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Recovery of methane emissions from waste water offers significant greenhouse gas emission reductions.


Wastewater technologies are generally classified into mechanical systems, lagoon systems and land treatment systems. An example of a mechanical system is activated sludge, which utilizes physical, chemical and biological mechanisms to remove nutrients and pathogens. Lagoons use physical and biological processes while land treatments utilize soil and plants to perform similar processes.

Recovery of methane emissions from waste water is related to the amount of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) levels in waste water. Technologies that either allow for aeration or efficient reduction of BOD levels help to reduce methane production.


Mechanical systems are widely used in developed countries, but being the most expensive option in terms of both upfront capital and operation/maintenance costs, it is unlikely to be widely adopted in developing countries. However, studies show that lagoon and biological systems are almost as effective.

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There is no Planet B™
Carbon War Room in association with Elsevier Biofuel TechSelect Go to the Carbon War Room website