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Effect of Process Parameters on Greenhouse Gas Generation by Wastewater Treatment Plants

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The effect of key process parameters on greenhouse gas (GHG) emission by wastewater treatment plants was evaluated, and the governing parameters that exhibited major effects on the overall on- and off-site GHG emissions were identified. This evaluation used aerobic, anaerobic, and hybrid anaerobic/aerobic treatment systems with food processing industry wastewater. The operating temperature of anaerobic sludge digester was identified to have the highest effect on GHG generation in the aerobic treatment system. The total GHG emissions of 2694 kg CO2e/d were increased by 72.5% with the increase of anaerobic sludge digester temperature from 20 to 40°C. The operating temperature of the anaerobic reactor was the dominant controlling parameter in the anaerobic and hybrid treatment systems. Raising the anaerobic reactor's temperature from 25 to 40°C increased the total GHG emissions from 5822 and 6617 kg CO2e/d by 105.6 and 96.5% in the anaerobic and hybrid treatment systems, respectively.

Keywords: aerobic; anaerobic; greenhouse gas; hybrid; on-site and off-site emissions; wastewater treatment

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Building Civil and Environmental Engineering, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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