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Water Sci Technol. 2000;41(3):283-90.

Anaerobic digestion of solid waste: state-of-the-art.

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  • Organic Waste Systems N.V., Dock Noord 4, B-9000 Gent, Belgium.


In order to make a correct assessment of the state-of-the-art of the technology, a study was made on the development of digestion capacity for solid waste in Europe. The study was limited to plants in operation or under construction that were treating at least 10% organic solid waste coming from market waste or municipal solid waste. A total treatment capacity for solid waste organics, excluding the tonnage used for sewage sludge and manures, evolved from 122,000 ton per year in 1990 to 1,037,000 ton available or under construction by the year 2000 in 53 plants across Europe, an increase by 750%. Both mesophilic and thermophilic technologies have been proven, with about 62% of capacity being operated at mesophilic temperatures. Wet and dry digestion are almost evenly split, while a clear choice was made for one-phase systems instead of two-phase systems, which represent only 10.6% of capacity. The capacity provided by co-digestion systems is limited, while there is a rising interest in digestion of mixed household waste. The reliable performance has been demonstrated for all types of anaerobic digestion systems. On the basis of the Dranco technology, a single-phase thermophilic dry digestion process, performances were reached similar to high-rate wastewater digestion. An annual average loading rate of 18.5 kg COD/m3.day, resulting in a biogas production of 9.2 m3/m3 reactor.day was obtained at a full-scale plant. The plant operated at a retention time of 15.3 days. Feedstocks range from clean organic wastes (31% dry matter) to heavily polluted grey waste organics (57% dry matter). Average dry matter concentrations of the digested residue of 41% were obtained.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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