A large fraction of the municipal solid wastes (MSW) stream in the U.S. comprises of natural organic compounds (i.e., food and plant wastes) with high moisture content and low heating value. While these properties are undesirable during the combustion of MSW in waste-to-energy (WTE) plants, they are required for anaerobic digestion (AD). During AD, methane gas is produced that can be captured and used for energy generation. The required long residence times limit the throughput of an AD plant but further development may result in increasing the rates of bioreactions. This paper introduces current AD practices and identifies possible synergies between AD and WTE. It is suggested that co-siting of WTE and AD facilities may result in mutual benefits.

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