Fibers and Polymers

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 445–452 | Cite as

Alternative cleaning of compost leachate using biopolymer chitosan

  • Marjana Simonič
  • Julija Volmajer Valh
  • Simona Vajnhandl
  • Silvo Hribernik
  • Manja Kurečič
  • Lidija Fras Zemljič


Compost leachate poses a threat to the environment because it contains many organic and inorganic pollutants. Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) has been reported at values above 5000 mg/l O2. Heavy metals, such as nickel, lead, chromium are also present within these waters. Thus, in order to comply with the increasingly stringent environmental quality standards such contaminants must be removed effectively. The research approach in this paper is directed towards chelating pre-treatment procedures. Nontoxic and biodegradable biopolymer chitosan was used as a chelator for the removal of dissolved metals from compost leachate. The influence of chemical conditions regarding the chelation efficiency was studied in model solutions. The optimal treatment conditions were applied onto compost leachate which was analysed further regarding metals. In addition, the influence of chitosan was studied on compost leachate toxicity. The most important aspect of this paper is to demonstrate the potential of waste chitosan recycling. Thus, the chitosan chelates were subjected to the electrospinning procedure in order to develop new nano-porous structures, such as, for example, conductive textiles.


Compost leachate Biopolymer chitosan Metal removal Toxicity Waste recycling Electrospinning 


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Copyright information

© The Korean Fiber Society and Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marjana Simonič
    • 3
  • Julija Volmajer Valh
    • 1
  • Simona Vajnhandl
    • 1
  • Silvo Hribernik
    • 2
  • Manja Kurečič
    • 2
  • Lidija Fras Zemljič
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Engineering Materials and Design, Faculty of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia
  2. 2.Department of Textile Materials and Design, Faculty of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia
  3. 3.Department of Water Biophysics and Membrane processes, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia

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