Municipal gravity sewers: an unrecognised source of nitrous oxide
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2014

Nitrous oxide (N 2 O) is a primary ozone-depleting substance and powerful greenhouse gas. N 2 O emissions from secondary-level wastewater treatment processes are relatively well understood as a result of intensive international research effort in recent times, yet little information exists to date on the role of sewers in wastewater management chain N 2 O dynamics. Here we provide the first detailed assessment of N 2 O levels in the untreated influent (i.e. sewer network effluent) of three large Australian metropolitan wastewater treatment plants. Contrary to current international (IPCC) guidance, results show gravity sewers to be a likely source of N 2 O. Results from the monitoring program revealed hydraulic flow rate as a strong driver for N 2 O generation in gravity sewers, with microbial processes (nitrification and possibly denitrification) implicated as the main processes responsible for its production. Results were also used to develop a presumptive emission factor for N 2 O in the context of municipal gravity sewers. Considering the discrepancy with current IPCC Guidelines, further work is warranted to assess the scale and dynamics of N 2 O production in sewers elsewhere. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


M Short

University of South Australia

University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia

A Daikeler

University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Gregory Peters

Chalmers, Kemi- och bioteknik, Kemisk miljövetenskap

K Mann

University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia

NJ Ashbolt

University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia

United States Environmental Protection Agency

RM Stuetz

University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia

WL Peirson

University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia

Science of the Total Environment

0048-9697 (ISSN)

Vol. 468-469 211-218


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