Bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) for agro-food waste and wastewater treatment, and sustainable bioenergy: A review

S. V. Ramanaiah, K. Chandrasekhar, Cristina M. Cordas, Irina Potoroko

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Producing food by farming and subsequent food manufacturing are central to the world's food supply, accounting for more than half of all production. Production is, however, closely related to the creation of large amounts of organic wastes or byproducts (agro-food waste or wastewater) that negatively impact the environment and the climate. Global climate change mitigation is an urgent need that necessitates sustainable development. For that purpose, proper agro-food waste and wastewater management are essential, not only for waste reduction but also for resource optimization. To achieve sustainability in food production, biotechnology is considered as key factor since its continuous development and broad implementation will potentially benefit ecosystems by turning polluting waste into biodegradable materials; this will become more feasible and common as environmentally friendly industrial processes improve. Bioelectrochemical systems are a revitalized, promising biotechnology integrating microorganisms (or enzymes) with multifaceted applications. The technology can efficiently reduce waste and wastewater while recovering energy and chemicals, taking advantage of their biological elements' specific redox processes. In this review, a consolidated description of agro-food waste and wastewater and its remediation possibilities, using different bioelectrochemical-based systems is presented and discussed together with a critical view of the current and future potential applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121432
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Early online dateMar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2023


  • Agro-food waste and wastewater
  • Bioelectrochemical systems (BES)
  • Bioenergy
  • Biohydrogen
  • Microbial electrolysis cell
  • Microbial fuel cell


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