in different seasons. The input material and compost was also analyzed for various physico-chemical and biochemical parameters on day 0, day 3, day 7 and day 14 of composting. The BioN culture (5% w/v) using (Cooked food waste+ 400C +20%saw dust) and Trial 6 (Cooked food waste50% + raw food waste 50% + 400C +15% saw dust) were considered optimum as they produced powdery, dark brown colored compost in 14 days. These two experimental conditions are also repeated in summer (March 2014 - May 2014) and monsoon season (July 2014 to September 2014) to ensure that the process was not affected with the change in ambient temperatures. The compost made from cooked food wast50% + raw food waste 50% + 400C +15% saw dust was recommended over other as it had a pH 7.4 as well as C: N of 20.27. Other parameters monitored were EC 0.96 mS/cm, organic matter 45.72%, moisture content 23.51%, volatile matter 10.55%, organic carbon 26.62%, nitrogen 1.31%, protein 8.84%, phosphorous 0.81%, potassium 0.18%, cellulose 10.87%, lignin 2.1%, sugar 20.27%, starch 13.27%, sulphur 0.44% and calorific value 16.62% which indicate degradation of material due to microbial action during the composting process. In addition, SEM imagery, FTIR and XRD study was conducted which support the decomposition of material during the composting process. Bio-efficacy trials i.e. short term- 2 weeks pot experiment as well as a longer duration bio-efficacy trial for 4 months was also undertaken to confirm compost maturity. Bio-efficacy trials show 100% germination in wheat seeds and 97.22% germination in radish seeds. In the 4 months bio-efficacy trial on wheat, shoot length increased up to 63%, root length unto 40% and plant biomass unto 70% when matched with that of the control. Thus we can conclude that use of compost has an encouraging effect on the growth of plants and biomass and it has a great potential as soil amending agent which helps in improving plant health and adds to the agronomic value. Making compost from food waste provides a better option over traditional means like land filling or open dumping as it is environment friendly and enables meaningful recycling of organic waste produced by household, restaurants and mess. The decentralized system makes the handling and processing of waste easy and also reduces the expenditure on transportation. The commercial model made on the basis of this study is being sold by M/s Eco Paryavaran Engineers & consultants Pvt. Ltd. under the brand name of “ECOSTER” which is a further improvised version having inbuilt shredder and holding tank.
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