Nitrous oxide, a laughing gas produced from wastewater can account for most of the carbon footprint of a wastewater treatment plant.
Nitrous oxide (N2O), a by-product of biological nitrogen removal in Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) has been recently shown to account for more than 50% of its carbon footprint. How could it be reduced? The objective of this project is to elucidate which microorganisms are responsible for the N2O production at different environmental conditions in WWTPs. Lab-scale experiments will be run, monitoring the relevant variables affecting N2O production. Process understanding (mechanisms, rates, etc.) gained through these experiments will help us find operating strategies that reduce the WWTP carbon footprint. We would, simultaneously, reduce the nitrogen content emitted to waterbodies and the greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.