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Biomass, Biofuels, Biochemicals Microbial Fermentation of Biowastes
2022, Pages 91-114

Conversion of wastewater to bioenergy and biochemicals via anaerobic digestion

Yang Li

School of Ocean Science and Technology, Dalian University of Technology, Panjin, Liaoning, China.


The wastewaters coming from industrial, agricultural, domestic wastewater sources contain large amount of organic compounds, inefficiently treatment of which will cause serious environment deterioration. Anaerobic digestion (AD) has been the process most often used to stabilize these wastewaters. In one approach, organics from wastewaters could be converted into useful energy, that is, methane and hydrogen by microorganisms. Through the bioenergy generated at a high rate to replace fossil fuels, global warming can be slowed, and perhaps reversed. In a second approach, biochemicals (bioethanol, polyhydroxyalkanoates, biopesticide, etc.) could be produced at a high yield as intermediate products for commodities, through which great commercial value will be realized. Therefore, AD has been recognized as “green technologies” since the early 20th century and remains in development at present to treat various wastewaters. At the same time, the environmental pollution resulted from wastewaters is solved. Although the technologies of converting wastewaters to bioenergy/biochemicals via AD have not been applied in large scale, they are on the way and they must be the superstar in the area of both the wastewaters treatment and bioenergy/biochemicals production in the future.

Keywords: Bioenergy, Biochemicals, Anaerobic digestion, Methane, Biohydrogen, Bioethanol.

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