Energy from livestock waste: Using circular economy and territorial intelligence to build sustainable businesses

Reinalda Blanco Pereira*, Rodrigo Salvador, Gabriel Fernandes Sales, Jonatas Santana Obal, Cassiano Moro Piekarski, Antonio Carlos de Francisco

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Pig waste can be used to generate energy through biogas and has been gaining importance for being a renewable energy source. The resulting biogas can be used in many forms, such as to produce electricity and supply local networks using microgrids. This helps bring greater stability and energy security to local electricity supply networks. Under this light, this article aims to (i) report on socio-environmental impacts, (ii) present lessons learned (from a circular economy and territorial intelligence perspective), and (iii) point out future business opportunities of value recovery from waste in rural properties. To that end, a case study was carried out in a rural property in Paraná, Brazil. The authors conducted local visits and surveys, and consulted documents provided by the property owners about projects making use of biogas produced from pig waste and used to generate electricity. Different partnerships between the property and public and private bodies enable business opportunities arising from projects that range from the commercialization of carbon credits, decentralized energy generation, to sale of energy to the State's energy provider and establishing Microgrids. From those projects, direct and indirect environmental and social benefits are primarily related to the replacement of non-renewable energy with renewable energy from waste, and impacts avoided from the inadequate handling of pig waste. The results show that it is possible to explore the energy potential of rural properties, based on livestock waste, by developing partnerships with public and private actors, producing energy from biogas, from circular economy and territorial intelligence perspectives.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy & Environment
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)2072-2092
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Biogas power generation
  • Pig farming
  • Circular economy
  • Microgrid
  • Waste recovery


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