(80e) A Computational Framework for Sustainable Waste Management and Simultaneous Recovery of Nutrients and Energy

Authors: 
Ruiz-Mercado, G. J., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Zavala, V. M., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Martin, M., University of Salamanca

To protect human health and the environment, communities should have sustainable infrastructures to manage waste. Critically, livestock waste may cause some air quality degradation from ammonia and methane emissions, soil quality detriment due to in-excess nutrients and acidification, and water pollution issues resulting from nutrient and pathogens runoff to water bodies, which leads to eutrophication, hypoxia, and harmful algal blooms (HABs).

In addition, the recovery of carbon from organic waste offers an alternative for replacing fossil fuels with renewable sources for energy production. Despite the significant environmental benefits by performing pollution management of these organic materials, the deployment of technologies for obtaining value-added products and renewable energy from livestock waste is not a current practice due to the high investment costs and low product market values.

This contribution describes a multi-scale approach for the development of a supply chain framework to identify and evaluate techniques and logistics for the management of solid waste generated from primary sources of nutrient pollution. This effort will inform stakeholders’ waste management options while assessing potential economic and environmental benefits. Other potential benefits include the reduction of nutrient pollution and HABs, recovery of valuable products, and adoption of nutrient-reducing technologies in different locations (e.g., community, state, regional, etc.). In addition, the proposed framework captures techno-economic and logistical issues and can accommodate diverse types of material management incentives obtained at federal and state levels.