Conclusions

• In terms of product quality, energy consumption, and costs, bioprocessing has the capability to function as a useful waste recycling technology.

• Comparing the three bioreactor types considered, we can conclude that

- slurry processing offers the best option for rapid, controlled integral treatment

- composting can be used as a batch approach (biopiles) for smaller amounts

- rotating-drum bioreactors are a solid-state alternative to slurry processing

• In the decontamination market, bioreactor processing should focus on wet waste streams having a large content of contaminated fines; the contamination should be essentially organic in character.

• Unambiguous analytical techniques and procedures and clear (international) recycling standards are needed to properly evaluate the various technologies, the end products, and calibration standards.

• Research has to identify the reasons for the hampered breakdown as measured in various field experiments. Especially for large input concentrations, the bioavailability (or even toxicity) of the contaminants may seriously interfere with optimal microbial breakdown conditions. Ways have to be found to overcome these limitations.

• To fully explore the possibilities of bioprocessing, notice should be taken of the benefits of (semi)continuous processing.

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