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Monday, February 12, 2018

Wastewater gone without a trace

Wastewater treatment service business typically make claims  like -
"Our focus is on fit-for-purpose water re-use to ensure that your project delivers on your expectations."
A new business model could make a quite different claim -
"Our focus is on gone-without-a-trace wastewater conversion to renewable fuel."
Integrated biodiesel and biogas production from microalgae
Integrated biodiesel and biogas production from microalgae

Microalgae convert water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and chemical compounds of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.

Some bacteria convert chemical compounds of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen into methane and carbon dioxide.





The above two processes results in the decomposition of water molecules  and carbon dioxide molecules and their reassembly into methane, oxygen and carbon dioxide molecules. For each 2 water molecules and 2 carbon dioxide molecules entering the process,  1 molecule each of methane, oxygen and carbon dioxide exit.

When 1,000 litres of wastewater are reassembled, the methane produced has an energy content of about 22 gigajoules.

While the value of 'fit-for-purpose" re-use of processed wastewater is very low, methane has a wholesale value around $10 per gigajoule and a retail price 2 - 6 times the wholesale value.

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