Sustainable Biogas Production From Wastewater Treatment Plants
Wastewater generated from households, industries, agricultural activities and commercial institutions contains physical, chemical and biological pollutants.
Every year, millions of tons of organic waste reach wastewater treatment plants in the form of livestock manure, agricultural waste, fats, oils, and food waste. On the other hand, it contains toxic chemicals and harmful pathogens that can affect water resources and impact human health drastically if not managed properly. Thus, biological wastewater treatment is essential.
In the biological wastewater treatment process, microorganisms act upon the waste which leads to its decomposition. There are two ways in which microbes perform the waste degradation function; aerobic and anaerobic, depending on the presence of oxygen.
In the anaerobic process, microbes decompose organic waste in wastewater treatment plants in the absence of oxygen. The final by-products are a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide. Biogas production is one of the advantages of anaerobic digestion of waste.
There are several benefits of biogas. It produces heat and energy which can be used to power the wastewater treatment plant itself and other applications like running engines, use in micro-turbines and fuel cells. It can be further utilized as vehicle fuel when upgraded to bio-methane.
Experts also believe that biogas is a reliable source to fulfil the demand for clean and renewable energy, arresting climate change issues and keeping the environment healthy in the future. Additionally, biogas generation is an opportunity for wastewater treatment plant managers to save money on waste remediation.
There is an urgent need for solutions which promote sustainable biogas production from wastewater treatment plants. Therefore, a deeper understanding of the anaerobic digestion process, its basic principles and related factors is necessary.
Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Production
In the anaerobic digestion process, microorganisms play an important role in decomposing organic waste material and using the energy released for its growth. This process takes place in a digester tank of a treatment plant, and it can be divided into four phases; Hydrolysis, Acidogenesis, Acetogenesis and Methanogenesis.
Different microbes are used in all these four phases. In the first phase, non-soluble bio-polymers converts to soluble organic compounds. In the second phase, the soluble organic compounds are acted upon by acidogenic bacteria, turning it into volatile fatty acids and carbon dioxide. It is followed by conversion to acetate and H2 in the third phase. In the last phase, methane is produced.
Several factors like temperature, pH, alkalinity and toxicity influence all these phases of the anaerobic digestion process. At the same time, the optimum plant process is possible when microbial activity is at its best.
Moreover, the loading rate of anaerobic reactors depends on the processing capacity of microbes. A sufficient amount of microbes should be retained in the reactor. Also, regular contact between feedstock and bacterial mass is significant.
Thus, anaerobic wastewater treatment plants help in developing biogas. But for sustainable production, there are several challenges faced. It includes malfunctioning or under-performing treatment facilities and minimal productivity through a biological process.
Organica Biotech is one of the leading companies with effective and efficient solutions for wastewater treatment problems. Cleanmaxx ANB is one of the solutions that consists of a diverse range of bacteria that improves the anaerobic treatment process. It can accelerate all the processes involved and boost the performance of treatment plants as well. Thus, you can use Cleanmaxx ANB for sustainable production of biogas.
Also read: Biogas – A Renewable Energy Resource