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Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Activated Sludge at Full-scale Wastewater Treatment Facilities in the United States

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This study describes the first national level survey of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from wastewater treatment facilities in the United States using a newly developed protocol, which has been reviewed and endorsed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Based on this survey, a wide degree of variability was observed in N2O emissions from the different wastewater treatment processes and configurations sampled. In general, N2O emissions from aerated zones were consistently higher than those from anoxic zones. A high degree of diurnal variability in N2O emissions was also observed. Based on a data mining approach, the primary triggers for N2O emission from aerated zones were high ammonium, nitrite and dissolved oxygen concentrations. The corresponding triggers of N2O emissions from anoxic zones were high nitrite and dissolved oxygen concentrations.

Keywords: Nitrous oxide; activated sludge; emission factors; greenhouse gas; wastewater treatment

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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