One of the activities foreseen in the WP3 (Market needs and opportunities) is the literature analysis of the current state of anaerobic digestions technologies. In this regard, several sources were examined for extrapolating trends and peculiarities of the anaerobic digestion market.
In the last 10 years, the biogas production market showed a constant increasing trend reaching almost 17.500 installed plants in EU  (Figure 1).
Germany leads the European market with the 63% of the installed capacity (10.971 plants), whereas Italy settle itself at around 1.655 biogas plants active at a national level. 
Feedstocks used for generating biogas in anaerobic digestion plants are mainly coming from agricultural sector, with the remaining substrates being composed by sewage sludge, OFMSW and other landfilled waste (Figure 2). 
Current research activities are focused on understanding how to effectively exploit the energy and material content in the digestate, including the EFRE-FESR HB Ponics project. In particular, one of the objectives is to find a solution capable of treating this feedstock by also ensuring a higher economic and environmental sustainability level with respect to current digestate treatment processes which mainly include:
- Direct agricultural use
This kind of approaches are usually linked to a high need of conditioning processes that are in most of the cases source of an increment in operating costs. In addition, the environmental impact of landfilling and incineration is unsustainable, especially considering the rate of growth in the generation of such kind of biodegradable products. In the last few years, several papers addressed the extraction of valuable products from digestate in order to elevate the existing systems towards Circular Economy. However, only few biogas production plants implemented this kind of measures. The aim of the HB Ponics project is therefore the creation of the link between current technologies and a more sustainable use of natural resources.
 EBA, “EBA Statistical Report 2018: Annual Statistical Report of the European Biogas Association. European Overview Chapter”, 2018