The use of nitrogen compounds from organic waste

Organic waste (e.g., food waste) contains nitrogen compounds, which were initially considered for human consumption. In recent years, microbial processes have been presented, which considered the use of organic nitrogen compounds, such as amino acids, as nitrogen sources for microbes. Microbes can synthesize and particularly microalgae can assimilate proteins in biomass. This contribution introduces to methods for nitrogen “recycling” from organic waste. The focus is on keeping functionalized nitrogen compounds in the food and feed chain.

Organic waste contains nitrogen compounds Organic waste contains substantial amounts of nitrogen in form of proteins and amino acids. For instance food waste contains up to 20% (w/w) proteins, which were originally considered for human consumption. At the same time, earth is facing a “lack-of-protein” problem. Even though wasted food is no longer applicable as food source (Pleissner 2018), nitrogen compounds can be recovered and used for other purposes. One purpose is the application as nitrogen source for biological agents and in particular algae (Pleissner and Rumbold 2018).