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Analysis of Treatment and Disposal Methods for Vegetable Solids

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Title: Analysis of Treatment and Disposal Methods for Vegetable Solids
Author: Austin, Emily
Department: School of Engineering
Program: Engineering
Advisor: Zytner, Richard
Abstract: Fresh cut food processors, ranging from the small on-farm operations to large industrial settings, continue to raise concern with the lack of treatment options for the fruit and vegetable residue they generate. Consequently, an experimental investigation was completed on methods to treat and dispose of vegetable solids which are produced in the peeling and cutting of fresh vegetables. In vessel composting and anaerobic digestion were used to treat the solids. The anaerobic digestion resulted in 130 L of methane per kilogram of volatile solids for carrots and 256 L of methane per gram of volatile solids for mixed vegetables. For the composting to be successful, the carrots and vegetables had to be dried first and extra nitrogen needed to be added to the pile. Composting with a bulking agent was found to be the best method for small scale vegetable processors, and anaerobic digestion was found to be feasible for mixed vegetables, but not carrots alone. This is partly due to their higher C:N ratio. Anaerobic digestion effluent was found to have a high level of phytotoxicity and requires further treatment before land application. The compost at 21 days showed low phytotoxicity and requires some curing before land application.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/7516
Date: 2013-08


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