oa South African Journal of Chemical Engineering - Economic evaluation of anaerobic digestion technology



This paper evaluates the viability of anaerobic digestion technology as a treatment process for organic waste with an intention of solving the landfill crisis as well as mitigation of greenhouse gases. The proposed technology consists of two digesters system using soaking as a pre-treatment method, and with recirculation of the process water and digested sludge. A financial model was developed to evaluate the economic feasibility of this technology as a renewable energy. Instead of the waste decomposing at local landfills, is converted into a source of energy while the by-products of the process are treated and used as fertilizers. This technology will require a capital investment of R2,2773,900 with a capacity to treat 730000 kg of waste annually. The annual production cost of R1, 269,138 was calculated. The proposed model has debt repayments of R2,478,551. The total revenue from year 2 - 5 was R2,360,800, R2,930,158, R3,457,314.6 and R3,988,407.6, respectively. These AD facilities can produce up to 110960 kWh per annum of biogas fuel. The net present value of R3,042,592, internal rate of return (IRR) of 33% and (BCR) of 1.96 shows that the technology is economically feasible.


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