Anaerobic digestion is described as a collection of processes by which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. The process is used for industrial or domestic purposes to manage waste and/or to produce fuels. Much of the fermentation used industrially to produce food and drink products, as well as home fermentation, uses anaerobic digestion.
Anaerobic digestion has always been a viable option for the treatment and reuse of volatile material in wastewater. The solids, after separation and digestion, may be applied to farm fields as a soil amendment.
The gas produced may, with further treatment, be used for energy production. The following article explains how one utility has harnessed this fuel for “green” energy.
With the re-use of waste as a resource and new technological approaches, which have lowered capital costs, anaerobic digestion has in recent years received increased attention among governments in a number of countries. In Kentucky, we have more than one facility using biogas to produce energy, and hopefully, there will be more on the way.