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Vol. 87, No: 2, 2012, Pages: 137 - 43

Dissipation pathways of organic pollutants during the composting of organic wastes

Lashermes G, Barriuso E, Houot S

INRA, UMR1091, Environnement et Grandes Cultures, INRA-AgroParisTech, F-78850 Thiverval-Grignon, France.


The organic pollutants (OPs) present in compostable organic residues can be recovered in the final composts leading to environmental impacts related to their use in agriculture. However, the composting process may contribute to their partial dissipation that is classically evaluated through the concentration decrease in extractable OPs, without identification of the responsible mechanisms as mineralization or stabilization of OP as non-extractable residues (NER) or bound residues. The dissipation of four (14)C-labeled OPs (fluoranthene; 4-n-nonylphenol, NP; sodium linear dodecylbenzene sulfonate, LAS; glyphosate) was assessed during composting of sewage sludge and green waste. The dissipation of LAS largely resulted from its mineralization (51% of initial LAS), whereas mineralization was intermediate for NP (29%) and glyphosate (24%), and negligible for fluoranthene. The NER pathway mostly concerned NP and glyphosate, with 45% and 37% of the recovered (14)C being found as NER at the end of composting, respectively. In the final composts, the proportions of water soluble residues of OPs considered as readily available were <11% of recovered (14)C-OPs. However, most fluoranthene remained solvent extractable (72%) and potentially available, whereas only 18% of glyphosate and less than 7% of both NP and LAS remained solvent extractable in the final compost.

Keywords:organic pollutants,fluoranthene; 4-n-nonylphenol, NP; sodium linear dodecylbenzene sulfonate, LAS; glyphosate.


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