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Anaerobic Digestion

  • By: Michelle Edith Jarvie
  • In: Green Technology: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney
  • Subject:Environmental Sciences (general), Environmental Technology, Policy & Management

Anaerobic digestion is the breakdown of organic matter via microorganisms in the absence of oxygen, which results in the generation of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Materials high in organic content, such as municipal wastewater, livestock waste, agricultural waste, and food wastes, may all undergo anaerobic digestion. The methane gas produced may be collected and used directly as a fuel for cooking or heat, or it can be used to generate electricity. Unlike the production of methane from gas wells, anaerobic digestion is a renewable source of energy.

Anaerobic Digestion Feedstocks

Several feedstocks exist for the anaerobic digestion process, all of which contain organic matter, including municipal and animal wastewaters and agricultural and food wastes. Anaerobic digestion is frequently used in the treatment of municipal wastewaters, ...

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