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Biodegradation Of Poly-e-caprolactone And Its Unexpected Effects In An Attempt To Reduce Ammonia Emission During Composting


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K Nakasaki, K Nagasaki & M Kanda


Biodegradation of poly-E-caprolactone and its unexpected effects in an attempt to reduce ammonia emission during composting K. Nakasaki, K. Nagasaki & M. Kanda Department of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering Shizuoka University Abstract Ammonia is the greatest nuisance odor component among the exhaust gases that evolve during the composting process. The present study examined the effect on ammonia emission reduction resulting from the addition of poly-E-caprolactone (PCL), a biodegradable plastic, into composting raw material. After approximately three days from the start of composting, a clear difference was observed in the concentration of CO, and the cumulative emission of carbon between composting with and without the addition of PCL. This difference indicated that the PCL began to decompose to CO, on approximately the 3rd day of composting. The percentage of PCL decomposition finally reached to approximately 46% on the 7th day of composting. The concentration of NH3 in the composting with PCL was half or smaller than that observed in the composting without PCL on the 3rd day of composting. Moreover, the concentration of NH3 became extremely low after 4th day of composting with PCL. These results clearly demonstrated not only that PCL is compostable, but also that it is capable of suppressing NH3 emission during the process of composting. In addition, it was shown that biodegradable plastics other than the PCL reduced ammonia emissions during the composting process as well, although the magnitude of the reduction differed according to the type of biode- gradable plastic. 1 Introduction The management of solid waste is a growing concern in many countries. Municipal solid waste is a major component of the total solid waste generated by society, and the composting of municipal solid waste is one of the most useful methods of treating organic waste and reclaiming it for use on farm land. Such practice has