Renewable Electricity Generation from Food Waste Through Anaerobic Digestion in Pakistan: A Mini-Review
The energy crisis has always hampered economic growth in Pakistan. This is largely caused by poor management, policy deficiencies, and low interest towards non-conventional sources of energy. Pakistan's current energy generation capacity is approximately 14,000-16,000 MW by combining all generation sources, such as hydro, thermal, and nuclear. In contrast, the demand is about 20,000-22,000 MW. This discrepancy results in a shortfall of 4000-6,000 MW. To fill this gap, renewable energy sources must be used to produce additional energy. Hence, this paper evaluates the bioenergy potential from food waste (FW) through anaerobic digestion (AD). In eight mega-cities in Pakistan, the current FW generation is about 9.8 metric tons per day and this would reach as high as 14.8 metric tons by the year 2030. In ideal conditions, this quantity of FW could produce 1.96 million m3 and 2.96 million m3 of biogas each day by 2017 and 2030, respectively. Furthermore, the paper discusses the aspects regarding electricity generation as well as the economic benefits that can be obtained by the energy recovery of FW.