About Anaerobic Digestion

 

Anaerobic digestion is a biological process that occurs in nature – most commonly in the stomachs of animals. In the simplest terms, it is the process of bacteria consuming (digestion) organic waste in an oxygen-free environment (anaerobic) and producing natural gases as a result.

This graphic from the American Biogas Council depicts the basic process of anaerobic digestion.

AD Basics. Source: American Biogas Council

AD Basics. Source: American Biogas Council

The environmental benefit of the anaerobic digestion (reduction of waste and natural gases released by landfill waste) has led to a growth in development of municipal and commercial biodigestion facilities around the world. Common uses include biodigesters on farms, at wastewater treatment facilities and near sites where large amounts of food and other organic waste are produced. These facilities can recycle waste to be used for:

  • Harvested Methane
  • Compressed natural gas used in vehicles
  • Heat

This chart shows the best sources of waste for clean and efficient energy production.

AD Basics. Source: American Biogas Council

AD Basics. Source: American Biogas Council