Economic sustainability of biogas production from animal manure: a regional circular economy model

Devrim Murat Yazan* (Corresponding Author), Davide Cafagna, Luca Fraccascia, Martijn Mes, Pierpaolo Pontrandolfo, Henk Zijm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)
244 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: This paper aims to understand the implementation of a circular economic business where animal manure is used to produce biogas and alternative fertilizer in a regional network of manure suppliers and biogas producers and to reveal the impacts of five variables (manure quantity, transportation distance, manure dry content, manure price and manure discharge price) on the economic sustainability of manure-based biogas supply chains. Design/methodology/approach: An enterprise input-output approach is used to model physical and monetary flows of the manure-based biogas supply chain. Computational experiments are performed on all variables to identify under which conditions the cooperation is beneficial for all actors. Findings: The cooperation is profitable for a large-scale farm (>20,000 t/year) if biogas producer (b) pays farmer (f) to receive its manure (5 €/t) or if f sells manure for free and manure disposal costs are >10 €/t. Cooperation is always profitable for b if f pays b to supply its manure (5€/t). If b receives manure for free, benefits are always positive if b is a medium-large-scale plant (>20,000 t/year). For a small-scale plant, benefits are positive if manure dry content (MDC) is ≥12 per cent and transportation distance is ≤10 km. Originality/value: The paper adds value to the biogas production research, as it makes holistic analysis of five variables which might change under different policy and geographical conditions. The investors in biogas production, suppliers and transportation companies can find correspondence to empirical findings for their own site-specific cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-624
Number of pages20
JournalManagement research review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Business ethics and sustainability
  • Circular business models
  • Circular economy
  • Input-output model
  • Manure
  • Supply chain
  • Sustainable bioenergy
  • Biogas production


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