Comparison of Electricity Generation of Food Waste via Anaerobic Processes: A Mini-Review

Ngoc Bao Dung THI


Three biological methods, of anaerobic digestion (AD) (Method I), fermentation for bio-hydrogen (Method II), and fermentation for bio-hydrogen and bio-methane (Method III), were reviewed and evaluated for the capacity of bioenergy conversion from food waste (FW) at real scale based on some case studies. AD could give the highest energy benefits, and is the most suitable method for the commercialization of FW treatment, with 220 kWh/ton FW in comparison with the 12.5 and 51.3 kWh/ton FW of Method II and Method III, respectively. Furthermore, FW treatment-based AD has been proven to play a primary role in the electricity industry, with high potential and economic benefits. FW treatment via anaerobic processes for bioenergy usage is expected to be an ideal renewable energy in the future. The results reveal that China, India, and the United States could commercialize bioenergy use by converting the annual amount of FW via AD to produce 42,900 GWh/year, 15,830 GWh/year, and 13,387 GWh/year of electricity annually, respectively.


naerobic digestion, Anaerobic process, Bioenergy, Fermentation, Food waste, Bio-H2, Bio-CH4

Full Text:



NBD Thi, K Gopalakrishnan and CY Lin. An overview of food waste management in developing countries: Current status and future perspective. Environ. Manag. 2015; 157, 220-9.

NBD Thi, S Biswarup, CC Chen, K Gopalakrishnan and CY Lin. Food waste to bioenergy via anaerobic processes. In: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference Applied Energy Energy. Taipei, 2014, p. 6.

DH Kim and MS Kim. Development of a novel three-stage fermentation system converting food waste to hydrogen and methane. Bioresour. Tech. 2012; 127, 267-74.

XF Lou, J Nair and J Ho. Potential for energy generation from anaerobic digestion of food waste in Australia. Waste Manag. Res. 2013; 31, 283-94.

M Kristi. Feasibility Study of Anaerobic Digestion of Food Waste in Bernard, Louisiana. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The United States, 2013.

W Zong, R Yu, P Zhang, M Fan and Z Zhou. Efficient hydrogen gas production from cassava and food waste by a two-step process of dark fermentation and photo-fermentation. Biomass Bioenerg. 2009; 33, 1458-63.

DH Kim, SH Kim, KY Kim and HS Shin. Experience of a pilot-scale hydrogen-producing anaerobic sequencing batch reactor (ASBR) treating food waste. Int. J. Hydrogen Energ. 2010; 35, 1590-4.

YW Lee and JW Chung. Bioproduction of hydrogen from food waste by pilot-scale combined hydrogen/methane fermentation. Int. J. Hydrogen Energ. 2010; 35, 11746-55.

MAM Corsten, E Worrel and DJCM Van. The Potential for Waste Management in Brazil to Minimize GHG Emissions and Maximize Re-use of Materials. Utrecht University, Brazil, 2012, p. 46.

G Martin, F Abdel and M Nicole. Food Waste in Canada Opportunities to Increase the Competitiveness of Canada's Agrifood Sector while Simultaneously Improving the Environment. Value Chain Management Centre, Canada, 2010, p. 16.

C Yang, M Yang and Q Yu. An analytical study on the resource recycling potentials of urban and rural domestic waste in China. In: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Waste Management and Technology. Beijing, China, 2012, p. 25-33.

B Barbara, F Claude, G Ellen, R John, R Gabriele, R Camillo and V Umberto. Food Waste: Cause, Impacts and Proposals. Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition, Italy, 2012, p. 71.

M Véronique, M. Shailendra, E Victoire, OC Clementine, G Thomas, A Gina, M Hortense, R Hubert, D Phil, O Steve and M Gareth. Preparation Study on Food Waste Across EU 27. European Commission, 2010, p. 210.

J Manipadma. India's Food Security Rots in Storage. Inter Press Service, 2013.

KA Ranjith. Sustainable Solid Waste Management in India. Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, Columbia University, New York, 2012.

C Mairead, C Dermot, H James and OL Eileen. Less Food Waste More Profit. Clean Technology Centre, Cork institute of Technology, Bishopstown, Cork, Ireland, 2010.

K Risa and I Masanobu. Prevention and Recycling of Food Wastes in Japan: Policies and Achievements. Graduate School of Economics, Kobe university, 2012.

Waste MINZ Behaviour Change Sector Group. Summary of Existing Information on Domestic Food Waste in New Zealand. New Zealand, 2013, p. 18.

National Environment Agency. Food Wastage in Singapore over the Years. Singapore, 2013.

MK Margaret. South Africa Generates over 9 Million Tonnes of Food Waste Annually. Urban Earth, 2012.

H Lisa. South Korea's Food Waste Solution: You Waste, You Pay. CommonWealth Magazine, 2013.

Taiwan EPA. The Current Status for Kitchen Waste Recycling and Reuse. Environmental Protection Administration, Taiwan, 2013.

S Alice and SA Janya. A Guide for Sustainable Urban Organic Waste Management in Thailand: Combining Food, Energy, and Climate Co-benefits. Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Japan, 2012.

WRAP. Food Waste Reduction. United Kingdom, 2013.

WRAP. Love Food Hate Waste. United Kingdom, 2013.

Grocery Manufacturers Association. Food Waste: Tier 1 Assessment. USA, 2012.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Viet Nam. National State of Environment Report 2011 - Solid Waste. Viet Nam, 2011.

JB Charles, C Michael, H Sonia and A Rebecca. Anaerobic digestion of source-segregated domestic food waste: Performance assessment by mass and energy balance. Bioresour. Tech. 2010; 102, 612-20.

GD Gioannis, A Muntoni, A Polettini and R Pomi. A review of dark fermentative hydrogen production from biodegradable municipal waste fractions. Waste Manag. 2013; 33, 1345-61.

H Lord and B Gregory. Anaerobic Digestion Strategy and Action Plan: A Commitment to Increasing Energy from Waste through Anaerobic Digestion. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 2011, p. 52.

Institute for Local Self Reliance. Update on Anaerobic Digester Projects using Food Wastes in North America. Washington, USA, 2010.

S Bowe. Market Development and Certification Schemes for Biomethane. Philadelphia, USA, 2013, p. 444-62.

DH Lee. Current Situation and Tasks of Food Waste Recycling in Korea. Center for Biowaste Recycling Research, Department of Environmental Engineering, University of Seoul, 2014, p. 30.

A Jim. IEA WIND 2013 Annual Report, 2014.

REN21. Renewables 2014: Global Status Report. Paris, France, 2014.

HMY Nazlina, M Tabassum, AH Mohd and AR NorAini. Food waste and food processing waste for biohydrogen production: A review. J. Environ. Manag. 2013; 130, 375-85.

ML Chong, S Vikineswary, S Yoshihito and AH Mohd. Biohydrogen production from biomass and industrial wastes by dark fermentation. Int. J. Hydrogen Energ. 2009; 34, 3277-87.

K Gopalakrishnan and CY Lin. Biogenic hydrogen conversion of de-oiled jatropha waste via anaerobic sequencing batch reactor operation: Process performance, microbial insights, and reduction efficiency. Sci. World J. 2014; 2014, 946503.

K Gopalakrishnan, B Péter, S Periyasamy, N Nándor, BB Katalin and CY Lin. Improved microbial conversion of de-oiled jatropha waste into biohydrogen via inoculum pretreatment: process optimization by experimental design approach. Biofuel Res. J. 2015; 2, 209-14.

P Sivagurunathan, K Gopalakrishnan, P Bakonyi, SH Kim, T Kobayashi, KQ Xu, G Lakner, G Tóth, N Nemestóthy and KB Bakó. A critical review on issues and overcoming strategies for the enhancement of dark fermentative hydrogen production in continuous systems. Int. J. Hydrogen Energ. 2016; 41, 3820-36.

K Gopalakrishnan, P Sivagurunathan, A Pugazhendhi, NBD Thi, G Zhen, C Kuppam and A Kadier. A comprehensive overview on light independent fermentative hydrogen production from wastewater feedstock and possible integrative options. Energ. Convers. Manag. 2017; 141, 390-402.

KK Ilgi and K Fikret. Bio-hydrogen production from waste materials. Enzyme Microb. Tech. 2006; 38, 569-82.

CY Lin, CH Lay, CY Chu, B Sen, K Gopalakrishnan, CC Chen and JS Chang. Fermentative hydrogen production from Wastewaters:a review and prognosis. Int. J. Hydrogen Energ. 2012; 37, 15632-42.

K Gopalakrishnan, B Péter, S Periyasamy, N Nándor and BB Katalin. Lignocellulose biohydrogen: Practical challenges and recent progress. Renew Sust. Energ. Rev. 2015; 44, 728-37.

C Cavinato, A Giuliano, D Bolzonella, P Pavan and F Cecchi. Bio-hythane production from food waste by dark fermentation coupled with anaerobic digestion process: A long-term pilot scale experience. Int. J. Hydrogen Energ. 2012; 37, 11549-55.

P Nipon, N Chananchida and S Ubonrat. Biological hydrogen and methane production in from food waste in two-stage CSTR. Energ. Procedia 2014; 50, 719-22.

JB Charles and Z Yue. Technical Report: Optimising Inputs and Outputs from Anaerobic Digestion Processes. United Kingdom, 2009, p. 213.

JB Charles, Z Yue and W Mark. Technical Report: Optimising Processes for the Stable Operation of Food Waste Digestion. United Kingdom, 2010, p. 111.

European Commission. Review of Waste Policy and Legislation. Europe, 2014.

L Georgina and F Lisa. An Investigation into Food Waste Management. Georgina Lamb & Lisa Fountain, 2010, p. 57.

France's Parliament. France to Ban Food Waste in Supermarkets. France to Ban Food Waste in Supermarkets, 2015.

RM Jürgensen. Food Waste Management in Europe. Italian Composting and Biogas Consortium, Italy, 2014, p. 18.

LD Baere and B Mattheeuws. Anaerobic Digestion of the Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste in Europe. Organic Waste Systems, USA, 2013, p. 517-26.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Online ISSN: 2228-835X

Last updated: 29 March 2018