40 research outputs found

    N2O emissions and aeration efficiency in wastewater treatment : improved monitoring, mechanistic modelling and data mining

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    Towards an online mitigation strategy for N2O emissions through principal components analysis and clustering techniques

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    Emission of N2O represents an increasing concern in wastewater treatment, in particular for its large contribution to the plant's carbon footprint (CFP). In view of the potential introduction of more stringent regulations regarding wastewater treatment plants' CFP, there is a growing need for advanced monitoring with online implementation of mitigation strategies for N2O emissions. Mechanistic kinetic modelling in full-scale applications, are often represented by a very detailed representation of the biological mechanisms resulting in an elevated uncertainty on the many parameters used while limited by a poor representation of hydrodynamics. This is particularly true for current N2O kinetic models. In this paper, a possible full-scale implementation of a data mining approach linking plant-specific dynamics to N2O production is proposed. A data mining approach was tested on full-scale data along with different clustering techniques to identify process criticalities. The algorithm was designed to provide an applicable solution for full-scale plants' control logics aimed at online N2O emission mitigation. Results show the ability of the algorithm to isolate specific N2O emission pathways, and highlight possible solutions towards emission control

    Multi-point monitoring of nitrous oxide emissions in three full-scale conventional activated sludge tanks in Europe

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    The large global warming potential of nitrous oxide (N2O) is currently of general concern for the water industry, especially in view of a new regulatory framework concerning the carbon footprint of water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs). N2O can be generated through different biological pathways and from different treatment steps of a WRRF. The use of generic emission factors (EF) for quantifying the emissions of WRRFs is discouraged. This is due to the number of different factors that can affect how much, when and where N2O is emitted from WRRFs. The spatial and temporal variability of three WRRFs in Europe using comparable technologies is presented. An economically feasible and user-friendly method for accounting for the contribution of anoxic zones via direct gas emission measurements was proven. The investigation provided new insights into the contribution from the anoxic zones versus the aerobic zones of biological WRRF tanks and proved the unsuitability of the use of a single EF for the three WRRFs. Dedicated campaigns for N2O emissions assessment are to be advised. However, similarities in the EF magnitude can be found considering treatment strategy and influent water composition
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