Document Type : Research Article


Renewable Energy Research Department, Niroo Research Institute (NRI), Tehran, Iran



In this study, the effect of digestate treatment after anaerobic digestion (AD) process in two scenarios have been analyzed for an industrial diary unit in the United States. The first scenario involves production of liquid fertilizer and compost while the other scenario lacks from such treatment process. Aspen Plus has been used to simulate the AD process and assessment of general properties of biogas and digestate. The results of technical analysis show insignificant change in the net power production from the CHP unit in scenario 1. The economic analysis, however, indicates the necessity of digestate treatment for AD systems to be profitable. Furthermore, the results of environmental analysis indicate the mitigation of about 93.4 kilotonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in scenario 1, while an AD the scenario 2 saves only 12 kilotonnes of GHG emissions. In other words, digestate treatment has a more significant environmental impact than the power production and its profitability from CHP unit. The reason could be attributed to the enormous consumption of energy during production of chemical fertilizers where digestate treatment process (scenario 1) offsets the utilization of chemical fertilizers in agriculture industry.


Main Subjects

  1. Houston, C., Gyamfi, S. & Whale, J. Evaluation of energy efficiency and renewable energy generation opportunities for small scale dairy farms: A case study in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Renewable Energy 67, 20–29 (2014).
  2. David, C., Ganduri, J., Ragunathan, V. & Natarajan, R. Characterization of pellets manufactured from plant waste and farm waste residues blended with distillery sludge as a prospective alternative fuel source. Applied Nanoscience (2021) doi:10.1007/s13204-021-01982-6.
  3. Nandhini, R., Berslin, D., Sivaprakash, B., Rajamohan, N. & Vo, D. V. N. Thermochemical conversion of municipal solid waste into energy and hydrogen: a review. Environmental Chemistry Letters (2022) doi:10.1007/s10311-022-01410-3.
  4. Pham, C. Q. et al. Production of hydrogen and value-added carbon materials by catalytic methane decomposition: a review. Environmental Chemistry Letters (2022) doi:10.1007/s10311-022-01449-2.
  5. Outlook for biogas and biomethane. Outlook for biogas and biomethane (2020) doi:10.1787/040c8cd2-en.
  6. Lukuyu, J. M., Blanchard, R. E. & Rowley, P. N. A risk-adjusted techno-economic analysis for renewable-based milk cooling in remote dairy farming communities in East Africa. Renewable Energy 130, 700–713 (2019).
  7. Zeb, I. et al. Recycling separated liquid-effluent to dilute feedstock in anaerobic digestion of dairy manure. Energy 119, 1144–1151 (2017).
  8. Kozłowski, K. et al. Energetic and economic analysis of biogas plant with using the dairy industry waste. Energy 183, 1023–1031 (2019).
  9. Thelen, K. D., Fronning, B. E., Kravchenko, A., Min, D. H. & Robertson, G. P. Integrating livestock manure with a corn–soybean bioenergy cropping system improves short-term carbon sequestration rates and net global warming potential. Biomass and Bioenergy 34, 960–966 (2010).
  10. Rajasimman, M., Babu, S. V. & Rajamohan, N. Biodegradation of textile dyeing industry wastewater using modified anaerobic sequential batch reactor – Start-up, parameter optimization and performance analysis. Journal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers 72, 171–181 (2017).
  11. I et al. We are IntechOpen , the world ’ s leading publisher of Open Access books Built by scientists , for scientists TOP 1 %. Intech i, 13 (2012).
  12. Marin-Batista, J. D. et al. Energy valorization of cow manure by hydrothermal carbonization and anaerobic digestion. Renewable Energy 160, 623–632 (2020).
  13. Vindis, P., B, M., Marjan, J. & F, C. The impact of mesophilic and thermophilic anaerobic digestion on biogas production. Journal of Achievements in Materials and Manufacturing Engineering 36, (2009).
  14. Karakurt, I., Aydin, G. & Aydiner, K. Sources and mitigation of methane emissions by sectors: A critical review. Renewable Energy 39, 40–48 (2012).
  15. Moestedt, J., Påledal, S. N., Schnürer, A. & Nordell, E. Biogas production from thin stillage on an industrial scale-experience and optimisation. Energies 6, 5642–5655 (2013).
  16. Flesch, T. K., Desjardins, R. L. & Worth, D. Fugitive methane emissions from an agricultural biodigester. Biomass and Bioenergy 35, 3927–3935 (2011).
  17. Thi Nguyen, M.-L., Lin, C.-Y. & Lay, C.-H. Microalgae cultivation using biogas and digestate carbon sources. Biomass and Bioenergy 122, 426–432 (2019).
  18. Algapani, D. E. et al. Bio-hydrogen and bio-methane production from food waste in a two-stage anaerobic digestion process with digestate recirculation. Renewable Energy 130, 1108–1115 (2019).
  19. Ersek, K. 8 Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using Organic Fertilizer. Holganix (2021).
  20. D’Adamo, I., Falcone, P. M., Huisingh, D. & Morone, P. A circular economy model based on biomethane: What are the opportunities for the municipality of Rome and beyond? Renewable Energy 163, 1660–1672 (2021).
  21. Rasapoor, M. et al. Recognizing the challenges of anaerobic digestion: Critical steps toward improving biogas generation. Fuel 261, (2020).
  22. Kaparaju, P. & Rintala, J. Mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions by adopting anaerobic digestion technology on dairy, sow and pig farms in Finland. Renewable Energy 36, 31–41 (2011).
  23. Møller, H. B., Sommer, S. G. & Ahring, B. K. Methane productivity of manure, straw and solid fractions of manure. Biomass and Bioenergy 26, 485–495 (2004).
  24. Teodorita Al Seadi, Domiik Rutz, Heinz Prassl, Michael Kottner, Tobias Finsterwalder, Silke Volk, R. J. Downloaded from (2008).
  25. Batstone, D. J. & Keller, J. Industrial applications of the IWA anaerobic digestion model No. 1 (ADM1). Water Science and Technology 47, 199–206 (2003).
  26. Herbes, C., Roth, U., Wulf, S. & Dahlin, J. Economic assessment of different biogas digestate processing technologies: A scenario-based analysis. Journal of Cleaner Production 255, 120282 (2020).
  27. Gebrezgabher, S. A., Meuwissen, M. P. M., Prins, B. A. M. & Lansink, A. G. J. M. O. Economic analysis of anaerobic digestion—A case of Green power biogas plant in The Netherlands. NJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 57, 109–115 (2010).
  28. Hosseinpour, M., Norouzi, F. & Talebi, S. Analysis of Biogas Recovery from Liquid Dairy Manure Waste by Anaerobic Digestion. Journal of Renewable Energy and Environment (2022).
  29. Labatut, R. A., Angenent, L. T. & Scott, N. R. Conventional mesophilic vs. thermophilic anaerobic digestion: Atrade-off between performance and stability? Water Research 53, 249–258 (2014).
  30. Achinas, S., Martherus, D., Krooneman, J. & Euverink, G. J. W. Preliminary assessment of a biogas-based power plant from organic waste in the North Netherlands. Energies 12, (2019).
  31. Al-Rubaye, H., Karambelkar, S., Shivashankaraiah, M. M. & Smith, J. D. Process Simulation of Two-Stage Anaerobic Digestion for Methane Production. Biofuels 10, 181–191 (2019).
  32. Labatut, R., Angenent, L. & Scott, N. Conventional mesophilic vs. thermophilic anaerobic digestion: A trade-off between performance and stability? Water research 53C, 249–258 (2014).
  33. Akbulut, A. Techno-economic analysis of electricity and heat generation from farm-scale biogas plant: Çiçekdaĝi{dotless} case study. Energy 44, 381–390 (2012).
  34. Rico, C., Rico, J. L., Tejero, I., Muñoz, N. & Gómez, B. Anaerobic digestion of the liquid fraction of dairy manure in pilot plant for biogas production: Residual methane yield of digestate. Waste Management 31, 2167–2173 (2011).
  35. Ali, M. M. et al. Mapping of biogas production potential from livestock manures and slaughterhouse waste: A case study for African countries. Journal of Cleaner Production 256, (2020).
  36. Kaparaju, P., Ellegaard, L. & Angelidaki, I. Optimisation of biogas production from manure through serial digestion: Lab-scale and pilot-scale studies. Bioresource Technology 100, 701–709 (2009).
  37. de Baere, L. The Dranco Technology: A unique digestion technology for solid organic waste. Organic Waste Systems (OWS) Pub. Brussels, Beligium 1–8 (2010).
  38. United States Department of Energy. Reciprocating Engines. (2016).
  39. Seider, W. D. et al. Product and Process Design Principles: Synthesis, Analysis and Evaluation. (Wiley, 2016).
  40. Morelli, B. et al. Life Cycle Assessment and Cost Analysis of Municipal Wastewater Treatment Expansion Options for Food Waste Anaerobic Co-Digestion. (2019).
  41. Demirel, B. & Scherer, P. Trace element requirements of agricultural biogas digesters during biological conversion of renewable biomass to methane. Biomass and Bioenergy 35, 992–998 (2011).
  42. Ammonia production: moving towards maximum efficiency and lower GHG emissions. (2014).
  43. Ian Tiseo. Annual CO2 emissions worldwide from 1940 to 2020. statista (2021).
  44. Lucía Fernández. Global consumption of agricultural fertilizer by nutrient from 1965 to 2019. statista (2021).
  45. Havukainen, J., Uusitalo, V., Koistinen, K., Liikanen, M. & Horttanainen, M. Carbon footprint evaluation of biofertilizers (Open access). International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning 13, 1050–1060 (2018).