Session 1 Topic: Pollutants and circular bio-economy
Environmental pollutants in biowaste recycling and reuse
Organizers: Roland Kallenborn, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (Norway)
Professor Roland Kallenborn is a
senior scientist and university
teacher in the field of organic
environmental chemistry and
environmental risk assessment.
Kallenborn is also affiliated as adjunct professorship in Arctic Technology to the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) and as external supervisor for graduate and post graduate students, to the Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT, China).
– The steadily increasing number of priority pollutants in the Arctic requires new analytical methods and detection strategies. The UArctic network will help to coordinate and harmonize current international efforts to investigate today’s pollutant profiles in the Arctic, says Kallenborn.
As UArctic chair for Environmental pollution research, Kallenborn will focus on developing circum-Arctic academic networks for graduate and post -graduate education of future experts in Arctic environmental chemistry. His scientific focus will be on fata and distribution profiling of organic Arctic pollutants including Chemicals of Emerging Arctic Concern (CEACs).
As an important prerequisite for sustainable bioeconomy strategies, recycling and reuse of both non-renewable and renewable resources including nutrients from organic residues is considered an important asset. However, there is a huge diversity in organic residues depending on their origin and/or the type of process involved in their production. For example, the application of organic residues as a soil amendment and fertilizer will recycle the nutrients contained in the residues but may also imply a dispersal of contaminants on agricultural soils. From soils, contaminants may be absorbed into food and fodder plants, ultimately resulting in animal and human exposure.
Similar concerns may arise for potential pollutant issues related to other organic waste streams if the risks involved are not investigated and controlled in detail. Due to the attempt to develop suitable production pathways for renewable energy production in recent years, various technologies have been promoted and applied with the potential of uncontrolled emission of anthropogenic pollution. For instance, the use of biological (waste) material in anaerobic digestion, both as decentralized farm biogas plants as well as municipal plants for handling of, among others, organic household waste, has increased significantly in Europe and other parts of the world. This development leads not only to an increasing amount of bioenergy produced but also to a considerable amount of production waste being handled properly (i.e., biogas digestate). The most attractive option to manage these biowastes is to apply them as organic fertilizer to agricultural land allowing to recover nutrients, primarily nitrogen and phosphorus, and, in addition, potentially improving soil quality by adding organic matter. Unfortunately, such residues may also contain complex organic compound mixtures, salts, anthropogenic pollutants, and/or pathogenic bacteria that can adversely affect terrestrial organisms and may accumulate in plants.
Requirements for avoiding the release of hazardous chemicals during production and waste handling need implementation in the production strategies of currently developed bioeconomy strategies. The here planned Isession will provide a platform for scientific discussion on issues related to pollution issues (identification, remediation, prevention, and regulation) in the context of circular bioeconomy, bioenergy production, and waste handling.
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