In the past decades, anaerobic digestion (AD) has steadily gained importance. However, the technology is not regarded as a top priority in science policy and in industrial development at present. In order for AD to further develop, it is crucial that AD profits from the current fuel issues emerging in the international arena. AD can provide low-cost treatment of sewage and solid domestic wastes, which represents a vast application potential that should be promoted in the developing world. Furthermore, the developments in the last decades in the domain of anaerobic microbiology and technology have generated some interesting niches for the application of AD, such as anaerobic nitrogen removal and the treatment of chlorinated organics. Recently, AD has also generated some serendipities, such as the use of AD in processes for sulphur and calcium removal and the coupling of AD with microbial fuel cells. The international developments in terms of bio-refineries and CO2-emission abatement are of crucial importance with respect to the impetus that AD will receive in the coming decade. There should be little doubt that by placing the focus of AD on the production of green energy and clean nutrients, the future of AD will be assured.
Anaerobic digestion as a core technology in sustainable management of organic matter
W. Verstraete, F. Morgan-Sagastume, S. Aiyuk, M. Waweru, K. Rabaey, G. Lissens; Anaerobic digestion as a core technology in sustainable management of organic matter. Water Sci Technol 1 July 2005; 52 (1-2): 59–66. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2005.0498
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