This study presents a model of an ecotechnology that combines algae cultivation with anaerobic digestion in order to recycle nutrients and to reduce the need for external energy. The concept is to convert organic waste into several products, such as electricity, biodiesel and organic fertilizer. It is labeled as the ACAD biorefinery. The simulation model of the ACAD biorefinery proved itself to be a powerful tool for understanding the symbioses and dynamics of the system, and therefore also a good tool for reaching political decisions. The model shows that the ACAD biorefinery could be totally independent of external energy supplies. Energy calculations indicate that more energy can be produced by combining the algae cultivation and anaerobic digestion processes. For every unit of energy entering the system in feedstock, 0.6 units of energy are exported as either biodiesel or electricity. The exported electricity accounts for approximately 30% of the total exported energy, while the remaining 70% is exported as biodiesel. By producing its own energy, the biorefinery improves its renewability and level of carbon neutrality. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.