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Determination of organic contaminants in composts and digestates in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, South-West-Germany


B. Kuch, S. Rupp, K. Fischer, M. Kranert, J.W. Metzger
Institute for Sanitary Engineering, Water Quality and Solid Waste Management, Universität Stuttgart

Numerous investigations prove the occurrence of organic pollutants in sewage sludge. Therefore the agricultural use of sewage sludge is controversially discussed. For the final assessment of possible risks connected to the agricultural use of compost and digestate the current knowledge is not sufficient.

In this monitoring study the output material of 16 composting plants in Baden-Wuerttemberg was analysed for various organic trace pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), polybrominated flame retardants and nonylphenols, which are a class of endocrine disrupting compounds. The concentrations of PAH were in the range of 1200 - 3500 µg/kg d.w., PCB were found in concentrations between 20 and 35 µg/kg d.w.. For both classes of substances as a tendency lower concentrations were found in green compost. Seasonal variations were observed for PAH, nonylphenols and DDE, a stable degradation product of DDT.


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