Waste to energy and circular economy: the case of anaerobic digestion

Jouni Havukainen, Elina Dace

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Anaerobic digestion (AD) can play a vital role in enhancing the circular economy of nutrients while producing renewable energy and providing an option for biowaste recycling. This makes AD interesting for energy, waste management, and agrifood sectors. The produced digestate retains the usable nutrients—nitrogen and phosphorus, while the degradation of organic materials by microbes produces biogas comprising carbon dioxide and methane. The resulting digestate can be utilized in the agricultural sector which links together waste valorization and food production, thus contributing to the closing of the loop of nutrients available in waste biomass, e.g., food waste. The produced biogas can be utilized directly in electricity and/or heat production or upgraded to biomethane to be distributed via the natural gas grid to be used in energy production or as vehicle fuel. To ensure that AD provides environmental gains the environmental performance must be evaluated, considering substrate, bioconversion process, and products.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable and Circular Management of Resources and Waste Towards a Green Deal
EditorsMajeti Prasad, Marzena Smol
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780323952781
ISBN (Print)9780323952798
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • Circular economy
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Bioconversion process
  • Biogas
  • Municipal solid waste
  • Biowaste
  • Renewable energy
  • Valorisation
  • Waste management

Field of Science*

  • 2.7 Environmental engineering
  • 4.1 Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries

Publication Type*

  • 3.1. Articles or chapters in proceedings/scientific books indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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