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Trends Biotechnol. 2004 Sep;22(9):477-85.

Production of bioenergy and biochemicals from industrial and agricultural wastewater.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA.


The building of a sustainable society will require reduction of dependency on fossil fuels and lowering of the amount of pollution that is generated. Wastewater treatment is an area in which these two goals can be addressed simultaneously. As a result, there has been a paradigm shift recently, from disposing of waste to using it. There are several biological processing strategies that produce bioenergy or biochemicals while treating industrial and agricultural wastewater, including methanogenic anaerobic digestion, biological hydrogen production, microbial fuel cells and fermentation for production of valuable products. However, there are also scientific and technical barriers to the implementation of these strategies.

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