Bioprocess Network for Solid Waste Management

  • Federico MicolucciEmail author
  • Marco Gottardo
  • Wanderli Rogério Moreira Leite


The anaerobic digestion process is a well-known and still growing technology. It has been implemented in full scale in several waste and wastewater treatment plants.

The key issue is the treatment, stabilization, and waste reduction in order to obtain benefits, especially energy and bioproducts. Efficient separate collection, first of all, is the key for anaerobic digestion success. Separate collection is the prerequisite to have waste streams of good quality at the source for further treatments, and it can be implemented at reasonable costs. We have to change the paradigm in plant pretreatment configuration, thus passing from complicated pretreatment lines to simplified systems. Moreover, urban waste treatment processes should be considered as real productive industries. The future vision of biowaste management leads to consider it as a raw material to produce not only energy but also products (e.g., bioplastics). The new aerobic/anaerobic biorefinery comes from the integration of the cycles that take advantage of the wastewater treatment and the urban organic waste management as a valuable source for the production of products and energy resources. The integrated approach for waste stream treatment gives considerable advantages, which lead this option in the field of the “smart” opportunities for the urban service management.


Anaerobic digestion Organic waste Sewage sludge Pre-treatment Biogas upgrading Hydrogen Volatile fatty acids Multivariate analysis Process control 



The authors wish to thank the European Union, 7° Framework program 2007–2013, Valorgas Project (ENERGY.2009.3.2.2, Valorization of food waste to biogas), PRIN-MIUR 2007, and LIFE+ ENVIRONMENT POLICY AND GOVERNMENT project “Development and implementation of a demonstration system on Integrated Solid Waste Management for Tinos in line with the Waste Framework Directive” (LIFE10 ENV/GR/000610). Part of the work was carried out by the financial support of the project PRIN 2012 WISE “Advanced process to sustainable useful innovative products from organic waste.”


  1. Adamson KA (2004) Hydrogen from renewable resources—the hundred year commitment. Energ Policy 32:1231–1242. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Angenent LT, Karim K, Al Dahhan MH, Wrenn BA, Domìguez-Espinosa R (2004) Production of bioenergy and biochemicals from industrial and agricultural wastewater. Trends Biotechnol 22:477–485. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Antonopoulou G, Gavala HN, Skiadas IV, Angelopoulos K, Lyberatos G (2008) Biofuels generation from sweet sorghum: fermentative hydrogen production and anaerobic digestion of the remaining biomass. Bioresour Technol 99(1):110–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Astals S, Batstone DJ, Mata-Alvarez J, Jensen PD (2014) Identification of synergistic impacts during anaerobic co-digestion of organic wastes. Bioresour Technol 169:421–427. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Battistoni P, Pavan P, Cecchi F, Mata-Alvarez J, Majone M (1998) Integration of civil wastewater and municipal solid waste treatments. The effect on biological nutrient removal processes. In: Proceedings of the European conference on new advances in biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal for municipal or industrial wastewaters, 12–14 October 1998, Narbonne, France, pp 129–137Google Scholar
  6. Bernstad A, la Cour Jansen J (2011) A life cycle approach to the management of household food waste–a Swedish full-scale case study. Waste Manag 31:1879–1896. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Bolzonella D, Innocenti L, Pavan P, Cecchi F (2001) Denitrification potential enhancement by addition of the anaerobic fermented of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste. Water Sci Technol 44(1):187–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bolzonella D, Fatone F, Pavan P, Cecchi F (2005) Anaerobic fermentation of organic municipal solid wastes for the production of soluble organic compounds. Ind Eng Chem Res 44:3412–3418. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bolzonella D, Battistoni P, Susini C, Cecchi F (2006) Anaerobic codigestion of waste activated sludge and OFMSW: the experiences of Viareggio and Treviso plants (Italy). Water Sci Technol 53:203–211. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Braun K, Gottschalk G (1981) Effect of molecular hydrogen and carbon dioxide on chemo-organotrophic growth of Acetobacterium woodii and clostridium aceticum. Arch Microbiol 128(3):294–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cavinato C, Bolzanella D, Fatone F, Cecchi F, Pavan P (2011) Optimization of two-phase thermophilic anaerobic digestion of biowaste for hydrogen and methane production through reject water recirculation. Bioresour Technol 102:8605–8611. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Cavinato C, Giuliano A, Bolzonella D, Pavan P, Cecchi F (2012) Bio-hythane production from food waste by dark fermentation coupled with anaerobic digestion process: a long-term pilot scale experience. Int J Hydrogen Energ 37:11549–11555. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cavinato C, Giuliano A, Bolzonella D, Pavan P, Cecchi F (2012) Bio-hythane production from food waste by dark fermentation coupled with anaerobic digestion process: a long-term pilot scale experience. Int J Hydrogen Energy 37:11549–11555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cardon BP, Barker HA (1947) Amino acid fermentations by clostridium propionicum and Diplococcus glycinophilus. Arch Biochem 12:165PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Cecchi F, Cavinato C (2015) Anaerobic digestion of bio-waste: a mini-review focusing on territorial and environmental aspects. Waste Manag Res 33:429–438. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Cecchi F, Traverso PG, Perin G, Vallini G (1988) Comparison of co-digestion performance of two differently collected organic fractions of municipal solid waste with sewage sludges. Environ Technol Lett 9:391–400. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cecchi F, Pavan P, Mata-Alvarez J (1997) Kinetic study of the thermophilic anaerobic digestion of the fresh and precomposted mechanically selected organic fraction of MSW. J Environ Sci Health A 32:195–213. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cecchi F, Battistoni P, Pavan, Bolzonella D, Innocenti L (2005) Digestioneanaero-bicadellafrazioneorganica dei rifiutisolidi. Aspettifondamentali, progettuali, gestionali, diimpattoambientaleedintegrazioneconladepurazionedelleacquereflue. Edizioni APAT: Agenzia per laProtezionedell’Ambiente e per i ServiziTecnici. Manuali e lineeguida 13/2005, RomaGoogle Scholar
  19. Chinellato G, Cavinato C, Bolzonella D, Heaven S, Banks CJ (2013) Biohydrogen production from food waste in batch and semi-continuous conditions: evaluation of a two-phase approach with digestate recirculation for pH control. Int J Hydrogen Energ 38:4351–4360. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Chong ML, Sabaratnam V, Shirai Y, Hassan MA (2009) Biohydrogen production from biomass and industrial wastes by dark fermentation. Int J HydrogenEnerg 34:3277–3287. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Chou CH, Wang CW, Huang CC, Lay JJ (2008) Pilot study on the influence of stirring and pH on anaerobes converting high-solid organic wastes to hydrogen. Int J Hydrogen Energ 33:1550–1558. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Chu CF, Li YY, KQ X, Ebie Y, Inamori Y, Kong HN (2008) A pH-temperature-phased two-stage process for hydrogen and methane production from food waste. Int J Hydrogen Energ 33:4739–4746. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Chu CF, Ebie YXKQ, Li YY, Inamori Y (2010) Characterization of microbial community in the two-stage process for hydrogen and methane production from food waste. Int J Hydrogen Energ 35:8253–8261. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Chua H, PHF Y, Ho LY (1997) Coupling of waste water treatment with storage polymer production. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 63:627–635. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. De Baere L, Mattheeuws B (2015) State of the art of anaerobic digestion of municipal solid waste in Europe. In: Proceedings of the international conference on solid waste 2011 – moving towards sustainable resource management, p 416Google Scholar
  26. De Falco M, Basile A (eds) (2015) Enriched methane: the first step towards the hydrogen economy. Springer, ChamGoogle Scholar
  27. De la Rubia MA, Raposo F, Rincón B, Borja R (2009) Evaluation of the hydrolytic–acidogenic step of a two-stage mesophilic anaerobic digestion process of sunflower oil cake. Bioresour Technol 100:4133–4138. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Dionisi D, Majone M, Papa V, Beccari M (2004) Biodegradable polymers from organic acids by using activated sludge enriched by aerobic periodic feeding. Biotechnol Bioeng 85:569–579. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Elbeshbishy E, Nakhla G (2011) Comparative study of the effect of ultrasonication on the anaerobic biodegradability of food waste in single and two-stage systems. Bioresour Technol 102:6449–6457. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. EUROSTAT (n.d.) Eurostat 2011 [WWW Document]., Scholar
  31. EUROSTAT 2011–2012-2015a.,−/ten00110
  32. Eurostat (2014) Generation of Waste.
  33. Giuliano A, Zanetti L, Micolucci F, Cavinato C (2014) Thermophilic two-phase anaerobic digestion of source sorted organic fraction of municipal solid waste for bio-hythane production: effect of recirculation sludge on process stability and microbiology over a long-term pilot scale experience. Water Sci Technol 69:2200–2209. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Gomez X, Moran A, Cuetos MJ, Sanchez ME (2006) The production of hydrogen by dark fermentation of municipal solid wastes and slaughterhouse waste: a two-phase process. J Power Sources 157(2):727–732CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gottardo M, Cavinato C, Bolzonella D, Pavan P (2013) Dark fermentation optimization by anaerobic digested sludge recirculation: effects on hydrogen production. Chem Eng 32:997–1002. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gottardo M, Micolucci F, Bolzonella D, Uellendahl H, Pavan P (2017) Pilot scale fermentation coupled with anaerobic digestion of food waste - effect of dynamic digestate recirculation. Renew Energy 114:455–463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Graham LA, Rideout G, Rosenblatt D, Hendren J (2008) Greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. Atmos Environ 42:4665–4681. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hallenbeck P, Ghosh D, Skonieczny M, Yargeau V (2009) Microbiological and engineering aspects of biohydrogen production. Indian J Microbiol 49:48–59. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  39. Han SK, Kim SH, Kim HW, Shin HS (2005) Pilot-scale two-stage process: a combination of acidogenic hydrogenesis and methanogenesis. Water Sci Technol 52:131–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hansen TL, Jansen JC, Davidsson A, Christensen TH (2007) Effects of pre-treatment technologies on quantity and quality of source-sorted municipal organic waste for biogas recovery. Waste Manag 27:398–405. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Hawkes FR, Dinsdale R, Hawkes DL, Hussy I (2002) Sustainable fermentative hydrogen production: challenges for process optimisation. Int J Hydrogen Energ 27:1339–1347. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Hawkes F, Hussy I, Kyazze G, Dinsdale R, Hawkes D (2007) Continuous dark fermentative hydrogen production by mesophilic microflora: principles and progress. Int J Hydrogen Energ 32:172–184. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. ISPRA (2014a) Rapportorifiutiurbani. Edizione 2014. Rapporti 202/2014. ISPRA, 2014: RapportoRifiutiUrbani. ISBN 978-88-448-0680-4Google Scholar
  44. ISPRA (2014b) Italian emission inventory 1990–2012. Informative inventory report 2014. Rapporti 201/2014Google Scholar
  45. Kataoka N, Ayame S, Miya A, Ueno Y, Oshita N, Tsukahara K, Sawayama S, Yokota N (2005) Studies on hydrogen-methane fermentation process for treating garbage and waste paper. ADSW 2005 conference proceedings, 2, process engineeringGoogle Scholar
  46. Kongjan P, Angelidaki I (2010) Extreme thermophilic biohydrogen production from wheat straw hydrolysate using mixed culture fermentation: effect of reactor configuration. Bioresour Technol 101:7789–7796. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Kotay SM, Das D (2008) Biohydrogen as a renewable energy resource. Prospects and potentials. Int J Hydrogen Energ 33:258–263. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Kraemer JT, Bagley DM (2007) Improving the yield from fermentative hydrogen production. Biotechnol Lett 29:685–695. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Lee DY, Ebie Y, KQ X, Li YY, Inamori Y (2010) Continuous H2 and CH4 production from high-solid food waste in the two-stage thermophilic fermentation process with the recirculation of digester sludge. Bioresour Technol 101:S42–S47. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Lee WS, Chua ASM, Yeoh HK, Ngoh GC (2014) A review of the production and applications of waste-derived volatile fatty acids. Chem Eng J 235:83–99. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Leite WRM, Gottardo M, Pavan P, Belli Filho P, Bolzonella D (2016) Performance and energy aspects of single and two phase thermophilic anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge. Renew Energy 86:1324–1331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Levin DB, Pitt L, Love M (2004) Biohydrogen production: prospects and limitations to practical application. Int J Hydrogen Energ 29:173–185. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Liu D, Liu D, Zeng RJ, Angelidaki I (2006) Hydrogen and methane production from household solid waste in the two-stage fermentation process. Water Res 40:2230–2236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Lu J, Ahring BK (2005) Effects of temperature and hydraulic retention time on thermophilic anaerobic pretreatment of sewage sludge. In: Proceedings anaerobic digestion of solid waste, Copenhagen, pp 159–164Google Scholar
  55. Luo G, Xie L, Zhou Q, Angelidaki I (2011) Enhancement of bioenergy production from organic wastes by two-stage anaerobic hydrogen and methane production process. Bioresour Technol 102:8700–8706. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Malamis D, Moustakas K, Bourka A, Valta K, Papadaskalopoulou C, Panaretou V, Skiadi O, Sotiropoulos A (2015) Compositional analysis of biowaste from study sites in Greek municipalities. Waste Biomass Valoriz 6:637–646. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Mathews J, Wang G (2009) Metabolic pathway engineering for enhanced biohydrogen production. Int J Hydrogen Energ 34:7404–7416. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Metcalf, Eddy (2006) Ingegneriadelleacquereflue. Trattamento e riuso. Mc Graw Hill, Milano. ISBN: 9788838661884Google Scholar
  59. Micolucci F, Gottardo M, Bolzonella D, Pavan P (2014) Automatic process control for stable bio-hythane production in two-phase thermophilic anaerobic digestion of food waste. Int J Hydrogen Energ 39:17563–17572. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Micolucci F, Gottardo M, Cavinato C, Pavan P, Bolzonella D (2016) Mesophilic and thermophilic anaerobic digestion of the liquid fraction of pressed biowaste for high energy yields recovery. Waste Manag 48:227–235. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Micolucci F, Gottardo M, Pavan P, Cavinato C, Bolzonella D (2017) Pilot scale comparison of single and double-stage thermophilic anaerobic digestion of food waste. Article in press. doi: CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Nazlina HMYNH, Nor’Aini AR, Man HC, Yusoff MZM, Hassan MA (2011) Microbial characterization of hydrogen-producing bacteria in fermented food waste at different pH values. Int J Hydrogen Energ 36:9571–9580. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Okamoto M, Miyahara T, Mizuno O, Noike T (2000) Biological hydrogen potential of materials characteristic of the organic fraction of municipal solid wastes. Water Sci Technol 41:25–32. ISSN:02731223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Pavan P, Battistoni P, Cecchi F, Mata-Alvarez J (2000) Two-phase anaerobic digestion of source sorted OFMSW (organic fraction of municipal solid waste): performance and kinetic study. Water Sci Technol 41:111–118. ISSN:02731223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Reith JH, Wijffels RH, Barten H (2003) Bio-methane & bio-hydrogen, status and perspectives of biological methane and hydrogen production. Dutch Biological Hydrogen Foundation, PettenGoogle Scholar
  66. Shin HS, Youn JH (2005) Conversion into hydrogen by thermophilic acidogenesis. Biodegradation 16:33–44. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Sosnowski P, Klepacz-Smolka A, Kaczorek K, Ledakowicz S (2008) Kinetic investigations of methane co-fermentation of sewage sludge and organic fraction of municipal solid wastes. Bioresour Technol 99:5731–5737. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  68. Sreela-or C, Imai T, Plangklang P, Reungsang A (2011) Optimization of key factors affecting hydrogen production from food waste by anaerobic mixed cultures. Int J Hydrogen Energ 36:14120–14133. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Valdez-Vazquez I, Poggi-Varaldo HM (2009) Hydrogen production by fermentative consortia. Renew Sust Energ Rev 13:1000–1113. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Viturtia AM, Mata-Alvarez J, Sans C, Costa J, Cecchi F (1992) Chemicals production from wastes. Environ Technol 13:1033–1041. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Wang X, Zhao YC (2009) A bench scale study of fermentative hydrogen and methane production from food waste in integrated two-stage process. Int J Hydrogen Energ 34:245–254. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Yoo CK, Lee JM, Lee IB, Vanrolleghem PA (2004) Dynamic monitoring system for full-scale wastewater treatment plants. Water Sci Technol 50:163–171. ISSN: 0273-1223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Zhang C, Su H, Baeyens J, Tan T (2014) Reviewing the anaerobic digestion of food waste for biogas production. Renew Sust Energ Rev 38:383–392. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Zhu H, Parker W, Conidi D, Basnar R, Seto P (2011) Eliminating methanogenic activity in hydrogen reactor to improve biogas production in a two-stage anaerobic digestion process co-digesting municipal food waste and sewage sludge. Bioresour Technol 102:7086–7092. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Federico Micolucci
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marco Gottardo
    • 2
  • Wanderli Rogério Moreira Leite
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Sustainable BiotechnologyAalborg UniversityCopenhagen SVDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and StatisticsUniversity Ca’ Foscari of VeniceVenezia MestreItaly
  3. 3.Departmentof Civil EngineeringFederal University of PernambucoRecifeBrazil

Personalised recommendations