Fugitive greenhouse gas emissions from wastewater treatment: Understanding emission generation processes and development of appropriate sampling methods Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resultant from wastewater treatment operations represent an area of great uncertainty in which the total global effects are currently unknown. This is the result of many countries having no regulatory requirements or managing protocols in place, and as such there is a general lack of credible data and understanding of fugitive emissions from various treatment processes. Methane (CH4), and Nitrous Oxide (N2O) have been identified as the most significant GHGs released from wastewater treatment plants due to their significant global warming potential. The purpose of this study is to provide a comprehensive overview of key emission generation processes and develop standardised sampling methods which can be implemented to establish comprehensive inventories of emissions and process data.This study involved a critical review of literature, field data collection and laboratory investigations. The study found that there existed a gap of available data of N2O and CH4 emissions during various unit process of wastewater treatment and approved methods used obsolete assumptions. Through the development of accurate inventories, future efforts can be expended in the development of models to validate methodologies against expected emissions.
This project was carried out in collaboration with UWA.