New N2O Wastewater System


Source: Unisense Environment A/S

Solution for direct measuring, minimizing, and reporting of N2O from wastewater treatment

The N2O Wastewater System is the world’s only sensor for direct and real-time measurement of dissolved nitrous oxide N2O) in wastewater. Together with new control and process strategies, it enables reduction of total carbon footprint.

Large impact of N2O on carbon footprint
N2O is a product of both nitrification and denitrification during the biological treatment of wastewater. Through aeration it is subsequently striped and released into the atmosphere. N2O is a highly disregarded greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 320 times higher than CO2. Traditionally, N2O emission from wastewater treatment plants has been estimated by use of the IPCC emission factor of 3.2 g/PE/year N2O-N. This factor is an underestimate and studies in the Netherlands, France, USA, and Australia have shown, that for some wastewater treatment plants, the N2O emission can account for up to 90% of their total carbon footprint.

Real-time emission estimation
Long term studies have documented a high level of performance, sensitivity, and durability of the N2O Wastewater Sensor qualifying it as the perfect and reliable tool for continuous online measurements of dissolved N2O. Moreover, direct comparison with well-controlled off-gas data has proven and validated the real-time emission data based on our N2O sensor output.

N2O wastewater system

  • Measuring and assessing the amounts of N2O being produced during wastewater treatment
  • Minimizing the large climate effect of N2O by implementing new process strategies
  • Reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from N2O

True carbon footprint
In modern wastewater treatment the primary focus on energy savings and energy production has resulted in an increase in the production of N2O leading to an increase in CO2 equivalent emission. Therefore it is essential to look at the whole process to document the true carbon footprint.

Breakthrough bioprocess control with N2O sensor
Combining today’s wastewater bioprocess control know-how with the new industrial sensor for N2O provides a significant potential in reducing the environmental load caused by this potent greenhouse gas. New state-of-the-art bioprocess controls can be developed, using input from the N2O Wastewater System, yielding a clear environmental advantage over standard control regimes.

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