Co-Digestion of the Organic Fraction of Municipal Waste With Other Waste Types

H. Hartmann, Irini Angelidaki, Birgitte Kiær Ahring

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Several characteristics make anaerobic digestion of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) difficult. By co-digestion of OFMSW with several other waste types it will be possible to optimize the anaerobic process by waste management. The co-digestion concept involves the treatment of several waste types in a single treatment facility. By combining many types of waste it will be possible to treat a wider range of organic waste types by the anaerobic digestion process (figure 1). Furthermore, co-digestion enables the treatment of organic waste with a high biogas potential that makes the operation of biogas plants more economically feasible (Ahring et al., 1992a). Thus, co-digestion gives a new attitude to the evaluation of waste: since anaerobic digestion of organic waste is both a waste stabilization method and an energy gaining process with production of a fertilizer, organic waste becomes a valuable resource. Co-digestion treatment has been successfully applied to several agricultural and industrial organic waste types in recent years. In Denmark, for example, the co-digestion concept has been successfully used since the mid 1980’s for the treatment of livestock waste and industrial organic waste in Joint Biogas Plants (Danish Energy Agency, 1995). However, at present only 7% of the overall OFMSW treated by anaerobic digestion in Europe was done so by means of co-digestion (De Baere, 2000). In this chapter we will show that co-digestion of OFMSW has several benefits which can be used for establishing a wider application of the anaerobic treatment of OFMSW.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiomethanization of the Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Wastes
EditorsJ. Mata-Alvarez
PublisherIWA Publishing
Publication date2002
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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