1st Edition

Bioenergy Production by Anaerobic Digestion Using Agricultural Biomass and Organic Wastes

    472 Pages 180 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    472 Pages 180 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Interest in anaerobic digestion (AD), the process of energy production through the production of biogas, has increased rapidly in recent years. Agricultural and other organic waste are important substrates that can be treated by AD. 

    This book is one of the first to provide a broad introduction to anaerobic digestion and its potential to turn agricultural crops or crop residues, animal and other organic waste, into biomethane. The substrates used can include any non-woody materials, including grass and maize silage, seaweeds, municipal and industrial wastes. These are all systematically reviewed in terms of their suitability from a biological, technical and economic perspective. In the past the technical competence and high capital investment required for industrial-scale anaerobic digesters has limited their uptake, but the authors show that recent advances have made smaller-scale systems more viable through a greater understanding of optimising bacterial metabolism and productivity. Broader issues such as life cycle assessment and energy policies to promote AD are also discussed.

    1. Sustainable Agriculture and Greenhouse Gas Emissions 

    Jonathan S. West 

    Part 1: Legislation-Energy Policy 

    2. Energy and Agricultural Policy in Relation to Biomethane, with Particular Reference to the Transport Sector 

    Beatrice Smyth 

    3. Biomethane Production with Reference to Land Use Change 

    Surajbhan Sevda, Deepak Pant and Anoop Singh 

    Part 2: Feedstocks 

    4. Grass and Grass Silage: Agronomical Characteristics and Biogas Production 

    Joseph McEniry, Nicholas E. Korres and Padraig O’Kiely 

    5. Maize and Maize Silage for Biomethane Production 

    Markus Neureiter 

    6. Suitability of Microalgae and Seaweeds for Biomethane Production 

    John A. H. Benzie and Stephen Hynes 

    7. Organic Wastes for Biomethane Production 

    Anoop Singh 

    8. Industrial Residues for Biomethane Production 

    Markus Ortner, Bernhard Drosg, Elitza Stoyanova and Günther Bochmann 

    Part 3: Anaerobic Digestion Technology 

    9. Anaerobic Digesters: Perspectives and Challenges 

    Abdul-Sattar Nizami, Bradley A. Saville and Heather L. MacLean 

    10. Biogas Upgrading and Compression 

    Prasad Kaparaju, Saija Rasi and Jukka Rintala 

    11. Storage and Distribution of Biomethane 

    Nicholas E. Korres 

    12. Variation in Anaerobic Digestion: Need for Process Monitoring 

    Nicholas E. Korres and A.S. Nizami 

    13. General Principles of Data Warehouse and Data Mining in Anaerobic Digestion 

    Nicholas E. Korres, Anastasios Dekazos, Dimitris N. Argyropoulos, Ammar Ahmed and Paul Stack 

    Part 4: Genetics and Population Dynamics 

    14. Microbial Communities and their Dynamics in Biomethane Production 

    Dimitris N. Argyropoulos, Theodoros H. Varzakas and John A. H. Benzie 

    15. The Role of Molecular Biology in Optimizing Anaerobic Digestion and Biomethane Production 

    Dimitris N. Argyropoulos, Charoula C. Psallida and John A. H. Benzie 

    Part 5: Sustainability in Anaerobic Digestion 

    16. Life Cycle Assessment as a Tool for Assessing Biomethane Production Sustainability 

    Nicholas E. Korres 

    17. The Use of Digestate as a Substitute for Manufactured Fertiliser 

    Brian Chambers and Matthew Taylor 

    18. The Sustainability of Small-Scale Anaerobic Digesters at Farm Scale 

    Phillip Hobbs and Allan Butler 

    19. Biogas Technology for Developing Countries. An Approach to Sustainable Development 

    M.S. Dhanya, Shiv Prasad and Anoop Singh 

    Concluding Remarks 

    Appendix: Anaerobic Digestion Application in a Typical Cambodia Family Farm- a Case Study 

    Andrea Salimbeni and Giuliano Grassi 



    Nicholas E. Korres is a researcher at the University of Arkansas, USA. 

    Padraig O’Kiely works at Teagasc, the Irish Agricultural Authority, Ireland. 

    John A.H. Benzie is a Professor in the Environmental Research Institute at University College Cork, Ireland. 

    Jonathan S. West is a senior scientist at Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK.

    "The rapid uptake of anaerobic digestion throughout Europe to achieve energy and nutrient recovery from organic wastes, has led to a commensurate increase in the technical literature around waste digestion. This timely publication provides an excellent synthesis of our present understanding whilst highlighting the outstanding problems. It provides both researchers and practitioners a easy route into this challenging subject area." – Nigel Horan, University of Leeds, and Chair of Aqua Enviro Ltd, UK