Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Mitigation of Methane Emissions from Septic Systems

Class

Article

College

College of Engineering

Faculty Mentor

Ronald Sims

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

Global warming and the greenhouse effect has been a growing issue in recent years. Greenhouse gases (GHG) have been linked to increasing global temperatures. While the leading greenhouse gases are water vapor and CO2, methane has been reported to be the 3rd largest contributing factor to the greenhouse effect, contributing 4-9% of the overall greenhouse effect. Methane has also been reported to have global warming potential of 21-23 times that of CO2. Septic tanks and onsite wastewater treatment facilities are one of the major man-made producers of methane, along with landfills. The Environmental Protection Agency has reported that about 76% of wastewater sector methane emission come from onsite septic systems. It has also been reported that 1.2 Tg of methane are produced annually in wastewater treatment processes. Because of the difficulty of reducing overall production of wastewater, and the methane associated with it, a solution is sought to mitigate methane emission through biological processes that will convert the methane into less harmful substances or provide advantageous byproducts. Methanotrophic bacteria can convert methane into CO2 and utilizing these bacteria in septic tanks and onsite wastewater treatment systems has potential to lower the GHG emissions from such systems. In this project, compost will be augmented with methanotrophs including methylosinus trichosporium (OB3b) in a bioreactor. Methane produced from a septic system will be channeled into the bioreactor where it will be degraded into CO2 by methanotrophs. The CO2 produced will then be utilized by plants which will be growing over the compost in the bioreactor. The hypothesis for this project is that methane emissions will be effectively mitigated using this method of compost treatment.

Location

The South Atrium

Start Date

4-12-2018 10:30 AM

End Date

4-12-2018 11:45 AM

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Apr 12th, 10:30 AM Apr 12th, 11:45 AM

Mitigation of Methane Emissions from Septic Systems

The South Atrium

Global warming and the greenhouse effect has been a growing issue in recent years. Greenhouse gases (GHG) have been linked to increasing global temperatures. While the leading greenhouse gases are water vapor and CO2, methane has been reported to be the 3rd largest contributing factor to the greenhouse effect, contributing 4-9% of the overall greenhouse effect. Methane has also been reported to have global warming potential of 21-23 times that of CO2. Septic tanks and onsite wastewater treatment facilities are one of the major man-made producers of methane, along with landfills. The Environmental Protection Agency has reported that about 76% of wastewater sector methane emission come from onsite septic systems. It has also been reported that 1.2 Tg of methane are produced annually in wastewater treatment processes. Because of the difficulty of reducing overall production of wastewater, and the methane associated with it, a solution is sought to mitigate methane emission through biological processes that will convert the methane into less harmful substances or provide advantageous byproducts. Methanotrophic bacteria can convert methane into CO2 and utilizing these bacteria in septic tanks and onsite wastewater treatment systems has potential to lower the GHG emissions from such systems. In this project, compost will be augmented with methanotrophs including methylosinus trichosporium (OB3b) in a bioreactor. Methane produced from a septic system will be channeled into the bioreactor where it will be degraded into CO2 by methanotrophs. The CO2 produced will then be utilized by plants which will be growing over the compost in the bioreactor. The hypothesis for this project is that methane emissions will be effectively mitigated using this method of compost treatment.