Anaerobic Digestion Technologies for Treatment of Municipal Solid Waste

CLIENT: Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)

IEC conducted a survey of current anaerobic digestion (AD) technologies used for treatment of Municipal Organic Solid Waste. Currently there are no commercial-scale solid waste digesters operating despite several favorable (though economically marginal) feasibility studies and laboratory findings. Therefore, this project reviewed the technologies that have been used successfully for over ten years in Europe, Canada, Japan, and Australia where the industry continues to expand. IEC also did a survey of the many novel technologies that are being developed in the U.S. where several U.S. institutions hold patents on promising high-rate AD technologies. The report concludes that AD and other conversion technologies have the potential to minimize the environmental impact of waste disposal by reducing the amount of biodegradable materials in landfills. It points out that public policies that encourage organic solid waste disposal reduction will help to facilitate the adoption of such technologies. In addition, as the technologies advance, their installation costs should decrease significantly.