5.B.1 - Biological Treatment of Waste - Composting

Last updated on 29 Aug 2019 09:29 (cf. Authors)

Short description

Within NFR category 5.B.1 - Biological treatment of waste - Composting, ammonia (NH3) emissions from composting of organic wastes are reported.

NFR Code Name of Category Method AD EF Key Category 1
5.B.1 Composting CS NS CS no key category

Separately collected organic waste (biowaste) from e.g. households, public garden and park service, food industry, restaurants, canteens and from agriculture can be treated in two different ways:
aerobic treatment (composting) and anaerobic treatment (biogas production).

The aim of the treatment is the production of compost, leading to the recycling of nutrients and organic matter.

The produced compost is used as fertilizer or soil improver in agriculture or horticulture and also in private gardening.
In Germany about two thirds of the organic waste is treated in composting plants and ammonia (NH3) is an important emission to air.


Emissions from composting are not a key source and of minor priority.

Activity data

Activity data for this category are updated by data from the national statistics.

Emission factors

The emission factors used for calculating NH3 emissions are based on emission data from a research project [1].


The AD from Statistisches Bundesamt have an uncertainty of ±2% whereas the uncertainty for the EF is -59/+130% (ibid.).


Recalculations were not necessary.

For pollutant-specific information on recalculated emission estimates for Base Year and 2016, please see the pollutant specific recalculation tables following chapter 8.1 - Recalculations.

Planned improvements

Currently no improvements are planned.

1. Carsten Cuhls, Birte Mähl, Joachim Clemens; gewitra Ingenieurgesellschaft für Wissenstransfer mbH: Ermittlung der Emissionssituation bei der Verwertung von Bioabfällen; https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/publikationen/ermittlung-der-emissionssituation-bei-der; im Auftrag des Umweltbundesamtes, April 2015.
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