A critical review for the impact of anaerobic digestion on the sustainable development goals

Farzad Piadeh, Ikechukwu Offie, Kourosh Behzadian, Joseph P. Rizzuto, Angela Bywater, José-Rodrigo Córdoba-Pachón, Mark Walker

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Anaerobic Digestion (AD) technology emerges as a viable solution for managing municipal organic waste, offering pollution reduction and the generation of biogas and fertilisers. This study reviews the research works for the advancements in AD implementation to effectively impact the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Furthermore, the study critically analyses responsible waste management that contributes to health and safety, elevating quality of life in both rural and urban areas and, finally, creates a map of AD outputs onto all 17 SDGs. Finally, the assessment employs the three sustainability pillars (i.e., economic, environmental, and social perspectives) to examine the direct and indirect links between AD and all 17 UN SDGs. The findings reveal substantial progress, such as poverty reduction through job creation, bolstering economic growth (SDGs 1, 8, 10, 12), enhancing agricultural productivity (SDG 2), advancing renewable energy usage and diminishing reliance on fossil fuels (SDG 7), fostering inclusive education and gender equality (SDGs 4, 5, 9), combating climate change (SDG 13), transforming cities into sustainable and harmonious environments (SDGs 11, 16, 17), and curbing environmental pollution (SDGs 3, 6, 12, 14, 15). Nonetheless, the study highlights the need for further efforts to achieve the SDG targets, particularly in part of liquid and solid fertilisers as the AD outputs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number119458
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Early online date31 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • Biogas generation
  • Municipal organic waste
  • Sustainability aspects
  • UN goals and targets


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