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  • A new model for predicting carbon storage dynamics and emissions related to the waste management of wood products: introduction of the HWP-RIAL model

    The ability of wood products to store carbon allows for their significant contribution to the climate mitigation efforts and the emission reduction commitments set by the EU. In order to optimise the carbon storage capacity of wood products, it is important to take climate mitigation aspects into consideration as much as possible during their production, use and waste management. The aim of this study was to quantify the effects of product development, recycling, and waste management technologies on carbon storage and emissions. In the frame of the ForestLab project, a new model and decision support tool was developed, which is able to predict the duration of carbon storage of wood products and the evolution of emissions from them. The developed HWP-RIAL model (Harvested Wood Product Recycling, Incineration And Landfill model) uses the methodology of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to calculate emissions, which is also used in the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory report. It combines the IPCC waste model with equations describing the carbon storage and emissions of wood products, and the model is also supplemented with a self-developed recycling and waste routing module. This paper provides insight into the operation of the model by following the life cycle of 200,000 m3 particle board.

  • The effect of increasing compost rates on the yield and nutrient content of ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)

    Satisfaction of the increasing needs of humanity causes large environmental load. To provide a livable environment for future generations we have to satisfy our needs with the use of sustainable management. This is one of the biggest challenges of nowadays.
    The amount of wastes emitted in increasing volume can be decreased by the recycling of them. The disposal of waste materials formed in the public spaces of cities and during the processing of agricultural row materials and by-products in landfills is inconceivable, so they must be recycled.
    These materials mostly with organic compounds could be the primary substrates of composts. Completed with suitable additives, and applied appropriate treating technology, composts are capable to supply horticultural plants with nutrients. Composting wastes and byproducts not just decreases the amounts of deposited waste materials, but increases the nutrient (macro- and micronutrients) content of soils, so this is an  environmentally friendly and alternative way of nutrient management of plants.

  • Examination of compost maturity using reflectance

    Composting is one of the most popular recycling processes for organic waste. Composting plays an important role in waste and by-product management and is becoming increasingly important in both sustainable energy management and circular economy. Composting transforms organic matter to produce a safe and stable by-product (compost) that can be applied to arable land in a similar way to fertilizer. Physical, chemical and biological methods can be used to monitor the process and to determine the maturity of the compost, as spectrometric/spectroscopic methods play an important role in the analysis of different environmental samples.

    Our aim was to (1) non-destructively detect the effects of different additive ratios on the spectral properties of the composting process and the spectral data of different compost mixtures, (2) to find the wavelength ranges of the reflectance curve (inflection points) sensitive to compost maturity, (3) to determine the correlation between the inflection points and the chemical and physical parameters measured in compost by conventional methods.

    The mixture of broiler and hen manure and zeolite was composted 62 days in windrow composting. In the composting experiment, the moisture content and temperature (°C) were measured every three days and compost samples were taken and in 10% destillated aquaeous suspension were measured the pH and electrical conductivity (mS cm-1). Compost samples dried to mass stability were spectrally analyzed in the wavelength range 400–1000 nm with AvaSpec 2048 spectrometer.

    Based on the results, the reflectance of mature compost were smaller in the last days of composting than the reflectance values of day 0 samples, thus compost maturity can be detected spectral in the VIS-NIR wavelength range. For the tested compost prisms, the reflectance of each sampling day shows a constant slope, with a significant overlap of the reflectance curves up to 400–700 nm wavelength range, and there was a breakpoint in the 700–750 nm wavelength range which was proved by binary encoding.

  • Changes in toxic elements content of soil after sewage sludge treatment in energy willow plantation

    The primary purpose of our experiment was the solution of municipal excess sludge treatment by a renewable energy resource used willow (Salix viminalis L.) plantation. Tests were carried out to state whether the applied sewage sludge has caused any accumulation of the toxic elements in the studied soil layers, and - based on the results –to see whether the plantation is suitable for the treatment of municipal sewage sludge.
    The excess sludge (sludge before dewatering) is beneficial for the willow, because it contains a 3–5% dry matter and therefore, a lot of water, too. This high water content ensures the high water amount needed for the intensive growth of the willow. On the other hand, the wastewater treatment plant can save the dewatering cost which corresponds to about 30% of the water treatment process costs. The amounts of the sprinkled sewage sludge were calculated on the basis of its total nitrogen content. Treatments were the followings: control, 170 N kg ha-1 year-1 and 250 N kg ha-1 year-1. The mean values of the toxic element concentrations in the sewage sludge did not cross the permitted limits of the land  accommodating.

    The measured toxic element values of the soil were compared to the limits of the 50/2001. (IV.3.) Government Regulation.The  sprinkled sewage sludge on the bases of the total N content did not cause accumulation of heavy metals in the soil and the treated plants were also healthy without any signs of toxicity. 

  • The effect of different compost rates on the yield of ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)

    Protection of natural resources and sustainable natural resources management are essential for the long-term survival of humanity. This makes necessary nowadays the development of environmentally conscious living and spread of that in the future. The amount of organic waste materials, produced during human activities, could be decreased by composting instead of dispose them in landfills. Applying appropriate treatment technology and additives, the compost could be used as fertilizer for horticultural crops and it could increase the easily available nutrient content of soils. Compost utilization prevents nutrient deficiencies and by using the optimal rate, we could reach significant yield increases.

  • Analysis of the Environmental Status of Nagykálló Subregion

    The third smallest region of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county is the Nagykálló subregion. Its territory is 377 km2 and its inhabitants number 32.526. Due to the fact that industrial development arrived late, the environmental status of this subregion was saved from serious ecological degradation. The quality of the environment shows a reasonable picture in many respects, comparing to the general survey of the country. The air quality of the region can be qualified as acceptable. Leaving some critical points out of consideration, it is better than the national average. It is favourable from the human environment point of view that the region is free of extremes, and has a balanced climate. The supply of drinking water is above 95%, and the remainsing water requirements are supplied by artesian wells. The water supply network is fully extended in the subregion. The most significant environmental noise source is traffic, including public road traffic, which causes a problem in the town of Nagykálló. The situation of the collection, transportation, and placement of the settlement’s solid wastes show a similar picture to the status of the country. The environmental status of the region is included in the SWOT analysis.