Wastewater Process Gas Emissions: Untapped Opportunities to Mitigate Climate Change
The treatment of urban wastewater is a critical process for ensuring the protection of public health and the environment. As such, the European Union (EU) has recently published a draft revision of the established regulations to guide the management of wastewater and align it with its energy and circular economy strategies – the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive.
As we continue to learn more about the potential environmental impacts of wastewater treatment, one area of concern that has emerged in recent years is the issue of process gas emissions in wastewater treatment plants. Process gas emissions, including nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) from wastewater treatment plants have negative impacts on the environment, including contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and climate change. Nitrous oxide and methane have global warming potential close to 300 and 28 times higher than that of carbon dioxide (CO2), respectively.
Technology and application experts such as AM-Team, Bentley, Cobalt Water Global, Jacobs, Ragn-Sells, Royal HaskoningDHV, Suez, Unisense, Variolytics, Veolia and Xylem have developed a Position Paper calling for the monitoring of process gas emissions in wastewater treatment plants to be included in the Directive’s proposed revision. By establishing standards for the monitoring and mitigation of process gas emissions, the EU can ensure that wastewater treatment is carried out in an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible way. In this position paper, these technology and application experts bring the knowledge and references needed for building credibility on the viability of this monitoring requirement. This opinion invites all stakeholders involved to connect and learn on the technical and commercial availability of process gas monitoring solutions.
We urge policymakers and stakeholders to carefully consider the recommendations presented in this Paper, and to take necessary actions to revise the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive to address the issue of process gas emissions. By doing so, we can ensure that wastewater treatment plants are operating in a way that protects public health and the environment, now and for generations to come.
More detailed and technical information can be found in the Position Paper drafted by a coalition of technology and application experts, including: AM-Team, Bentley, Cobalt Water Global, Jacobs, Ragn-Sells, Royal HaskoningDHV, Suez, Unisense, Variolytics, Veolia and Xylem.