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Department of Chemistry


Anaerobic digestion (AD) involves a set of microbiological reactions and physio-chemical processes to generate biogas, a mixture of predominantly CH4 and CO2. It is commercialized globally; however, AD has limited commercial applications in the U.S. compared to other regions of the world. The main objective of this article is to review different studies on socio-economic and environmental aspects and policies of biogas/biomethane production and to focus on resource availability. The key outcome from this review shows that the anaerobic digestion of food waste and animal manure has great potential to achieve economic and environmental benefits compared to other waste management techniques such as landfilling or conventional manure management. The 12 life cycle assessment (LCA) studies reviewed showed lower impacts for biogas systems and indicated a need for standardization of methodology so that alternative production concepts can be objectively compared. Similarly, economic analyses showed higher profitability for a biogas combined heat and power facility compared to a biomethane facility. By considering a review of the sustainability of biogas, we presented a new multi-criteria sustainable assessment framework that includes three domains: i. resource availability and logistics, ii. process modeling, and iii. impact assessment with primary application to the optimum location and installation of sustainable biogas/biomethane plants in the U.S.

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Applied Microbiology

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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