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Open AccessArticle

Energy and Nutrients’ Recovery in Anaerobic Digestion of Agricultural Biomass: An Italian Perspective for Future Applications

Department of Biotechnology, University of Verona, Strada Le Grazie 15, I-37134 Verona, Italy
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Energies 2019, 12(17), 3287; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12173287
Received: 3 June 2019 / Revised: 15 August 2019 / Accepted: 22 August 2019 / Published: 26 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biogas for Rural Areas)
Anaerobic digestion (AD) is the most adopted biotechnology for the valorization of agricultural biomass into valuable products like biogas and digestate, a renewable fertilizer. This paper illustrates in the first part the actual situation of the anaerobic digestion sector in Italy, including the number of plants, their geographical distribution, the installed power and the typical feedstock used. In the second part, a future perspective, independent of the actual incentive scheme, is presented. It emerged that Italy is the second European country for the number of anaerobic digestion plants with more than 1500 units for a total electricity production of about 1400 MWel. More than 60% of them are in the range of 200 kW–1 MW installed power. Almost 70% of the plants are located in the northern part of the Country where intensive agriculture and husbandry are applied. Most of the plants are now using energy crops in the feedstock. The future perspectives of the biogas sector in Italy will necessarily consider a shift from power generation to biomethane production, and an enlargement of the portfolio of possible feedstocks, the recovery of nutrients from digestate in a concentrated form, and the expansion of the AD sector to southern regions. Power to gas and biobased products will complete the future scenario. View Full-Text
Keywords: anaerobic digestion; biomethane potential tests; Italy; biogas; manure; energy crops; agriculture residues; digestate anaerobic digestion; biomethane potential tests; Italy; biogas; manure; energy crops; agriculture residues; digestate
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Battista, F.; Frison, N.; Bolzonella, D. Energy and Nutrients’ Recovery in Anaerobic Digestion of Agricultural Biomass: An Italian Perspective for Future Applications. Energies 2019, 12, 3287.

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