A review of high-solid anaerobic digestion (HSAD): From transport phenomena to process design

Wangliang Li, Rohit Gupta, Zhikai Zhang, Lixia Cao, Yanqing Li, Pau Loke Show, Vijai Kumar Gupta, Sunil Kumar, Kun Yi Andrew Lin, Sunita Varjani, Stephanie Connelly, Siming You*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
87 Downloads (Pure)


High-solid anaerobic digestion (HSAD) is an attractive organic waste disposal method for bioenergy recovery and climate change mitigation. The development of HSAD is facing several challenges such as low biogas and methane yields, low reaction rates, and ease of process inhibition due to low mass diffusion and mixing limitations of the process. Therefore, the recent progress in HSAD is critically reviewed with a focus on transport phenomena and process modelling. Specifically, the work discusses hydrodynamic phenomena, biokinetic mechanisms, HSAD-specific reactor simulations, state-of-the-art multi-stage reactor designs, industrial ramifications, and key parameters that enable sustained operation of HSAD processes. Further research on novel materials such as bio-additives, adsorbents, and surfactants can augment HSAD process efficiency, while ensuring the stability. Additionally, a generic simulation tool is of urgent need to enable a better coupling between biokinetic phenomena, hydrodynamics, and heat and mass transfer that would warrant HSAD process scale-up.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113305
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Early online date25 Apr 2023
Publication statusPrint publication - Jul 2023


  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Heat transfer
  • High-solid
  • Machine learning
  • Mass transfer
  • Waste management


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