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Burhan Shamurad

A strategy for the sustainable treatment of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW).


Project title

Integrating mineral wastes in the anaerobic digestion of OFMSW for improved recovery of renewable energy

Project supervisors

Project description

I investigated a treatment strategy for the high organic component of a municipal solid waste. The strategy is feasible and affordable. It considers a variety of treatment scenarios.

I developed an integrated approach. This uses waste streams generated as a result of population growth and economic development. The approach ensures sustainable treatment of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW).

I am investigating the effects of using mineral wastes (MWs) from municipal solid waste incineration plants. These include:

  • IBA: incineration bottom ash
  • FA: fly ash
  • BA: boiler ash
  • construction demolition wastes (CBW: cement-based waste)

Thy would provide trace elements (TEs) deficient in the OFMSW. They would also provide moderate alkalinity. This would prevent reactor acidification of mesophilic anaerobic digestion of the OFMSW.

I explored the control and operation of two types of reactor:

  • batch biomethane potential (BMP) reactors
  • continuous stirred tank reactors (CSTRs; single-stage and two-stage reactors)

I studied their performance under different feeding regimes, organic loading rates and hydraulic/solid retention times. This allowed me to determine the potential benefits of mineral waste amendments and aqueous trace metal supplements. These may be beneficial to anaerobic digestion efficiency, methane productivity and process stability.

I am carrying out further analysis to understand microbial community compositions and functions. These underpin the biological processes in anaerobic digestion.



Travel, reading


  • MSc Environmental Engineering – Newcastle University
  • BSc Mechanical Engineering – Baghdad University