Javier Menéndez, Jorge Loredo



Evaluating Sewage Sludge Compost: Biofuels Production on Disused Open Pit Mines in Northern Spain

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During the last decades the Asturian Carboniferous Central Basin (ACCB) has been exploited by means of open-pit and underground mining. Even though it is regarded as a crucial economic activity worldwide, mining has a significant negative impact on environment. Due to its nature, especially opencast mining inevitably leads to serious degradation on ecological and aesthetic values of the landscape. Topography and drainage, air, soil and water quality, vegetation including forest ecosystems, noise levels and ground vibrations, human health and habitation can be listed as the typical parameters that are mainly affected by opencast mining activities. When the extraction of reserve is over, the altered landscape has to be reclaimed in order to relieve the damaging effects of opencast mining and restore the landscape and its immediate surroundings. Although these are soils with very poor conditions, these lands can be used for the production of solid biofuels through short rotation energy crops. The main objective lies in the search for the species that best adapt to the conditions of the environment, since there is hardly any organic matter and the nitrogen content is scarce. The biofuels produced can help meet the 20-20-20 target, which is a commitment that aims to reduce 20% the consumption of primary energy and greenhouse gas emissions and increase renewable energy production by 20%.


Post-mining recultivation, energy crops, biofuels, mining land management, forestry biomass


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Cite this paper

Javier Menéndez, Jorge Loredo. (2018) Evaluating Sewage Sludge Compost: Biofuels Production on Disused Open Pit Mines in Northern Spain. International Journal of Environmental Science, 3, 82-86


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