Detection, composition and treatment of volatile organic compounds from waste treatment plants

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Environmental policies at the European and global level support the diversion of wastes from landfills for their treatment in different facilities. Organic waste is mainly treated or valorized through composting, anaerobic digestion or a combination of both treatments. Thus, there are an increasing number of waste treatment plants using this type of biological treatment. During waste handling and biological decomposition steps a number of gaseous compounds are generated or removed from the organic matrix and emitted. Different families of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) can be found in these emissions. Many of these compounds are also sources of odor nuisance. In fact, odors are the main source of complaints and social impacts of any waste treatment plant. This work presents a summary of the main types of VOC emitted in organic waste treatment facilities and the methods used to detect and quantify these compounds, together with the treatment methods applied to gaseous emissions commonly used in composting and anaerobic digestion facilities. © 2011 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4043-4059
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011


  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Composting
  • Gaseous emissions
  • Odor
  • Organic waste
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOC)
  • Waste treatment plants


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