Animal Waste Management in Africa

Livestock and poultry production are among the main economic activities in rural as well as urban areas of African countries.The livestock sector, in particular sheep, goats and camels, plays an important role in the national economy of African countries. In addition, the region has witnessed very rapid growth in the poultry sector.

However, livestock industry is contributing heavily to greenhouse gas emissions and waste management problems in Africa due to the absence of a sustainable Animal Waste Management System in the region. Most of the manure is collected in lagoons or left to decompose in the open which presents a severe environmental hazard.

The use of anaerobic digestion for animal waste disposal is an attractive way to address environmental problems, especially methane emissions. Anaerobic digestion of livestock manure is an alternative pathway for managing large organic waste loads and its associated problems encountered in large feeding lots and confined animal feeding operations.

Despite the numerous benefits associated with anaerobic digestion as a sustainable waste management strategy, these combined merits have never been quantified in African countries.The biogas potential of animal manure can be harnessed both at small- and community-scale. An essential aspect for adopting anaerobic digestion systems is the development of a methane market that acknowledges role of biogas systems in mitigating climate change.

With the present energy and pollution problem in Africa, conversion of animal manure as source of clean energy as well as organic fertilizer offers a great advantage. Anaerobic digestion technologies can help preserve and integrate livestock production within communities and create renewable energy resources to serve a growing bio-economy within rural communities.

Anaerobic digestion is a controlled biological treatment process that can substantially reduce the impact of livestock and poultry manures on air and water quality. An anaerobic digestion plant produces two outputs, biogas and digestate, both can be further processed or utilised to produce secondary outputs. Biogas can be used for producing electricity and heat, as a natural gas substitute and also a transportation fuel.

A biogas plant is a decentralized energy system, which can lead to self-sufficiency in heat and power needs, and at the same time reduces environmental pollution. The main features of a biogas facility are as follows:

  • Processing of renewable energy source
  • Reduction of malodors
  • Removal of harmful pathogens
  • Reduction of COD & BOD contents of processed waste
  • Production of organic fertilizer for green areas
  • Reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases
  • Production of relatively clean water for flushing or irrigation

Animal manure-to-biogas transformation has enormous potential in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and harnessing the untapped renewable energy potential of animal manure. Biogas can be used as a fuel for internal combustion engines, to generate electricity from small gas turbines, burnt directly for cooking, for space and water heating. or for running vehicles.

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Waste-to-Energy in Jordan: Potential and Challenges

landfill-jordanEffective sustainable solid waste management is of great importance both for people’s health and for environmental protection. In Jordan, insufficient financial resources, growing population, rapid urbanization, inadequate management and lacking of technical skills represent a serious environmental challenge confronting local government. At the same time, energy remains Jordan’s top challenge for development. The energy needs to be produced in a sustainable way, preferably from renewable sources which have a minimum environmental impact. To face the future problems in waste management, as well as securing the demand of renewable energy, it is necessary to reuse the wasted resources in energy production.

Jordan has definitely acknowledged that making affordable energy solutions available is critical to support industries, investment, and attain sustainable growth. One option is to use solid waste to generate electricity in centralized plants. Waste-to-energy has been recognized as an effective approach to improve recycling rates, reduce the dependence on fossil fuels, reduce the amount of materials sent to landfills and to avoid pollution.

Waste-to-Energy Potential

According to recent statistics, Jordan population stands at around 9.5 million. The estimated municipal waste generated according to the last five years average production is around 3,086,075 ton/year. This huge amount of waste generated is not only a burden, but a potential resource for use in energy production. Considering the country average waste composition 40% is organic waste e.g. avoidable and unavoidable food waste (1,200,000 ton), 10 % are recyclable e.g. paper, plastic, glass, ferrous metals and aluminum (300,000 ton) and 50% are suitable for incineration e.g. garden and park waste, wood and textiles (1,500,000 ton) with high calorific value and energy potential (8.1 MJ/Kg) that is capable to produce electricity 340 kWh/ton waste. The high organic waste is suitable for methane gas capture technologies which is estimated at 170 m3/ton waste.

Technology Options

Nowadays, there are many technologies available which makes it possible to utilize these energy potentials. The major alternatives conventional technologies for large scale waste management are incineration, landfilling and anaerobic digestion. These technologies are affordable, economical visible and associated with minimum environmental impact. The production of electricity is combined with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to the current energy situation (90% of the country energy produced from fossil fuel), the country emission factor is around 819 CO2-eq/kWh. However, the use of waste to energy solutions is considered to be a clean and definitely the amount of GHG emitted is a lot less than the gases generated by ordinary practices (open dumping and unsanitary landfills).

Construction of an incineration plant for electricity production is often a profitable system even though the installation cost is high since production of electricity often leads to a large economic gain. Landfill gas utilization avoids the release of untreated landfill gases into the atmosphere, and produces electricity to sell commercially in an environmental friendly manner. However, landfilling is associated with methane production. Methane is a potent GHG, contributing 21 times more to global warming than carbon dioxide.

Anaerobic digestion technology is another option. Anaerobic digestion not only decrease GHGs emission but also it is the best technology for treatment of high organic waste through converting the biodegradable fraction of the waste into high-quality renewable calorific gas. Currently, with the growing use of anaerobic technology for treating waste and wastewater, it is expected to become more economically competitive because of its enormous advantages e.g. reduction of pathogens, deactivation of weed seeds and production of sanitized compost.

alghabawi-landfill-jordan

Sorting at the place of generation and recycling e.g. paper, plastic, glass and metals needed to be practiced at the country level or at least where these technologies implemented. Incinerated waste containing plastics (not sorted) releases carbon dioxide, toxic substances and heavy metals to the atmosphere and contributes thereby to climate change and to global warming.

Challenges to Overcome

Waste-to-energy technologies offer enormous potentials as a renewable energy sources and to mitigate climate change in Joran. However, these technologies pose many challenges to the country and discussion makers. Currently, the waste sector is administrated by the government. Poor regulation and insufficient financial resources are limiting the available options toward adapting these new technologies. Private investments and collaboration with the private sector is the key solution in this regard.

Biogas Feedstock in the Middle East

Anaerobic digestion (or biogas technology) is the natural biological process which stabilizes organic waste in the absence of air and transforms it into biofertilizer and biogas. It is a reliable technology for the treatment of wet, organic waste.  Organic waste from various sources is biochemically degraded in highly controlled, oxygen-free conditions circumstances resulting in the production of biogas which can be used to produce both electricity and heat. Almost any organic material can be processed with anaerobic digestion. 

A wide range of organic wastes are available in the Middle East for anaerobic digestion. In addition to MSW, large quantity of waste, in both solid and liquid forms, is generated by the industrial sector like sugar mills, agro=processing, food processing, leather, pharmaceuticals and paper and pulp industries. Poultry waste has the highest biogas potential per ton of waste, however livestock wastes have the greatest potential for energy generation in the agricultural sector.

Here is the list of potential feedstock for biogas production in the Middle East.

Agricultural Feedstock

  • Animal manure
  • Energy crops
  • Algal biomass
  • Crop residues

Community-Based Feedstock

  • Organic fraction of MSW (OFMSW)
  • Sewage sludge
  • Grass clippings/garden waste
  • Food residuals
  • Institutional wastes etc.

Industrial Feedstock

  • Food/beverage processing
  • Dairy
  • Starch industry
  • Sugar industry
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Cosmetic industry
  • Biochemical industry
  • Pulp and paper
  • Slaughterhouse/rendering plant etc.

Anaerobic digestion is particularly suited to wet organic material and is commonly used for effluent and sewage treatment. Almost any organic material can be processed with anaerobic digestion. This includes biodegradable waste materials such as waste paper, grass clippings, leftover food, sewage and animal waste. The exception to this is woody wastes that are largely unaffected by digestion as most anaerobic microorganisms are unable to degrade lignin. 

Anaerobic digesters can also be fed with specially grown energy crops such as silage for dedicated biogas production. A wide range of crops, especially C-4 plants, demonstrate good biogas potentials. Corn is one of the most popular co-substrate in Germany while Sudan grass is grown as an energy crop for co-digestion in Austria. Crops like maize, sunflower, grass, beets etc., are finding increasing use in agricultural digesters as co-substrates as well as single substrate.

A wide range of organic substances are anaerobically easily degradable without major pretreatment. Among these are leachates, slops, sludges, oils, fats or whey. Some wastes can form inhibiting metabolites (e.g.NH3) during anaerobic digestion which require higher dilutions with substrates like manure or sewage sludge. A number of other waste materials often require pre-treatment steps (e.g. source separated municipal bio-waste, food leftovers, expired food, market wastes and crop residues).

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Biogas from Animal Wastes

The Middle East and North Africa region has a strong animal population. The livestock sector, in particular sheep, goats and camels, plays an important role in the national economy of regional countries. Millions of animals are imported in MENA each year from around the world. In addition, the region has witnessed very rapid growth in the poultry sector. 

Animal Waste Management

Animal waste is a valuable source of nutrients and renewable energy. However, most of the waste is collected in lagoons or left to decompose in the open which pose a significant environmental hazard. The air pollutants emitted from manure include methane, nitrous oxide, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter, which can cause serious environmental concerns and health problems. 

In the past, livestock waste was recovered and sold as a fertilizer or simply spread onto agricultural land. The introduction of tighter environmental controls on odour and water pollution means that some form of waste management is necessary, which provides further incentives for biomass-to-energy conversion. The biogas potential of animal manure can be harnessed both at small- and community-scale.

Anaerobic Digestion Process

Anaerobic digestion is a unique treatment solution for animal wastes as it can  deliver  positive  benefits  related  to  multiple  issues,  including  renewable  energy,  water pollution, and air emissions. Anaerobic digestion of animal manure is gaining popularity as a means to protect the environment and to recycle materials efficiently into the farming systems. Waste-to-Energy (WTE) plants, based on anaerobic digestion of cow manure, are highly efficient in harnessing the untapped renewable energy potential of organic waste by converting the biodegradable fraction of the waste into high calorific gases.

The establishment of anaerobic digestion systems for livestock manure stabilization and energy production has accelerated substantially in the past several years. There are thousands of digesters operating at commercial livestock facilities in Europe, United States,  Asia and elsewhere. which are generating clean energy and fuel. Many of the projects that generate electricity also capture waste heat for various in-house requirements.

Major Considerations

The main factors that influence biogas production from livestock manure are pH and temperature of the feedstock. It is well established that a biogas plant works optimally at neutral pH level and mesophilic temperature of around 35o C. Carbon-nitrogen ratio of the feed material is also an important factor and should be in the range of 20:1 to 30:1.

Animal manure has a carbon – nitrogen ratio of 25:1 and is considered ideal for maximum gas production. Solid concentration in the feed material is also crucial to ensure sufficient gas production, as well as easy mixing and handling. Hydraulic retention time (HRT) is the most important factor in determining the volume of the digester which in turn determines the cost of the plant; the larger the retention period, higher the construction cost.

Process Description

The fresh animal manure is stored in a collection tank before its processing to the homogenization tank which is equipped with a mixer to facilitate homogenization of the waste stream. The uniformly mixed waste is passed through a macerator to obtain uniform particle size of 5-10 mm and pumped into suitable-capacity anaerobic digesters where stabilization of organic waste takes place.

In anaerobic digestion, organic material is converted to biogas by a series of bacteria groups into methane and carbon dioxide. The majority of commercially operating digesters are plug flow and complete-mix reactors operating at mesophilic temperatures. The type of digester used varies with the consistency and solids content of the feedstock, with capital investment factors and with the primary purpose of digestion.

Biogas contain significant amount of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas which needs to be stripped off due to its highly corrosive nature. The removal of H2S takes place in a biological desulphurization unit in which a limited quantity of air is added to biogas in the presence of specialized aerobic bacteria which oxidizes H2S into elemental sulfur.

Biogas can be used as domestic cooking, industrial heating, combined heat and power (CHP) generation as well as a vehicle fuel. The digested substrate is passed through screw presses for dewatering and then subjected to solar drying and conditioning to give high-quality organic fertilizer.

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الغاز الحيوي من النفايات الحيوانية

منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا تمتلك كثافة حيوانية كبيرة . قطاع الثروة الحيوانية، و خصوصا الأغنام والماعز والإبل، يلعب دورا هاما في الاقتصاد الوطني لدول المنطقة  . يتم استيراد ملايين الحيوانات في منطقة الشرق الأوسط كل عام من جميع أنحاء العالم. بالإضافة إلى ذلك، شهدت المنطقة نموا سريعا جدا في قطاع الدواجن .

إدارة النفايات الحيوانية

إن المخلفات الحيوانية تعد مصدرا قيما للمواد الغذائية والطاقة المتجددة . غير أن معظم النفايات التي يتم جمعها في البحيرات أو تُترك لتتحلل في العراء تشكل خطرا بيئيا كبيرا . ملوثات الهواء المنبعثة من السماد تشمل غاز الميثان، وأكسيد النيتروز والأمونيا وكبريتيد الهيدروجين والمركبات العضوية المتطايرة والجسيمات، التي يمكن أن تسبب مخاوف بيئية خطيرة ومشاكل صحية .

في الماضي، كانت تستعمل نفايات الماشية وتباع كسماد أو ببساطة كانت توزع  على تربة  الأراضي الزراعية . إدخال ضوابط بيئية أكثر صرامة على رائحة المياه و تلوثها  يعني أن شكلا من أشكال إدارة النفايات هو الأكثر  ضرورة، ويوفرالمزيد من الحوافز لتحويل الكتلة الحيوية إلى طاقة . إمكانات الغاز الحيوي المأخوذة من  روث الحيوانات يمكن تسخيرها في المجتمعات الكبيرة او الصغيرة .

عملية الهضم اللاهوائي

الهضم اللاهوائي هو حل فريد لمعالجة فضلات الحيوانات لأنها يمكن أن تحقق فوائد إيجابية تتعلق بقضايا متعددة، بما في ذلك الطاقة المتجددة، وتلوث المياه، وانبعاثات الهواء . الهضم اللاهوائي لروث الحيوان له شعبية كبيرة كوسيلة حماية للبيئة وإعادة تدوير المواد بكفاءة في النظم الزراعية .

النباتات التي تحول النفايات إلى طاقة بناء على الهضم اللاهوائي لروث البقر،  لها  كفاءة عالية في تسخير إمكانات الطاقة المتجددة غير مستغلة من النفايات العضوية عن طريق تحويل جزء من النفايات القابلة للتحلل إلى غازات عالية السعرات الحرارية.

إن إنشاء نظم الهضم اللاهوائية لتحقيق الاستقرار للسماد والطاقة قد تسارع بشكل كبير في السنوات القليلة الماضية. وهناك الآلاف من عمليات الهضم  في مرافق الثروة الحيوانية التجارية في أوروبا والولايات المتحدة وآسيا وأماكن أخرى و التي تولد الطاقة النظيفة والوقود. هناك العديد من المشاريع التي تولد الطاقة  الكهربائية أيضا عن طريق امتصاص الطاقة الحرارية من النفايات لمختلف المتطلبات في المنزل.

أشياء رئيسية يجب أن تؤخذ بعين الإعتبار

العوامل الرئيسية التي تؤثر على إنتاج الغاز الحيوي من روث الماشية هي درجة الحموضة ودرجة الحرارة من المواد الخام.  وقد ثبت علميا أن الغاز الحيوي يعمل في حالاته المثلى عند مستوى محايد من الرقم الهيدروجيني و درجة حرارة تقارب 35 درجة سيليسية , كما أن نسبة كربون -نيتروجين من مواد الغذائية هو أيضا عامل مهم، وينبغي أن تكون في حدود 20:1 30:1 .

روث الحيوانات ذات نسبة  كربون – نيتروجين من 25:1 يعتبر مثاليا لإنتاج الغاز بحده الأقصى . تركيز المادة الصلبة في المواد التغذية يعتبر أيضا عاملا حاسما لضمان إنتاج الغاز الكافي، فضلا عن سهولة الاختلاط والتعامل معها. هيدروليكية وقت الاحتفاظ  هو العامل الأكثر أهمية في تحديد حجم الهاضم والذي بدوره يحدد تكلفة المصنع، وأكبر فترة احتفاظ، وارتفاع تكلفة البناء.

وصف العملية

يتم تخزين السماد الحيواني الطازج في خزان جمع قبل معالجتة إلى خزان التجانس وهو مجهز مع خلاط لتسهيل تجانس مجرى النفايات . يتم تمرير النفايات المختلطة بشكل موحد من خلال الة طحن للحصول على حجم جسيمات موحد من 5-10 ملم وضخها بحسب قدرات مناسبة للتخمير اللاهوائي حيث تستقر النفايات العضوية و تأخذ مكانا .

في الهضم اللاهوائي، يتم تحويل المواد العضوية إلى الغاز الحيوي عن طريق سلسلة من مجموعات البكتيريا إلى غاز الميثان وثاني أكسيد الكربون. غالبية عمليات الهضم اللاهوائي التجارية  هي تدفق المكونات والمفاعلات الممزوجة بشكل كامل تعمل تحت درجات حرارة قريبة من الاعتدال.  نوع الهاضم المستخدم يختلف حسب  اتساقه مع المواد الصلبة المحتوى من المواد الخام، مع عوامل استثمار رأس المال ومع الغرض الأساسي من عملية الهضم.

الغاز الحيوي يحتوي على كمية كبيرة من كبريتيد الهيدروجين (H2S) الغاز الذي يحتاج الى نزع نظرا لطبيعته الضارة للغاية. إزالة H2S يقام في وحدة إزالة الكبريت البيولوجية حيث يتم إضافة كمية محدودة من الهواء إلى الغاز الحيوي في وجود البكتيريا الهوائية المتخصصة التي تأكسد H2S إلى الكبريت.  الغاز الحيوي يمكن أن يستخدم للطهي المنزلي والتدفئة الصناعية، والجمع بين الحرارة والطاقة فضلا عن وقود المركبات. يتم تمرير الركيزة المراد هضمها من خلال مكابس مسمار لنزع المياه وثم تعرّض للتجفيف الشمسي والتكييف لإعطاء جودة عالية من  الأسمدة العضوية.

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Working of a Modern Biogas Plant

Biogas plants are decentralized energy system that can lead to self-sufficiency in heat and power requirements, and at the same time reduces environmental pollution. A biogas plant stabilizes organic waste through natural biological process in the absence of air and transforms waste into biogas and biofertilizer. Such facilities are well-suited to wet organic material and are commonly used for treating biodegradable waste materials such as waste paper, grass clippings, leftover food, sewage and animal waste. The components of a modern biogas (or anaerobic digestion) plant includes manure collection, anaerobic digester, effluent treatment plant, gas storage, and CHP or electricity generating equipment. 

 

Working of a Biogas Plant

The fresh animal manure is stored in a collection tank before its processing to the homogenization tank which is equipped with a mixer to facilitate homogenization of the waste stream. The uniformly mixed waste is passed through a macerator to obtain uniform particle size of 5-10 mm and pumped into suitable-capacity anaerobic digesters where stabilization of organic waste takes place.

In anaerobic digestion, organic material is converted to biogas by a series of bacteria groups into methane and carbon dioxide. The majority of commercially operating digesters are plug flow and complete-mix reactors operating at mesophilic temperatures. The type of digester used varies with the consistency and solids content of the feedstock, with capital investment factors and with the primary purpose of digestion.

Biogas contain significant amount of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas which needs to be stripped off due to its highly corrosive nature. The removal of H2S takes place in a biological desulphurization unit in which a limited quantity of air is added to biogas in the presence of specialized aerobic bacteria which oxidizes H2S into elemental sulfur.

Gas is dried and vented into a CHP unit to a generator to produce electricity and heat. The size of the CHP system depends on the amount of biogas produced daily. The digested substrate is passed through screw presses for dewatering and then subjected to solar drying and conditioning to give high-quality organic fertilizer. The press water is treated in an effluent treatment plant based on activated sludge process which consists of an aeration tank and a secondary clarifier.

The treated wastewater is recycled to meet in-house plant requirements. A chemical laboratory is necessary to continuously monitor important environmental parameters such as BOD, COD, VFA, pH, ammonia, C:N ratio at different locations for efficient and proper functioning of the process. The continuous monitoring of the biogas plant is achieved by using a remote control system such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. This remote system facilitates immediate feedback and adjustment, which can result in energy savings.

 

Merits of Anaerobic Digestion of Wastes

Anaerobic digestion is the natural biological process which stabilizes organic waste in the absence of air and transforms it into biofertilizer and biogas. It is a reliable technology for the treatment of wet, organic waste.  Organic waste from various sources is biochemically degraded in highly controlled, oxygen-free conditions circumstances resulting in the production of biogas which can be used to produce both electricity and heat. Almost any organic material can be processed with anaerobic digestion.

Anaerobic digestion is particularly suited to wet organic material and is commonly used for effluent and sewage treatment.  This includes biodegradable waste materials such as waste paper, grass clippings, leftover food, sewage and animal waste. The exception to this is woody wastes that are largely unaffected by digestion as most anaerobic microorganisms are unable to degrade lignin.

There are many advantages associated with anaerobic digestion process which may be classified into three groups viz. environment, energy and financial:

Environmental Benefits

  • Elimination of malodorous compounds.
  • Reduction of pathogens.
  • Deactivation of weed seeds.
  • Production of sanitized compost.
  • Decrease in GHGs emission.
  • Reduced dependence on inorganic fertilizers by capture and reuse of nutrients.
  • Promotion of carbon sequestration
  • Beneficial reuse of recycled waterProtection of groundwater and surface water resources.
  • Improved social acceptance

Energy Benefits

  • Anaerobic digestion is a net energy-producing process.
  • A biogas facility generates high-quality renewable fuel.
  • Surplus energy as electricity and heat is produced during anaerobic digestion of biomass.
  • Anaerobic digestion reduces reliance on energy imports.
  • Biogas facility contributes to decentralized, distributed power systems.
  • Biogas is a rich source of electricity, heat, and transportation fuel.

Financial Benefits

  • Anaerobic digestion transforms waste liabilities into new profit centers.
  • The time devoted to moving, handling and processing manure is minimized.
  • Anaerobic digestion adds value to negative value feedstock.
  • Revenues can be generated from processing of waste (tipping fees), sale of organic fertilizer, carbon credits and sale of power.
  • Anaerobic digestion plants increases self-sufficiency.

Many industries in the Middle East produce liquid and solid wastes that are suitable for anaerobic digestion, such as food processing, pharmaceuticals, organic chemicals, paper manufacturing and tannery industries. Some of the wastes might be difficult to digest as a sole substrate, but they can be biochemically degraded in combination with manure or sewage sludge. The combined digestion of different wastes is called co-digestion.

The relevance of biogas technology for the Middle East lies in the fact that it makes the best possible utilization of industrial organic waste as a renewable source of clean energy. Diversion of industrial waste from landfill sites and taking it to plants which can turn it into biogas and biofertilizer will ensure that it is treated in such a way that it becomes a useful product instead of a harmful one.  

Biogas Potential in the Middle East

Anaerobic digestion is the natural biological process which stabilizes organic waste in the absence of air and transforms it into biofertilizer and biogas. It is a reliable technology for the treatment of wet, organic waste.  Organic waste from various sources is biochemically degraded in highly controlled, oxygen-free conditions circumstances resulting in the production of biogas which can be used to produce both electricity and heat. 

Anaerobic digestion is particularly suited to wet organic material and is commonly used for treating animal manure, organic fraction of MSW, sewage and industrial effluents.  Anaerobic digestion is a unique treatment solution for organic wastes as it can  deliver  positive  benefits  related  to  multiple  issues,  including  renewable  energy,  water pollution, and air emissions. Anaerobic digestion of organic wastes is fast gaining popularity as a means to protect the environment and to recycle biodegradable materials efficiently. 

Many industries produce liquid and solid wastes that are suitable for anaerobic digestion, such as food processing, pharmaceuticals, organic chemicals, paper manufacturing and tannery industries. Some of the wastes might be difficult to digest as a sole substrate, but they can be biochemically degraded in combination with manure or sewage sludge. The combined digestion of different wastes is called co-digestion.

Biogas Potential in the Middle East

There is a large untapped potential for biogas generation in the Middle East which is mainly contributed by municipal solid wastes, sewage, industrial wastes and farm wastes. MSW is the best feedstock because of high organic content in solid wastes in Middle Eastern countries. On an average, more than 50 percent of the municipal waste stream is constituted by biodegradable fraction.

Huge quantity of sewage sludge is produced on daily basis across the region which presents a serious problem due to its high treatment costs and risk to environment and human health. On an average, the rate of wastewater generation is 80-200 litres per person each day. The handling of sewage sludge is one of the most significant challenges for municipal authorities in the Middle East. Anaerobic digestion is among the best methods for management of municipal wastewater worldwide. 

The Middle Eastern region has strong animal population. The livestock sector, in particular sheep, goats and camels, plays an important role in the national economy of the Middle East countries. Many millions of live ruminants are imported into the Middle Eastern countries each year from around the world. The most attractive method of converting animal wastes into useful form is anaerobic digestion which gives biogas that can be used as a fuel for internal combustion engines, to generate electricity from small gas turbines, burnt directly for cooking, or for space and water heating.

The food processing industry in Middle East produces a large number of organic residues and by-products that can be used as biomass energy sources. In recent decades, the fast-growing food and beverage processing industry has remarkably increased in importance in major countries of the Middle East. The mushrooming of hotels, restaurants, fast-food joints and cafeterias in the Middle East region has resulted in the generation of huge quantities of food wastes.

The relevance of biogas technology lies in the fact that it makes the best possible utilization of industrial organic waste as a renewable source of clean energy. Diversion of industrial waste from landfill sites and taking it to plants which can turn it into biogas and biofertilizer will ensure that it is treated in such a way that it becomes a useful product instead of a harmful one.