Biomethane production from anaerobic co-digestion at wastewater treatment plants: A critical review on development and innovations in biogas upgrading techniques.

Elsevier BV
Publication Type:
Journal Article
The Science of the total environment, 2020, pp. 142753
Issue Date:
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Anaerobic co-digestion (AcoD) can utilise spare digestion capacity at existing wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) to generate surplus biogas beyond the plant's internal energy requirement. Data from industry reports and the peer-reviewed literature show that through AcoD, numerous examples of WWTPs have become net energy producers, necessitating other high-value applications for surplus biogas. A globally emerging trend is to upgrade biogas to biomethane, which can then be used as town gas or transport fuel. Water, organic solvent and chemical scrubbing, pressure swing adsorption, membrane separation, and cryogenic technology are commercially available CO2 removal technologies for biogas upgrade. Although water scrubbing is currently the most widely applied technology due to low capital and operation cost, significant market growth in membrane separation has been seen over the 2015-2019 period. Further progress in materials engineering and sciences is expected and will further enhance the membrane separation competitiveness for biogas upgrading. Several emerging biotechnologies to i) improve biogas quality from AcoD; ii) accelerate the absorption rate, and iii) captures CO2 in microalgal culture have also been examined and discussed in this review. Through a combination of AcoD and biogas upgrade, more WWTPs are expected to become net energy producers.
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