A review of the processes, parameters, and optimization of anaerobic digestion

Jay N. Meegoda, Brian Li, Kush Patel, Lily B. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

356 Scopus citations


Anaerobic digestion is a technology that has been used by humans for centuries. Anaerobic digestion is considered to be a useful tool that can generate renewable energy and significant research interest has arisen recently. The underlying theory of anaerobic digestion has been established for decades; however, a great deal of current research is directed towards the optimization of anaerobic digestion under diverse digestion conditions. This review provides a summary of the processes underlying anaerobic digestion, commonly-utilized measurements of anaerobic sludge, operating parameters of anaerobic digesters, and methods of acceleration and optimization used to improve process efficiency. Recent developments in addition to older research are considered to provide a general but comprehensive summary of accumulated knowledge in the theory of anaerobic digestion, as well as considerations in the efficient operation of digesters. We have determined that the numerous factors pertinent to the design and operation of batch-based anaerobic digesters must each be considered to ensure the maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness of a digester provided its respective operating conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2224
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 11 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Biogas
  • Energy
  • Food waste
  • Optimization
  • Parameters
  • Processes


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