Evaluating the effect of different operational strategies on the carbon footprint of wastewater treatment plants – case studies from northern Poland - Publication - MOST Wiedzy

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Evaluating the effect of different operational strategies on the carbon footprint of wastewater treatment plants – case studies from northern Poland

Abstract

Nowadays, low greenhouse gas (GHG) emission is expected at wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). However, emission quantification and evaluation still faces difficulties related to data availability and uncertainty. The objective of this study was to perform carbon footprint (CF) analysis for two municipal WWTPs located in northern Poland. Slupsk WWTP is a large biological nutrient removal (BNR) facility (250,000 PE) which benefits from on-site electricity production from biogas. The other studied plant is a medium-size BNR facility in Starogard (60,000 PE). In this WWTP, all the required electricity was provided from the grid. Both wastewater systems were composed of activated sludge, with differences in the nutrient removal efficiency and sludge treatment line. The CF calculations were based on empirical models considering various categories of input parameters, afterwards summing up the emissions expressed in CO2 equivalents (CO2e). After sensitivity analysis, significant contributors to GHG emissions were identified. The total specific CF of the Slupsk and the Starogard WWTP was 17.3 and 38.8 CO2e per population equivalent (PE), respectively. In both cases, sludge management, electricity consumption and direct emissions from wastewater treatment were found to significantly influence the CF. A substantial share of the total CF originated from indirect emissions, primarily caused by the energy consumption. This negative impact can be partially overcome by increasing the share of renewable energy sources. Reduction of over 30% in the total CF could be achieved while applying energy recovery from biogas by combined heat and power plants. Farmland and farmland after composting were found to be the most appropriate strategies for sludge management. They could create a CF credit (8% of the total CF) as a result of substituting a synthetic fertilizer. Reliable full-scale measurements of N2O emissions from wastewater treatment are recommended due to high uncertainty in CF estimation based on fixed emission factors (EFs). While applying the lowest and the highest N2O EFs reported in the literature, the total CF would change even by 2–3 times.

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Details

Category:
Magazine publication
Type:
artykuł w czasopiśmie wyróżnionym w JCR
Published in:
WATER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY no. 79, pages 2211 - 2220,
ISSN: 0273-1223
Language:
English
Publication year:
2019
Bibliographic description:
Maktabifard M., Zaborowska E., Mąkinia J.: Evaluating the effect of different operational strategies on the carbon footprint of wastewater treatment plants – case studies from northern Poland// WATER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. -Vol. 79, iss. 11 (2019), s.2211-2220
DOI:
Digital Object Identifier (open in new tab) 10.2166/wst.2019.224
Sources of funding:
Verification:
Gdańsk University of Technology

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