Conventional aerobic and low-rate anaerobic processes such as pond and open-tank systems have been widely used in wastewater treatment. In order to improve treatment efficacy and to avoid greenhouse gas emissions, conventional treatment can be upgraded to a high performance anaerobic granular-sludge system. The anaerobic granular-sludge systems are designed to capture the biogas produced, rendering a potential for claims of carbon credits under the Kyoto Protocol for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) would be issued, which can be exchanged between businesses or bought and sold in international markets at the prevailing market prices. As the advanced anaerobic granular systems are capable of handling high organic loadings concomitant with high strength wastewater and short hydraulic retention time, they render more carbon credits than other conventional anaerobic systems. In addition to efficient waste degradation, the carbon credits can be used to generate revenue and to finance the project. This paper presents a scenario on emission avoidance based on a methane recovery and utilization project. An example analysis on emission reduction and an overview of the global emission market are also outlined.
Keywords: anaerobic, carbon credit, greenhouse gases, wastewater treatment