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Pure Appl. Chem., 2008, Vol. 80, No. 10, pp. 2115-2124

Energy potential of anaerobic digestion of wastes produced in Russia via biogas and microbial fuel cell technologies

Sergey Kalyuzhnyi

Department of Chemical Enzymology, Chemistry Faculty, Moscow State University, 119992 Moscow, Russia

Abstract: The well-known use of the microbiological process of anaerobic digestion (AD) to generate biogas (mixture of methane and CO2) is now widely implemented for the production of renewable energy worldwide. In Russia, however, this is not the case despite huge amounts of organic wastes (OW) suitable for AD. This paper firstly inventories major flows of OW from various sectors of the national economy (agriculture, industry, households, etc.) and estimates their biogas potential. Special attention is paid to existing bottlenecks and barriers to implementation of biogas technology given the Russian socioeconomic conditions. The second part of the paper is devoted to a new emerging technology based on AD-microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The current status of research in this field in Russia is reviewed in comparison with worldwide developments. The possible niches for implementation of MFC technology in Russia (e.g., wastewater treatment) are pointed out, including its complements to conventional biogas processes.