Hala Omar


Many environmental issues are facing rural villages in Egypt. The main problems rural villages are suffering from are lack of adequate sewage system, absence of wastewater treatment plants, poor agricultural and municipal solid waste management. These problems are causing environmental, economic and social issues in rural villages. Rural communities’ residents suffer from many disease, unemployment as well as poor living conditions. It becomes imperative to find solutions to this tragic situation facing rural villages associated with dumping and burning waste. Unfortunately, not enough research is published to propose solutions to approach full utilization of all types of wastes generated in rural villages and reach sustainability. The main goal of this research work is to develop and propose a concept to help rural communities in Egypt approach full utilization of all types of wastes generated. This research work is divided into three parts as follows: (1) developing a model to help rural villages in Egypt reach full utilization of waste, (2) recycling of organic waste, (3) recycling of rejects. In the first part of this research work desk research method is used. From the data analysis it is proposed to use the concepts developed in industrial sector to reach sustainable development such as the concept of cradle-to-cradle, industrial ecology, eco-industrial park, environmental balanced industrial complex and green economy in the development of rural villages. The concept of Waste to Business Model (W2B) is developed. It consists of developing a facility in each rural village that groups simple and obtainable technologies in one area to fully utilize all types of wastes generated from the rural village and transform it into useful products. The two following parts of this research work focus on two types of wastes that cause huge problems in rural villages in Egypt which are: (1) organic waste and (2) rejects. There are several types of organic waste and this research focuses on rice straw and animal manure. It is estimated that around 2.5million tons/year of rice straw and 63milliom ton/year of animal manure are generated in Egypt. Composting process is and easy and cheap solution to recycle organic waste. However, this method is not widely practiced in developing countries because it is time consuming and the quality of product can be unstable. There have been increasing attention on improving composting process. The aim of this part is to transform rice straw into high quality soil amendments and organic fertilizer. This part is divided into two sets of experiments. The objective of the first set of experiment is to transform rice straw into soil amendment and evaluate the effect of different additives on the produced compost. In the first set of experiment rice straw is inoculated with animal manure, Chinese starter, cellulose decomposer and starter from the Egyptian Ministry of agriculture. The results of the first set of experiments revealed that the application of different additives in composting of rice straw exhibited an improvement of compost quality and results indicated that a higher decomposition rate of treatment having animal manure, compared to other treatments. Therefore, a second set of experiment has been conducted with substrate rice straw and animal manure inoculated with different types of additives (Effective – micro-organisms, biochar, Chinese starter) and mixture of natural rocks (rock phosphate, feldspar, sulfur, dolomite, bentonite) to produce organic fertilizer. The results revealed that the application of different additives in composting of rice straw exhibit an improvement in maturation time and final product quality. The highest decomposition rate and highest organic fertilizer quality was obtained in pile containing rice straw and 40% of animal manure mixed with natural rocks (2.5% of rock phosphate, 2.5% feldspar, 2.5% sulfur, 2.5% dolomite and 10% bentonite) and inoculated with 1L of activated EM and 10% biochar compared to other treatments. The pile reached maturation after around 42 days. All analysis of the properties of the final product indicated that it was in the range of the matured level and can be used without any limitation as an organic fertilizer as it has met all the requirements by the Egyptian Specifications of Organic fertilizers. The price of the produced high-quality organic fertilizer is 330LE/ton compared to chemical fertilizer market price ranging from 1,700LE/ton to 12,000LE/ton (non-subsidized price). In addition to the direct cost, the use of chemical fertilizer damages the atmosphere and the water. This damage has an unforeseen relatively high cost. Therefore, organic fertilizer produced from organic waste can substitute expensive chemical fertilizer The second major issue tackled in this research work is recycling of rejects. Rural villages in Egypt suffer from poor recycling of the huge amount of MSW. Some types of MSW can be easily recycled such as metals, glass, thermoplastics, etc., while others are perceived as difficult or impossible to recycle. These un-recyclables are usually referred to as rejects. This research focus on three types of rejects including (1) thermosets including melamine- formaldehyde (a hard thermoset) and ethylene-propylene-diene- monomer rubber (EPDM rubber an elastic thermoset), (2) multi-layer flexible packaging material, and (3) contaminated plastic bags. This part of the research work proposes two techniques to recycle rejects: (1) hot technology and (2) a cold technology. In the hot technology compression molding technique is used to produce the composite material from waste multi-layer packaging material as the matrix and melamine-formaldehyde as the filling material. In compression molding, the sample is subject to 50bar pressure and heat for 30min. A full design of experiment is conducted to study the effect of the following three factors on the property of the produced materials: (1) temperature, (2) %wt. of filling material, and (3) particle size of filling material. For higher accuracy samples are produced at random order using Design Expert software. The experimental results indicate that the highest mechanical properties are obtained in samples produced using molding temperature of 145°C, melamine-formaldehyde having a particle size of sieve 20 and 30%wt. fraction of melamine-formaldehyde. The resulting product is found to be competitive to commercial MX and NX types of Light Traffic Paving units in terms of cost and mechanical performance. In fact, the cost of produced material is 1.2LE/m2 compared to 150LE/m2 for interlock market price. Also, substituting melamine-formaldehyde with other filling material like EPDM rubber waste or sand and substituting the packaging material with contaminated plastic bags waste showed to produce material slightly lower mechanical properties but can still be a competitive substitute to produce interlocks. In the second part, an innovative cold technology is proposed to produce cement bricks. This technique consists of mixing contaminated plastic bags as coarse aggregates with sand, marble powder and melamine-formaldehyde as fine aggregates with cement. The mix is then pressed using a manual pressing machine without applying heat for few minutes to take the shape of the mold. Then the brick is left to cure at ambient conditions and water is added every day. The experimental results indicated that the highest properties are obtained after 28days of curing in the mix made of 25%cement, 30% contaminated plastic bags, 15% sand, 15% marble powder, 15% melamine-formaldehyde. The resulting product is found to be competitive to the commercial non-load bearing masonry brick in terms of mechanical performance and cost. In fact, the cost of produced material is 0.6LE/brick compared to 0.9 LE/brick for cement bricks. The results of the research work indicate that applying the concept of W2B model in rural villages will help these communities produce useful good that can substitute the use of imported expensive products. Also, it will lead to creation of new job opportunities, conservation of natural resources, and reduction of environmental and health problems related to poor waste management.


Mechanical Engineering Department

Graduation Date


Submission Date

January 2020

First Advisor

El-Haggar, Salah

Committee Member 1

El Morsy, Mohamed

Committee Member 2

Nassar, Khaled


276 p.

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

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This dissertation would not have been possible without the guidance and help of many people. First and foremost, I would like to express my utmost appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Salah El-Haggar. I have been very privileged to get to know such a great and knowledgeable Professor and to collaborate with him over the past years. He has always been patient and encouraging in times of new ideas and difficulties. He was always promptly replying to my frequent questions and ideas. The discussions with him often led to key insights. This research work would not have been completed without his effort and time. Sparing the time during his vacation to come to AUC to work with me was beyond expectation and is unforgettable and extremely valued. I am also indebted to Dr Yahia Ibrahim, assistant professor at the Soil Microbiology Department, Soil, Water and Environment Research Institute, Agriculture Research Center. I would like to thank Dr. Ibrahim for his contribution to the work done in Chapter 4 entitled. “Sustainable Bioconversion of Agricultural Waste into High Quality Organic Fertilizer: Case Study of Rice Straw”. He gave me the chance to get familiar with composting process and helped in conducting all the testing at the Soil, Water and Environment Research Institute, Agriculture Research Center. He was always orienting and supporting me with promptness and care. His experience and knowledge in the field of organic fertilizer were of great importance during this research. I am also profoundly thankful to the staff of the Sustainable Development Laboratory, Material Testing Laboratory and Construction Laboratory at AUC especially Mr. Mohamed Said, Eng. Jaylan ElHalawani and Eng. Rasha Abdel Bary for offering me their generous support throughout my research work. Nobody has been more important to me in the pursuit of this journey than the members of my family. I would like to thank with all my heart my mum and dad. This journey could have never been possible without their help, incessant support and guidance. Last but not least, I would like to thank my husband for his continuous care and support, encouragement and constant help. I could have never completed this work without his support.