Carbon dioxide releases from wastewater treatment: potential use in the UK

Power consumption by the UK water industry has increased as a result of the introduction of new quality standards; the annual (2008/2009) carbon dioxide output was reported at 5?1 Mt. Biogenic output of carbon dioxide for the sector was calculated to be about 2 Mt. The strategies available to the water industry for reducing carbon footprint are increased use of renewable energy, principally anaerobic digestion, using less power and methods for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. This paper reports on work sponsored by UK Water Industry Research to examine methods for capturing and utilising carbon dioxide from wastewater treatment. The review has concluded that bioconversion and biofixation using algae and hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis are the most promising methods for utilising carbon dioxide. These technologies would readily integrate into existing industry flow sheets and both increase biogas production and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.