While the term Anaerobic Digestion Process may sound fangled and new the process has actually been around since the beginning of the 19th century but is just now regaining popularity in industry. The process of anaerobic digestion is a process in which the organic matter produced from plant and animal waste are converted into more useful products such as energy. The best thing about the process of anaerobic digestion is that the source fuels used can be almost any biodegradable materials such as garden waste, food leftovers, toilet paper, animal waste or even raw sewage. The process requires is truly a renewable energy source with the potential of providing myriad long term benefits for the environment and the economy.
The Process of anaerobic digestion provides a number of benefits that can be harnessed for use both in the home and by industry. These benefits include the reduction of methane emissions, a smaller carbon footprint, replacement of fossil fules, and a huge reduction of waste materials. The process can reduce cost and keep our landfills and waterways cleaner.
The Anerobic Digestion Process: in our body
The process is similar to our own digestive process. Our digestive system utilizes bacterial microbes in the absence of oxygen to break down the food we eat we eat in order to provide the nutrients and fuel we need to live. Humans and animals are not machines and are relatively inefficient at the process. Because of this there is still a lot of untapped energy in our waste. Industrial digesters are able to recycle our waste and get all of the energy out of our byproducts.
The Anerobic Digestion Process: in industry
An industrial anaerobic digester utilizes a different strain of bacterial microbes that thrive at much higher temperatures. These microbes are very efficient at breaking down our sewage, discarded food, old paper and yard waste and turning it into biogas and nutrient rich compost. Today’s commercial and municipal anaerobic digestion facilities are able to process almost all agricultural and municipal organics into biogas that is an excellent substitute for fossil natural gas as well as produce nutrient rich compost capable of restoring health and overall productivity to soil. What’s more, the process takes place at such a high temperatures that the pathogens associated with many biodegradable waste materials are removed from the environment.
The anaerobic digestion process involves a series of steps whereby microorganisms are added to slurry of biodegradables. Specifically, acid forming bacteria (acetogens) and methane forming (archaea or methanogens) are added in the absence of oxygen (anaerobic) to accelerate the digestion process. During the digestion process biodegradables are rapidly converted into intermediate molecules such as acetic acids, sugars, hydrogen’. These intermediates are then converted into biogas which can in turn be utilized as a fuel for energy production.
This process has the ability to recycle organic waste into fuel and responsibly and safely introduce it back into the environment in the form of compost. The Anerobic Digestion Process is an environmentally friendly and cost effective alternative to incinerating or dumping our sewage and organic waste into our waterways and landfills.