VOCs released from municipal solid waste at the initial decomposition stage: Emission characteristics and an odor impact assessment

Wenjing Lu , Yanjun Liu , Huiyuan Yang


Received February 29, 2020,Revised , Accepted May 08, 2020, Available online June 18, 2020

Volume 32,2020,Pages 143-150

The nuisance from odor caused by municipal solid waste (MSW) is resulting in a growing number of public complaints and concerns. Odor pollution occurs in the initial decomposition stage of MSW, including waste collection, transportation and early pre-treatment. Furthermore, decomposition takes place in waste facilities that are often close to living areas, which can result in odor impacts on local inhabitants. However, this aspect of odor impact from MSW has not been well studied. In the current study, lab-scale waste cells were designed to simulate MSW storage conditions in the early stage. The characteristics of VOCs emissions with different waste compositions were analyzed. The odor concentration (CO, non-dimensional) method and odor intensity were used for the assessment of odor. Ethanol was the substance with highest emission rate. The release rate of VOCs increased with the growth easily biodegradable waste (EBW). VOCs emissions was reduced by 25% when the proportion of EBW decreased from 60% to 45%. Methyl sulfide, ethanol, dimethyl disulfide and ethyl acetate were identified as typical odorants. The EBW proportion in waste is the main factor significantly influencing odor pollution. The CO was 244.51 for the 60% EBW condition, which was only 61.46 for 15% EBW condition. These study results provide important information for the implementation of a garbage sorting policy and the monitoring of odor pollution from waste management.

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