Challenges and Potential of Anaerobic Digestion from Municipal and Agricultural Organic Waste in Ethiopia
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Poor solid waste management is a global issue that causes vast environmental, social, and financial costs to societies. Considering waste as a potential resource, both materially and energetically, will contribute towards reducing residual waste and represent direct support to developing a circular economy. The challenges and potentials of organic waste in Ethiopia and other East African countries have been examined in the "Guideline for organic waste treatment in East Africa" project by the German Biomass Research Center (DBFZ). With a waste generation of 6.63 million tons per year, of which 55-80 percent is organic waste, Ethiopia has excellent potential for valorizing organic waste. Anaerobic digestion can be one integral part of this systematic approach. This paper aims to overview the challenges and potentials of using anaerobic digestion for treating MSW and agricultural residues from a macro-perspective. The methodology is based on a systematic literature review, meta-analysis, and expert interviews. MSW has a potential of 161 to 385 million m3 year-1 of methane. As one example for the
agricultural sector, coffee byproducts have a potential of 68 million m3 year-1. Technical and economic restrictions in logistics and processing technologies pose the most significant challenges in utilizing this potential.