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Reviewing the anaerobic digestion of food waste: From waste generation and anaerobic process to its perspectives

C. Morales-Polo, M.M. Cledera-Castro, B.Y. Moratilla

Applied Sciences Vol. 8, nº. 10, pp. 1804-1 - 1804-35


Discharge of waste in general, and food waste, in particular, is considered one of the major environmental problems today, as waste generation increases continuously, reaching values of 32% of all food produced worldwide. There are many different options that can be applied to the management and evaluation of waste treatment, and Anaerobic Digestion seems to be one of the most suitable solutions because of its benefits, including renewable energy generation in form of biogas. Moreover, if FW (food waste) is digested in anaerobic digesters from Waste Water Treatment Plants, a common solution is provided for both residues. Furthermore, co-digestion of food waste and sewage sludge provides benefits in terms of anaerobic process stability enhancing the buffer capacity of ammonia (for example) and biogas formation, which can be increased up to 80% when compared with monodigestion. The present paper reviews food waste anaerobic digestion from its generation, characteristics and different options for its management, and it does focus specifically on the anaerobic digestion and co-digestion process, stages, limiting rates and parameters, utilizing numerous experiences, strictly related to food waste. Pre-treatments are also considered as they are important and innovative for enhancing biogas production and its methane yield. The paper shows an extensive collection of pre-treatments, its basics, improving factors, and numerical data of biogas formation improvements that are related both to substrate modification and to the synergistic effect of co-digestion, which could lead to an increase of methane production from 11% to 180%.

Palabras Clave: food waste characterization; bioenergy; biogas; methane yield; hydrolysis; pre-treatments; perspectives

Índice de impacto JCR y cuartil WoS: 2,217 - Q2 (2018); 2,700 - Q2 (2022)

Referencia DOI: DOI icon

Publicado en papel: Octubre 2018.

Publicado on-line: Octubre 2018.

C. Morales-Polo, M.M. Cledera-Castro, B.Y. Moratilla, Reviewing the anaerobic digestion of food waste: From waste generation and anaerobic process to its perspectives. Applied Sciences. Vol. 8, nº. 10, pp. 1804-1 - 1804-35, Octubre 2018. [Online: Octubre 2018]

    Líneas de investigación:
  • Modelos integrados de agua y energía
  • Análisis experimental