Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 102, Issue 12, pp 5065–5076 | Cite as

New concepts in anaerobic digestion processes: recent advances and biological aspects

  • Antonio Castellano-Hinojosa
  • Caterina Armato
  • Clementina Pozo
  • Alejandro González-Martínez
  • Jesús González-López


Waste treatment and the simultaneous production of energy have gained great interest in the world. In the last decades, scientific efforts have focused largely on improving and developing sustainable bioprocess solutions for energy recovery from challenging waste. Anaerobic digestion (AD) has been developed as a low-cost organic waste treatment technology with a simple setup and relatively limited investment and operating costs. Different technologies such as one-stage and two-stage AD have been developed. The viability and performance of these technologies have been extensively reported, showing the supremacy of two-stage AD in terms of overall energy recovery from biomass under different substrates, temperatures, and pH conditions. However, a comprehensive review of the advantages and disadvantages of these technologies is still lacking. Since microbial ecology is critical to developing successful AD, many studies have shown the structure and dynamics of archaeal and bacterial communities in this type of system. However, the role of Eukarya groups remains largely unknown to date. In this review, we provide a comprehensive review of the role, abundance, dynamics, and structure of archaeal, bacterial, and eukaryal communities during the AD process. The information provided could help researchers to select the adequate operational parameters to obtain the best performance and biogas production results.


Anaerobic digestion One stage vs two stage Microbiome Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya communities 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Institute of Water ResearchUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Public Health and PediatricsUniversity of TorinoTorinoItaly
  3. 3.Centre for Sustainable Future Technologies (CSFT@PoliTo)Istituto Italiano di TecnologiaTorinoItaly
  4. 4.Department of Built Environment, School of engineeringAalto UniversityEspooFinland

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