A Lot to Digest: The State of Anaerobic Digestion

For advocates of anaerobic digestion (AD), the process of breaking down organic waste with bacteria and the absence of oxygen, is a relatively untapped waste management method that’s a breath of fresh air. Waste Age's February issue looks at anaerobic digestion as a means of diverting organic waste and generating valuable energy besides.

According to Waste Age, it is widely popular in Germany, which many consider the most advanced country in the world when it comes to renewable energy. Germany is the fourth largest generator of wind energy, but it would take three times that much wind power to match the energy the nation produces with AD. Moreover, AD plants, being baseload generation, operate constantly and aren’t subject to the unpredictability of nature.

The article looks at other examples of AD in the United States as well. The generation of energy from AD is big advantage for the process, advocates say. “Instead of consuming oxygen to stabilize these organic acids it’s converted to usable energy, which composting can’t do," the article reads....