Valorization of food waste into biofertiliser and its field application

Chenyu Du, Jwan J. Abdullah, Darren Greetham, Danni Fu, Mengyuan Yu, Liwei Ren, Shuang Li, Diannan Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Citations (Scopus)


Worldwide significant amounts of food waste are generated daily causing serious environmental issues, occupying land and requiring expenditure of resources for its treatment. A smart method for handling this food waste problem is the development of novel processes targeting the conversion of this waste into value added products. Although valorization of food waste to biofuels, biochemicals and bio-polymers have been widely investigated, the utilization of food waste streams into biofertiliser has not been intensively reviewed. Conversion of food waste, especially agriculture residues into biofertiliser would reduce its environmental impact, improve nutrition levels of the soil, decrease requirements for synthetic chemical fertiliser and have a direct benefit on food production. This paper reviews recent progress in the field regarding the production of biofertiliser from food waste, using anaerobic digestion, aerobic composting, chemical hydrolysis, in situ degradation and direct burning methods. This review also highlights the latest field applications of biofertiliser derived from various food waste streams. It confirms that the technology for the conversion of food waste to biofertilisers is viable, but the production efficiency could be improved with better process control strategies, strict quality controls, development of a smart product distribution system and adoption of advanced technologies. Field tests have indicated that biofertilisers which are obtained in proper managed AD plants are safe and could partially replace the use of chemical fertilisers in field application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-284
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Early online date23 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2018


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