The state-of-the-art of organic waste to energy in Latin America and the Caribbean: Challenges and opportunities
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Organic waste to energy (OWtE) technologies have been developed and implemented in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) countries. However, they are still far away to significantly contribute not only to treat the ever-increasing waste volumes in the region but also to supply the regional energy demand and meet national carbon emission goals. The technical complexity of these technologies aligned with lack of research, high investment costs and political deficiencies have not allowed for an appropriate implementation of OWtE in the region, where the applicability of large-scale plants remains to be demonstrated. This research presents the state-of-the art of OWtE technologies in the context of the LAC countries based on archival research method. In addition, it presents challenges and opportunities that the region is facing for an adequate implementation of these technologies. The main findings show that OWtE have the potential to improve waste and energy systems in the region by reducing environmental impacts along with a series of social and economic benefits, such as increasing access to a sustainable energy supply. Diverse researches indicate principally anaerobic digestion, fermentation (e.g. 2G bioethanol, etc.), microbial fuel cells, gasification and pyrolysis as efficient technologies to treat solid organic wastes and produce bioenergy.
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