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STV Water Industry Experts Present on Innovative Greenhouse Gas Emissions Monitoring Methodology

Jun 22, 2022
NYWEA logo over water

Two of STV’s water industry experts recently presented a unique wastewater study alongside the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, at the New York Water Environment Association Spring Technical Conference & Exhibition in Syracuse, NY.

Rob DeGiorgio & Bo Zhang

Robert DeGiorgio, P.E., CPESC, CPSWQ, STV vice president, and Bo Zhang, P.E., STV project manager, presented “Greenhouse Gas Emissions of WWTPs: An Overview and A Case Study” during the three-day gathering of water, wastewater and environmental thought leaders from throughout New York State. DeGiorgio and Zhang are currently working with the University of Calgary on a case study that examined some of the key challenges in quantifying fugitive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide from wastewater treatment facilities.

The existing approach for quantifying GHG emissions is primarily based on emission factors (EFs), of which default values provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other sources are utilized. The EF approach has been critiqued for a lack of accuracy that stems from there being a wide variability range of measurement results observed.

The presentation addressed innovative remote-sensing based technologies being developed that will measure GHG emissions at wastewater treatment facilities while also integrating a machine-learning model that correlates plant operating conditions with the emissions. This approach, already proven in the energy sector, is expected to measure GHG emissions more accurately at wastewater treatment facilities at significantly reduced monitoring costs.

“GHG emissions are an emerging topic in wastewater industry, and our team is at the forefront of that discussion,” DeGiorgio said. “After presenting this first case study, we’re excited to be able to keep building this expertise internally.”