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Energy Recovery from Wastewater Treatment Plants in the United States: A Case Study of the Energy-Water Nexus

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Author Info

  • Ashlynn S. Stillwell

    ()
    (Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station C1786, Austin, TX 78712, USA)

  • David C. Hoppock

    ()
    (Climate Change Policy Partnership, Duke University, Box 90335, Durham, NC 27708, USA)

  • Michael E. Webber

    ()
    (Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station C2200, Austin, TX 78712, USA)

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    Abstract

    This manuscript uses data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to analyze the potential for energy recovery from wastewater treatment plants via anaerobic digestion with biogas utilization and biosolids incineration with electricity generation. These energy recovery strategies could help offset the electricity consumption of the wastewater sector and represent possible areas for sustainable energy policy implementation. We estimate that anaerobic digestion could save 628 to 4,940 million kWh annually in the United States. In Texas, anaerobic digestion could save 40.2 to 460 million kWh annually and biosolids incineration could save 51.9 to 1,030 million kWh annually.

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    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/2/4/945/pdf
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    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/2/4/945/
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 4 (April)
    Pages: 945-962

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:4:p:945-962:d:7791

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    Web page: http://www.mdpi.com/

    Related research

    Keywords: wastewater; energy; biogas; biosolids incineration; energy recovery; policy;

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    Cited by:
    1. Sturm, Belinda S.M. & Lamer, Stacey L., 2011. "An energy evaluation of coupling nutrient removal from wastewater with algal biomass production," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(10), pages 3499-3506.

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