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Methane research shapes up at wastewater plant

A wastewater treatment plant in the US has used a dynamic imaging particle analysis system to monitor the condition and presence of methanogens in its anaerobic digestion process to find a potential correlation with methane production.

E

SG Operations (ESG) in

At ESG, anaerobic methanogen micro-

Augusta, Georgia, is a

organisms break down sewage sludge and

contract company that

wastewater solids to produce methane that

handles municipal utility

can be used to produce electricity and heat.

operations. Pretty much

The effectiveness of this anaerobic digestion

anything a city needs to

process is determined by the methanogen

do from a wastewater and water treatment

population.

utility standpoint, ESG is contracted to op-

Methane formers are very delicate organ-

erate and maintain. Methane production is

isms and they’re susceptible to dying off

becoming more of a focus for a variety of

if you change their environment too much,

utility applications; therefore, understanding

so they need to be in a tightly controlled

the conditions and presence of this biology

environment.

has become increasingly relevant. The anaerobic digestion process occurs

The initial study shapes up

when organic materials in an enclosed

Percy Nolan is a project manager at ESG.

vessel, kept at a constant temperature,

He acquired the use of a FlowCAM dynamic

are broken down by microorganisms in the

imaging particle analysis system as part of

absence of oxygen. This process produces

a partnership/collaboration program with

a gas consisting of methane and carbon

Fluid Imaging Technologies. One of the

dioxide.

things that Nolan and his team theorised

30 This issue is sponsored by — Schneider Electric — http://www.schneider-electric.com.au/sites/australia/en/products-services/product-launch/smart-panels/smart-panels.page

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Sustainability Matters Aug/Sep 2015  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...

Sustainability Matters Aug/Sep 2015  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...