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Article

Renewable Energy Generation and GHG Emission Reduction Potential of a Satellite Water Reuse Plant by Using Solar Photovoltaics and Anaerobic Digestion

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering & Construction, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV 89154-4015, USA
2
Department of Civil Engineering, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi 75270, Pakistan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Andreas N. Angelakis, Muhammad Wakil Shahzad and Robert Field
Water 2021, 13(5), 635; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050635
Received: 29 December 2020 / Revised: 18 February 2021 / Accepted: 20 February 2021 / Published: 27 February 2021
Wastewater treatment is a very energy-intensive process. The growing population, increased demands for energy and water, and rising pollution levels caused by fossil-fuel-based energy generation, warrants the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. This research explored the energy consumption offset of a satellite water reuse plant (WRP) by using solar photovoltaics (PVs) and anaerobic digestion. The analysis was performed for two types of WRPs: conventional (conventional activated sludge system (CAS) bioreactor with secondary clarifiers and dual media filtration) and advanced (bioreactor with membrane filtration (MBR)) treatment satellite WRPs. The associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were also evaluated. For conventional treatment, it was found that 28% and 31.1% of the WRP’s total energy consumption and for advanced treatment, 14.7% and 5.9% of the WRP’s total energy consumption could be generated by anaerobic digestion and solar PVs, respectively. When both energy-generating units are incorporated in the satellite WRPs, MBR WRPs were on average 1.86 times more energy intensive than CAS WRPs, translating to a cost savings in electricity of $7.4/1000 m3 and $13.3/1000 m3 treated, at MBR and CAS facilities, respectively. Further, it was found that solar PVs require on average 30% longer to pay back compared to anaerobic digestion. For GHG emissions, MBR WRPs without incorporating energy generating units were found to be 1.9 times more intensive than CAS WRPs and 2.9 times more intensive with energy generating units. This study successfully showed that the addition of renewable energy generating units reduced the energy consumption and carbon emissions of the WRP. View Full-Text
Keywords: wastewater treatment; water reuse; energy consumption; treatment plant design; photovoltaics; carbon emissions wastewater treatment; water reuse; energy consumption; treatment plant design; photovoltaics; carbon emissions
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bailey, J.R.; Bukhary, S.; Batista, J.R.; Ahmad, S. Renewable Energy Generation and GHG Emission Reduction Potential of a Satellite Water Reuse Plant by Using Solar Photovoltaics and Anaerobic Digestion. Water 2021, 13, 635. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050635

AMA Style

Bailey JR, Bukhary S, Batista JR, Ahmad S. Renewable Energy Generation and GHG Emission Reduction Potential of a Satellite Water Reuse Plant by Using Solar Photovoltaics and Anaerobic Digestion. Water. 2021; 13(5):635. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050635

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bailey, Jonathan R., Saria Bukhary, Jacimaria R. Batista, and Sajjad Ahmad. 2021. "Renewable Energy Generation and GHG Emission Reduction Potential of a Satellite Water Reuse Plant by Using Solar Photovoltaics and Anaerobic Digestion" Water 13, no. 5: 635. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050635

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