Application of Fourier transform infrared-photoacoustic spectroscopy for the characterisation of organic wastes and determination of their usefulness for bioenergy and as soil amendments

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesisResearch

  • Georgios Bekiaris
Organic wastes can be used as valuable fertiliser and this has a number of benefits for the soil compared to synthetic fertilisers, such as increase of organic matter content, improvement of soil structure and water holding capacity etc. Organic wastes can also be used for other purposes such as energy recovery through ethanol or biogas production. Laboratory assays that determine the usefulness of the organic wastes for these different purposes are already exciting. However, in most of the cases the assays are associated with high operational costs and times. Therefore, the main objective of this project was the development of less time-consuming and inexpensive techniques that can partially replace laboratory assays in the determination the usefulness of organic wastes. In this project the potential of a relatively new spectroscopic technique, i.e. Fourier transform infrared photoacoustic spectroscopy (FTIR-PAS), for characterising the chemical composition and predicting the usefulness of organic wastes was tested. The working principle of FTIR-PAS allows the acquisition of detailed spectra of very dark and opaque samples (such as manure, biochars, soil etc.) without any pretreatment, which is not feasible with traditional transmittance FTIR techniques. FTIR-PAS found capable of predicting the mineralisable fraction of carbon of soil incubated organic waste products, determining the phosphorus speciation on biochars produced from the solid fraction of manure digestate and bone meal as well as predicting the biochemical methane potential and sugar release of plant biomasses during the biogas and bioethanol production respectively.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherDepartment of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen
Number of pages111
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ID: 160641521