Special Issue "Anaerobic Digestion"

A special issue of Fermentation (ISSN 2311-5637).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Thaddeus Ezeji

Department of Animal Sciences and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: microbial physiology; biofuels (butanol, ethanol, methane) and biochemicals (2,3-butanediol, acetone, isopropanol) production; downstream processing; biomass pretreatment technologies; lignocellulose-derived microbial inhibitory compounds and mitigations; metabolic engineering; bioreactor design; alcoholic fermentation and anaerobic digestion

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The global human population increased from one billion in 1800 to 7.6 billion in 2017. During this period, the population has become more affluent and there is the generation of a tremendous amount of waste. On average, every person in the United States generates and discards rubbish equivalent of his/her body weight each month (Hoornweg et al., 2013). This may also be true for citizens of other countries. Certainly, rapid waste generation and accumulation have had a significant effect on the global potable water reserve and wildlife welfare. I contend that there needs to be a great investment into developing environmentally friendly technologies that: Facilitate decreases in waste transfer to landfills and incinerators; promote water recycling; prevent contamination of underground water; and mitigate some of the damage already caused by excessive waste generation and poor disposal choices. Hence, from my perspective there is an urgent need to re-evaluate the role of anaerobic digestion (AD) processing of wastes to address these important societal issues.

Notably, AD occurs naturally in the absence of oxygen during which a diverse population of microorganisms degrade putrescible materials such as sewage sludge, organic farm wastes, food and restaurant wastes, organic industrial and commercial wastes, and municipal solid wastes, into biogas (methane and CO2) and digestate (solid–liquid effluent mixture). Indeed, AD processing dates back to 17th century when Belgian scientist and philosopher, Mr. Jan Baptista van Helmont, observed that flammable gases could be emitted from putrefying organic materials. It was not until 19th century (1808) that Sir Humphry Davy determined that methane in biogas produced during AD of cattle manure was responsible for this flammability.

At present, the term ‘anaerobic digestion’ refers to both a natural process and a developed technology. Although it is an old technology, the AD processing of wastes is gaining traction recently as an eco-friendly waste treatment and recycling option to produce energy and fertilizer (compost) from organic wastes along with reducing odor emissions and improving air quality. The AD process is typically divided into four steps (1-hydrolysis, 2-acidogenesis, 3-acetogenesis, and 4-methanogenesis), and with each step there are problems and challenges associated with the operation of an AD plant, in addition to technical problems such as inadequate mixing, clogged pipes, floating layers and bulky sediments in the digester. Additionally, problems associated with heterogeneity of feedstock, operating costs, disposal of digestate, odor emissions, and digester failures are some of the challenges that occur when operating AD plants. Thus, in this Special Issue, we invite authors to submit original research and review articles on all aspects of AD research including but not limited to biochemistry, ecology and physiology of AD microorganisms that enhance our understanding of the AD process, expand on current state of the art technologies of the AD process, and problems associated with AD and mitigation strategies.


Hoornweg D, Bhada-Tata P, Kennedy C (2013) Environment: Waste production must peak this century. Nature 502: 615–617

Prof. Dr. Thaddeus Ezeji
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Fermentation is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

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  • Municipal solid waste
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Anaerobic digester
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Methane
  • Gas fermentation
  • Biogas
  • Methanogenesis
  • Biomethanization
  • Acetogenesis
  • Biogasification
  • Hydrolysis
  • Single-stage digester
  • Two-stage digester
  • Upflow anaerobic sludge blanket
  • Downflow Upflow Hybrid Reactor
  • Upflow Fixed Film Loop Reactor
  • Downflow Stationary Fixed Film Reactor
  • Baffled anaerobic digester
  • Fluidized bed reactor
  • Biological oxygen demand (BOD)
  • Chemical oxygen demand (COD)

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessCommunication
Regulatory Promotion and Benefit Analysis of Biogas-Power and Biogas-Digestate from Anaerobic Digestion in Taiwan’s Livestock Industry
Fermentation 2018, 4(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation4030057
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 17 July 2018 / Accepted: 18 July 2018 / Published: 24 July 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (834 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
The objectives of this paper were to summarize the status of the livestock (pig and cattle) industry and its waste management in Taiwan. The Water Pollution Control Act authorized the reuse of liquor and digestate from anaerobic digestion (AD) as fertilizers for agricultural [...] Read more.
The objectives of this paper were to summarize the status of the livestock (pig and cattle) industry and its waste management in Taiwan. The Water Pollution Control Act authorized the reuse of liquor and digestate from anaerobic digestion (AD) as fertilizers for agricultural lands on 24 November 2015. A large number of official databases and literature have been surveyed and analyzed to address the characterization of the biogas (AD-based) digestate and the potential benefits of biogas-to-power in Taiwan. On the promulgation of the Act, the central ministries have jointly managed the applications of livestock farms for reusing the AD-based liquor and digestate as fertilizers for farmlands. The survey findings revealed that the biogas digestate from a pig farm in Taiwan contained significant amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and other soil nutrients such as calcium and magnesium. However, it is necessary to control zinc present in the biogas digestate from pig-raising farms. A preliminary analysis based on 123 large-scale pig farms with a total of 1,223,674 heads showed the annual benefits of methane reduction of 6.1 Gg, electricity generation of 3.7 × 107 kW-h, equivalent electricity charge saving of 4.0 × 106 US$, and equivalent carbon dioxide mitigation of 152.5 thousand tons (Gg). Obviously, the integration of AD and biogas-to-power for treating animal manure is a win-win option for livestock farms to gain environmental, energy, and economic benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anaerobic Digestion)

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