Methane emission reductions from wastewater and sewage treatment

Emissions from wastewater systems are still highly uncertain. The OECD countries have invested in wastewater treatment plants with CH4 recovery. The problem is mainly concentrated in regions without this technology. At present for the wastewater sector, industrial wastewater in developing regions is considered to be the main CH4 source (Thorneloe, 1993; Doorn and Liles, 2000). Two possible routes for reduction of CH4 emissions can be followed. Aerobic treatment technologies can be selected, which prevents the formation of CH4. Alternatively, anaerobic treatment technologies can be used, with CH4 recovery for energy generation (Lexmond and Zeeman, 1995). Anaerobic treatment is commercially available. Fuel can be produced from the CH4 for about $1 per GJ (Lettinga and van Haandel, 1993). This emissions reduction option is summarized below.

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