Carbon footprint of anaerobic digestion combined with ultrasonic post-treatment of agro-industrial organic residues

Alireza Vosooghnia, Alessandra Polettini, Andreina Rossi, Ian Vázquez-Rowe, Giovanni Francini

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

10 Citas (Scopus)


Anaerobic digestion (AD) of organic waste, although widely practiced, may require suitable accompanying treatments to enhance the degradability of complex materials. Since these may require significant efforts in terms of energy and chemical demand, careful assessment of their overall environmental sustainability is mandatory to evaluate their full-scale feasibility. The study aims to represent the environmental profile of ultrasonication (US) applied as a post-treatment of anaerobic digestion of agro-industrial organic residues. There is an interest in the US treatment for the processing of complex organic materials prior to AD in order to enhance the hydrolysis of complex organic substrates and increase the biogas yield of the biological process. An attributional, process-based life cycle assessment (LCA) study was applied to quantify and compare the potential environmental impacts of an AD plant, the biogas utilization options as well as the different digestate processing alternatives grouped into a set of 16 scenarios. Based on the results, upgrading of biogas and bio-methane use as vehicle fuel instead of energy generation from CHP or fuel cell was recommended due to the lower impact on GWP. Similarly, composting was a suitable option to reduce environmental impacts compared to belt drying. From the uncertainty analysis, AD without US as post-treatment proves to be more sustainable in terms of GWP compared to when US is used, showing net savings in GHG emissions especially when upgrading of biogas is applied. The analysis provides useful indications to policy makers to define sustainable management alternatives for organic residues as well as identify the environmental advantages associated with biogas utilization and digestate treatment and disposal alternatives.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo111459
PublicaciónJournal of Environmental Management
EstadoPublicada - 15 ene. 2021


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