Lettinga Award

Giving the floor to anaerobic innovations

About the Lettinga Award

The Lettinga Award is a cash prize of €10,000 and was initiated in 2001 by the Lettinga Foundation. The goal of the award is to stimulate innovative ideas in the field of anaerobic technology aimed at resource recovery for closing cycles. Anaerobic processes can play a crucial role in enabling the recovery of resources, especially in combination with additional physical-chemical technologies. It is a biannual Award that is organized each year when an IWA Anaerobic Digestion congress is held.

The most recent Lettinga Award (2024) call was for “Innovative technological systems, that include anaerobic processes, for closing cycles”. The winner was announced during the closing ceremony of the IWA Anaerobic Digestion conference in Istanbul, Turkey, on June 5th, 2024.

The winner of 2024

The Lettinga Award 2024 was awarded to the project “A3DERA: Autonomous Automatic Anaerobic Digestion Enhancer for Rural Areas” submitted by Dr. Alejandro Vargas, Dr. Julián Carrillo-Reyes and Dr. Iván Moreno-Andrade from the Institute of Engineering of UNAM, Mexico. The judges applaud the focus on enhancing anaerobic digestion for small digesters in rural areas. The local rural implementation, in combination with the potentially broad application, underlines the social relevance of this project.

The winning project concerns the creation of an interface that automatically controls rural digesters. This autonomous system enhances the independence and robustness of the digesters, while greatly increasing their efficiency in biogas and fertilizer production and decreasing water and energy consumption. Based on the researchers experience and knowledge on anaerobic digestion, microbiology and feedback control, this algorithm will be developed during the project.

The objective is to increase the use of rural biodigesters in agricultural areas by aiding in the operation, optimization and maintenance of the systems through automatization. By developing a user-friendly autonomous system that can measure, maintain and adapt the digesters in an continuous way, the user does not need extensive understanding or difficult skills to operate the digester. This greatly enhances the possible application in agriculture.

All previous winners


COACE: An innovative system for closing carbon cycles

Dr. Rhiannon Chalmers-Brown


Anaerobic bioreduction of waterborne element sulphide particles for recovery from electronic waste

Dr. Simon Hageman


Dark photosynthesis: anaerobic biosynthesis of food from wastewater and electricity

David Strik, Mathijs van der Zwart, Cees Buisman


Closing cycles with a biogas powered milk chilling solution for East African smallholder farmers

SimGas BV


Adding value to Anaerobic Digestion technology by production of biobased materials (biocement and fertilizer) and methane enriched biogas using alkaline silicate minerals

Shiva Salek


Bio-Electrochemically upgrading the CO2 and H2S fractions of biogas: increasing the efficiency and adding value to Anaerobic Digestion technology

Shelley Brown-Malker, Rene Rozendal, Damien Batstone, Paul Jensen, Cristian Picioreanu, Korneel Rabaey, Jurg Keller


Immobilization of redox mediators in nanostructures for the anaerobic treatment of industrial wastewaters

Dr. Francisco Cervantes


A new anaerobic technology for efficient mineralization of lipids / LCFA

Dr. Madalena Alves


Anaerobic Granular Sludge Bed Technology Web Pages

Dr. Jim A. Field and Dr. Reyes Sierra

Contact the Lettinga Foundation

LeAF manages the secretariat and administration of the Lettinga Foundation. For more information about the foundation and its activities, please feel free to reach out to LeAF.