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Organic waste includes all waste of plant or animal origin that can be degraded by microorganisms or enzymes. In industrial countries such as Germany, approx. 25-35 percent of household waste is deemed to be organic waste, and in some cases collected separately. In principle, organic waste and green cuttings after composting or fermentation are suitable for use as fertilisers or as a source of humus. They can replace approx. 10 percent of mineral fertilisers in this way. The prerequisite is a very low pollutant content. It is possible to recover organic waste by means of composting or fermentation. Fermentation represents a sensible use of the energy contained in the waste, with low emissions. In particular waste with low lignin content (poorly degradable plant substance, for example in tree bark) can be converted into end products very quickly by means of anaerobic digestion. The best method is anaerobic fermentation with the exclusion of oxygen. In short time cycles, microorganisms divide the organic waste into biogas and fermentation residues. The method produces a good energy balance as well as low CO2 emissions and minimal odour development. After fermentation, the residues can once again be composted and further used.
Stable, disruption-free operation of the plant is an important prerequisite for fermenting organic waste. Further information on anaerobic fermentation can be found here.