Researchers from NARO Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science developed an aerobic bioreactor to reduce emissions of nitrous oxide from swine wastewater treatment plants
Wastewater treatment plants emit greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) that increase global warming. According to 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, prepared by the National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Program, N2O is a potent greenhouse gas that accounts for 7.9% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. N2O is produced as a result of nitrogen conversions in wastewater treatment plants. Now, a team of researchers from NARO Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science developed a new method to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from a swine wastewater treatment plant.
The team developed a carbon fiber (CF) carrier equipment that has a biochemical oxygen demand removal efficiency that is identical to the activated sludge (AS) method. Moreover, the ability of CF to remove nitrogen is higher than AS method. The team found that the new method was efficient in reducing N2O emissions. The team conducted the bacterial community structure analysis and found phylum Chloroflexi at a relatively high frequency in the biofilm on the CF carrier. This bacteria are capable of reducing N2O. The team found that use of a CF carrier into an actual plant can lead to depletion in emissions of NO2.
The team recorded over 80% reduction in NO2 emissions using a CF carrier. The CF method does not require any accompanying special equipment and can be directly used in operational wastewater treatment plants. This approach can significantly reduce operational cost of wastewater treatment plant, and is expected to be adopted for use in livestock farms and other areas. The team is focused on verifying the effectiveness of CF carriers under broader conditions in order to reduce GHG emissions and improve water quality. The research was published in the journal MDPI Energies on March 15, 2019.
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