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Survival of animal parasites and weed seeds as affected by anaerobic digestion at meso- and termophilic conditions

Johansen, Anders; Carlsgart, Josefine; Hansen, Christian M.; Roepstorff, Allan; Andreasen, Christian and Nielsen, Henrik Bangsø (2011) Survival of animal parasites and weed seeds as affected by anaerobic digestion at meso- and termophilic conditions. Environmental Science & Technology, ( ), - . [Completed]

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Anaerobic digestion of residual materials from animals and crops offers an opportunity to simultaneously produce bioenergy and plant fertilizers at single farms and in farm communities where input substrate materials and resulting digested residues are shared among member farms. A surplus benefit from this praxis may be the suppressing of propagules from harmful biological pest like animal parasites, pathogens, and weed seeds. In the present work batch experiments were performed, where survival of six species of weeds and the pigs large roundworm Ascaris suum (non-embryonated eggs) was assessed under conditions similar to biogas plants managed at meso- (37 °C) and thermophilic (50 °C) conditions. Cattle manure was used as digestion substrate and experimental units were sampled destructively during time. Regarding survival of A. suum, the effect of thermophilic conditions was highly significant as no eggs survived more than 3 h of incubation at 50 °C. Incubation at 37 °C did not affect egg survival during the first 48 h and it took up to 10 days before total elimination was reached. Similarly, at 50 °C complete mortality of weed seeds, irrespective of species, was reached after less than two days. At mesophilic conditions, seeds of Avena fatua, Sinapsis arvensis, Solidago Canadensis had completely lost germination ability, while Brassica napus, Polygonum convolvulus and Amzinckia micranta still maintained low levels (~1%) of germination ability after one week. Chenopodium album was the only weed species which survived one week at substantial levels (7%) although after 11 d germination ability was totally lost. In general, anaerobic digestion in biogas plants seems an efficient way (thermophilic more efficient than mesophilic) to treat organic farm wastes in a way that suppresses animal parasites and weeds so that the digestates can be applied without risking the spread of these pests

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Ascaris suum, weed seed, survival, biogas
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF III (2005-2010) > BIOCONCENS - Biomass and bio-energy production in organic agriculture
Deposited By: Johansen, Senior Scientist, PhD Anders
ID Code:18897
Deposited On:29 Jun 2011 09:16
Last Modified:06 Feb 2012 10:58
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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