Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from municipal wastewater treatment – results from a long-term study

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Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from a fully covered municipal wastewater treatment plant were measured on-line during 16 months. At the plant under study, nitrous oxide contributed three-quarters to the plant's carbon footprint, while the methane emission was slightly larger than the indirect carbon dioxide emission related to the plant's electricity and natural gas consumption. This contrasted with two other wastewater treatment plants, where more than 80% of the carbon footprint came from the indirect carbon dioxide emission. The nitrous oxide emission exhibited a seasonal dynamic, of which the cause remains unclear. Three types of air filter were investigated with regard to their effectiveness to remove methane from the off-gas.

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