Applications of the Anaerobic Digestion Process

  • Irini Angelidaki
  • Lars Ellegaard
  • Birgitte Kiœr Ahring
Part of the Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology book series (ABE, volume 82)


At the start of the new millennium waste management has become a political priority in many countries. One of the main problems today is to cope with an increasing amount of primary waste in an environmentally acceptable way. Biowastes, i. e., municipal, agricultural or industrial organic waste, as well as contaminated soils etc., have traditionally been deposited in landfills or even dumped into the sea or lakes without much environmental concern. In recent times, environmental standards of waste incineration and controlled land filling have gradually improved, and new methods of waste sorting and resource/energy recovery have been developed. Treatment of biowastes by anaerobic digestion processes is in many cases the optimal way to convert organic waste into useful products such as energy (in the form of biogas) and a fertilizer product. Other waste management options, such as land filling and incineration of organic waste has become less desirable, and legislation, both in Europe and elsewhere, tends to favor biological treatment as a way of recycling minerals and nutrients of organic wastes from society back to the food production and supply chain. Removing the relatively wet organic waste from the general waste streams also results in a better calorific value of the remainder for incineration, and a more stable fraction for land filling.


Anaerobic digestion Reactors Codigestion Biowastes Solid waste Slurries Manure Industrial waste 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irini Angelidaki
    • 1
  • Lars Ellegaard
    • 2
  • Birgitte Kiœr Ahring
    • 3
  1. 1.Environment & ResourcesThe Technical University of DenmarkLyngbyDenmark
  2. 2.BWSCAllerødDenmark
  3. 3.Environmental Microbiology & Biotechnology, BiocentrumThe Technical University of DenmarkLyngbyDenmark

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