Methodological approaches to optimising anaerobic digestion of water hyacinth for energy efficiency in South Africa.
Anaerobic digestion has been identified as a feasible fragment of a bioeconomy, yet numerous factors hinder the adoption of the technology in South Africa. Apart from its energy recovery, other nonmarket advantages support the technology. Though it may be challenging to have a price tag, they provide clear added worth for such investments. With a growing energy demand and global energy transitions, there is a need to sustainably commercialise the biogas industry in South Africa. Most studies are at laboratory scale and under specific conditions, which invariably create gaps in using their data for commercialising the biogas technology. The key to recognising these gaps depends on knowing the crucial technical phases that have the utmost outcome on the economics of biogas production. This study is a meta-analysis of the optimisation of anaerobic digestion through methodological approaches aimed at enhancing the production of biogas. This review, therefore, argues that regulating the fundamental operational parameters, understanding the microbial community's interactions, and modelling the anaerobic processes are vital indicators for improving the process stability and methane yield for the commercialisation of the technology. It further argues that South Africa can exploit water hyacinth as a substrate for a self-sufficient biogas production system in a bid to mitigate the invasive alien plants.