A benchmark simulation model, which includes a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP)-wide model and a rising main sewer model, is proposed for testing mitigation strategies to reduce the system's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The sewer model was run to predict methane emissions, and its output was used as the WWTP model input. An activated sludge model for GHG (ASMG) was used to describe nitrous oxide (N2O) generation and release in activated sludge process. N2O production through both heterotrophic and autotrophic pathways was included. Other GHG emissions were estimated using empirical relationships. Different scenarios were evaluated comparing GHG emissions, effluent quality and energy consumption. Aeration control played a clear role in N2O emissions, through concentrations and distributions of dissolved oxygen (DO) along the length of the bioreactor. The average value of N2O emission under dynamic influent cannot be simulated by a steady-state model subjected to a similar influent quality, stressing the importance of dynamic simulation and control. As the GHG models have yet to be validated, these results carry a degree of uncertainty; however, they fulfilled the objective of this study, i.e. to demonstrate the potential of a dynamic system-wide modelling and benchmarking approach for balancing water quality, operational costs and GHG emissions.
Towards a benchmarking tool for minimizing wastewater utility greenhouse gas footprints
L. Guo, J. Porro, K. R. Sharma, Y. Amerlinck, L. Benedetti, I. Nopens, A. Shaw, S. W. H. Van Hulle, Z. Yuan, P. A. Vanrolleghem; Towards a benchmarking tool for minimizing wastewater utility greenhouse gas footprints. Water Sci Technol 1 December 2012; 66 (11): 2483–2495. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2012.495
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