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A Procedure to Estimate Proximate Analysis of Mixed Organic Wastes

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In waste materials, proximate analysis measuring the total concentration of carbohydrate, protein, and lipid contents from solid wastes is challenging, as a result of the heterogeneous and solid nature of wastes. This paper presents a new procedure that was developed to estimate such complex chemical composition of the waste using conventional practical measurements, such as chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total organic carbon. The procedure is based on mass balance of macronutrient elements (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and phosphorus [CHNOP]) (i.e., elemental continuity), in addition to the balance of COD and charge intensity that are applied in mathematical modeling of biological processes. Knowing the composition of such a complex substrate is crucial to study solid waste anaerobic degradation. The procedure was formulated to generate the detailed input required for the International Water Association (London, United Kingdom) Anaerobic Digestion Model number 1 (IWA-ADM1). The complex particulate composition estimated by the procedure was validated with several types of food wastes and animal manures. To make proximate analysis feasible for validation, the wastes were classified into 19 types to allow accurate extraction and proximate analysis. The estimated carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and inerts concentrations were highly correlated to the proximate analysis; correlation coefficients were 0.94, 0.88, 0.99, and 0.96, respectively. For most of the wastes, carbohydrate was the highest fraction and was estimated accurately by the procedure over an extended range with high linearity. For wastes that are rich in protein and fiber, the procedure was even more consistent compared with the proximate analysis. The new procedure can be used for waste characterization in solid waste treatment design and optimization.
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Keywords: ADM1; Continuity-Based Interfacing Methodology; anaerobic digestion; elemental continuity; practical measurement; substrate composition

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2009

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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