Dr. McCartney’s primary research focus is organic waste utilization, including: composting process engineering and operations; integration of anaerobic digestion technologies within organic waste management infrastructure; carbon accounting; pathogen inactivation; and biosolids management. With the goal of improving sustainable waste treatment technology design and operations, he has advanced theoretical and practical understanding in the following areas:
- composting rate improvements using digestate inoculum;
- conditioning of wet substrates (critical bulking agent requirements);
- human and plant pathogen inactivation and survival in composting environments;
- development of sustainable development indicator process for electrical utilities;
- development of carbon accounting test methodology for biosolids; and
- sulfide inhibition of anaerobic degradation processes.
Research Currently in Progress
Dr. McCartney’s current research interest is focused on practical aspects of organic waste treatment technology and management, including aerobic and anaerobic biotransformation processes and environmental assessments. Current research is focused on:
- size separation of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste for biotransformation and refuse derived fuel feedstocks using trommel technology;
- reduction of physical contaminants (foreign matter) in products produced from municipal organic waste;
- biodegradability of microplastics in anaerobic digestion environments;
- quantification of microplastics in compost products produced in Canada; and
- applying case study research methods to identify engineering economic and business case drivers for implementation of sustainable waste management technologies in Canada.
Ten Most Significant Career Publications
Google Scholar Citations: 1512; h-index: 19; i10 index: 31 (retrieved 18 May 2018).
- Arab G. & McCartney D. 2017. Benefits to decomposition rates when using digestate as compost co-feedstock: Part I – Focus on physiochemical parameters. Waste Management. 68: 74-84.
- Isobaev P, Bouferguene A, Wichuk K, & McCartney D. 2014. An enhanced compost temperature sampling framework: Case study of a covered aerated static pile. Waste Management. 34(7):1117-1124.
- Wichuk K, & McCartney D. 2010. Compost stability and maturity evaluation – A literature review. J. Environ. Engin. Sci. 37:1505-1532.
- Wichuk K, & McCartney D. 2007. A review of the effectiveness of current time-temperature regulations on pathogen inactivation during composting. Journal of Environmental Engineering & Science. 6:573-586.
- Searcy C, McCartney D, & Karapetrovic S. 2007. Sustainable development indicators for the transmission system of an electric utility. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management. 14:135-151.
- Eftoda G, & McCartney D. 2004. Determining the critical bulking agent requirement for municipal biosolids composting. Compost Science & Utilization. 12:3:208-218.
- McCartney D. & Chen H. 2001. Bench-scale simulation of the composting process: Effect of compression on free air space and microbial activity. Compost Science & Utilization. 9:283-302.
- Larsen K, & McCartney D. 2000. Effect of C:N ratio on microbial activity and N retention: Bench-scale study using pulp & paper biosolids. Compost Science & Utilization. 8:2:147-159.
- McCartney D, & Oleszkiewicz J. 1993. Competition Between Methanogens and Sulfate Reducers: Effect of COD: Sulfate Ratio and Acclimation. Water Environ. Research J. 65:655-664.
- McCartney D, & Oleszkiewicz J. 1991. Sulfide inhibition of anaerobic degradation of lactate and acetate. Water Research. 25:203-209.