Waste-to-Wealth by Sludge-to-Energy: A Comprehensive Literature Reviews

Yue Liu, Yi Man, Jingzheng Ren

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


Energy and resources recovery from sewage sludge has become a hot spot due to the high consistency with the requirements for sustainable development. This chapter overviews several sludge-to-energy technologies, including anaerobic digestion (AD), fermentation, microbial fuel cells, pyrolysis, gasification, incineration, and supercritical water gasification. Basic principles, influencing factors, generated products, and corresponding yields are introduced. Major products from the treatment consist of biofuels, chemicals, heat, and electricity which can be directly used or applied after upgrading or conversion. A comparison of these technologies is carried out from environmental, economic, and technical aspects. Results show that AD followed by incineration for energy recovery could be a promising method because of the affordable investments and complete treatment for the waste. Other methods, especially biological processes except for AD, are limited by the technology maturity and low energy recovery rates. More efforts are needed to improve the total energy production and reduce the costs to make these alternatives more cost-efficient and competitive. However, they are still attractive and possess huge potential since they provide renewable ways for clean energy production.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWaste-to-Energy
Subtitle of host publicationMulti-Criteria Decision Analysis for Sustainability Assessment and Ranking
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2020


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