Closing the Loop on Biogas Plants: Recycling Digestate and Sludge on Agriculture and Microbial Risk Assessment

  • Maria Elisa MagriEmail author
  • Priscila Carlon
  • Luiza Jofily Miranda Cruz
  • Leonardo Dalri-Cecato
Part of the Biofuel and Biorefinery Technologies book series (BBT, volume 9)


Management of human and animal wastes is among the major constraints towards the sustainable development of human settlements, where we demand increasing amounts of clean water, food, and energy. The aim of most sanitation solutions is to keep waste away from the generation site, such as households or animal stalls. The misconception that wastes have no useful purpose has resulted in unsustainable systems. However, the recovery of energy and agricultural use of the organics and nutrients contained in excreta and solid waste can improve soil structure and fertility, increasing productivity, reducing the dependency of resource-demanding chemical fertilizers, and thus contributing to food security. Treatment plants for waste anaerobic biodigestion can be applied in that context, moving from “treatment” plants to become “resource recovery” plants. The recovery of biogas in those plants for energy production is highly valuable, and added value can be obtained by the recycling of the biodegradation products—accumulated sludge and digestate. Those fractions should be treated sufficiently to inactivate pathogens to a certain extent. The quantitative microbial risk assessment is an effective approach to estimate risks, which can be applied to any scenarios of recycling liquid fractions from biogas reactors in agriculture.


Waste Risk assessment Nutrient recycling Pathogens Biogas Sludge Digestate QMRA 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Elisa Magri
    • 1
    Email author
  • Priscila Carlon
    • 1
  • Luiza Jofily Miranda Cruz
    • 1
  • Leonardo Dalri-Cecato
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering, Resource Recovery on Sanitation Systems Group of Studies—RRESSAFederal University of Santa CatarinaFlorianópolisBrazil

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