Technology review "Biogas sanitation" - draft

Program „Sustainable sanitation – ecosan“ of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH

Biogas sanitation for blackwater, brown water, or for excreta treatment and reuse in developing countries
Draft

Organic waste

Faeces

Urine

Greywater

Rainwater

Collection

Treatment

Reuse

Preface and acknowledgements Dear Reader, The work on this document began in 2004 and was progressed by various staff members and consultants of the GTZ “sustainable sanitation – ecosan” team and some CIM integrated experts over the years. The main purpose of this document is to provide an overview and introduction on biogas santation for blackwater, brown water, or for excreta treatment for reuse in developing countries, and to point you in the right direction for further reading. Colleagues who have contributed to an earlier version of this document include Susanne Kimmich, Florian Klingel, Ina Jurga, Hagen von Bloh, Elisabeth-Maria Huba-Mang and Christopher Kellner. This current version was written mainly by Heinz-Peter Mang and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Zifu Li (both Beijing University of Science and Technology and China Node for Sustainable Sanitation). If you spot omissions, errors or confusing statements, please e-mail us your feedback at ecosan@gtz.de and to heinzpeter@worldtoilet.org. We hope that you find this publication useful for your own sustainable sanitation projects and dissemination activities.

Kind regards, Dr. Elisabeth von Münch Leader of GTZ program „Sustainable sanitation – ecosan“ Note: Text marked in yellow is yet to be finalised

 April 2010, GTZ Lead authors: Heinz-Peter Mang and Zifu Li Edited by: Elisabeth von Münch Please send feedback and comments to the e-mail address given below. We look forward to hearing from you. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH ecosan program Dag-Hammarskjöld-Weg 1-5 65760 Eschborn, Germany T +49 6196 79-4220 F +49 6196 79-7458 E ecosan@gtz.de I www.gtz.de/ecosan

Last Updated: 22 April 2010

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.............. 9 4.......................................... .............................................................................................................................2 3............................................................................................................................................ 10 References .................................................................. 6 2................................ .......... 6 Possible biogas uses ......... 3 2.....................................................................8..................................................................................................................2........................... 6 Figure 4.................... 3 2................. 10 5............................ 3 2....................................................................................................................................................................................................... 2007).....................................................5 Applications of biogas sanitation ................................................................................................5 Upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor (UASB) ....................................................... 8 4.......... 2009)................................................von Bloh........................................................................................................................................2.............................1 References used in this document ..................... 5 Figure 3...............................................................................................................2 Disadvantages of biogas sanitation systems ................................................... 11 3 4 5 List of figures Figure 1................ 7 Temperature dependence.......................................................................................9 Financial and economic aspects ................................................................... Blume..................................................................................... 2009)........................................................ 10 5............ 3 2........................ ......................................................................................................................................................1 Parameters for monitoring anaerobic processes ................................................................ 8 3.....1 Classification of biogas sanitation systems ........................7 Basic principles of biogas sanitation ........................2 Biogas settler (BS) or biogas septic tank (BST) .................................2 2......1 Advantages of biogas sanitation systems ............................................... 8 3..........................1................................................... which have toilets connected as well (near Hanoi.............1 Incomplete pathogen removal.......................................... 7 3..................... Vietnam).......1 Advantages compared to aerobic wastewater treatment systems ..................3 Anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR) ........ 6 2......................2....................................... 8 3........................................ 6 2.................... 7 3....................................................................................2........................................................................ Construction of fixed dome household biogas plants for animal manure...................... 7 3............................................................................................................................... 5 Process fundamentals ................................................... ................................................8 What should be done with the biogas? ........................................ Construction of fixed dome biogas plant at the prison in Meru............................ 4 2...... Maintenance of biogas settler at Naivasha bus park in Kenya: Cleaning of the manhole of the biogas settler from old clay to prepare for re-sealing (source: C........ 9 Figure 5......................................................................................................................................10 Septic tanks (anaerobic but not optimised for biogas production and reuse) ...................................2 Variable performance ....................................................3 Definition of biogas sanitation systems .........1 Flaring of biogas to avoide methane emissions (greenhouse gas) ............................................7.....................................................................................................................2 Further references ......................................... 3 2......................4 Anaerobic filter (AF) ............2 2.... 8 4.......... Biogas cooker at Gachoire Girls High School in Kagwe.............................1 Target audience of this publication ............................ 7 Reuse of digester sludge ............................ 5 2........ 6 2....... 9 Last Updated: 22 April 2010 Page 2 .......................................... 9 4.......... Source: F....... 2009)........................................... 8 4.........................................................................................2 Scope of this document ...................3 Further information sources ................................... Technical drawing of the biogas settler shown in previous figure (source: C..................................................................................... Kenya (source: S..................................7...................................................... 4 2.... Rieck........................................... Kenya as the first wastewater treatment step followed by an anaerobic baffled reactor and pond system (source: H........ 3 Introduction........................... ....................................... 10 5........................................................... Rieck............................................8....................................6 Characteristics and definitions .......................................... 3 Figure 2................................................................................................................................................. 9 4.............. 6 Advantages and limitations of biogas sanitation systems ... Kiambu district near Nairobi............................................................................................................................... Klingel (2008).........................Contents 1 2 Summary .........................................4 Historical development of biogas sanitation systems ....6 Maintenance requirements for biogas sanitation systems .......4 Possibility for explosions ................................................5 Overview of main types of biogas sanitation systems.......2.....1........... 7 3...........3 Experienced masons and maintenance staff required ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 8 3.............................

and combinations of these units. The fact that the plant nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus are not removed in the treatment process can also be an advantage if the effluent is applied in agriculture to replace chemical fertiliser (but if effluent is discharged directly to water bodies. efficiency and technical components. such as amount of excreta. are an alternative to centralised wastewater treatment systems due to their energy and soil conditioner production capacity. 2 2. To understand this document only a basic technical background is needed. (b) the anaerobic baffled reactor.von Bloh. Hence.4 Historical development of biogas sanitation systems Biogas sanitation systems have been used for excreta treatment for more than 100 years. excreta or wastewater’’ The purification is the result of the breakdown which occurs in the absence of oxygen (anaerobic conditions). depending on the treatment target: (a) optimised energy output. 2. In decentralised or semi-centralised wastewater treatment systems. (d) the upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor. 2. Such treatment concept can easily be combined with urine diversion systems treating anaerobically only the brown water which consists of wastewater mixed with faeces. Louis Mouras of Vesoul. as part of an on-site. Construction of fixed dome biogas plant at the prison in Meru. further treatment (“post-treatment”) is necessary). and industrial wastewater treatment is outside of the scope of this document. This publication intends to contribute to spread awareness about this technology. greywater. 1998). which regulate the flow. Kenya as the first wastewater treatment step followed by an anaerobic baffled reactor and pond system (source: H. 2007). The target audience for this publication are people who: • want to get an overview of biogas sanitation. their application. or (b) optimised hygienisation (pathogen removal). and the intended reuse or disposal pathway. thus improving surface water quality and sanitation in many regions of the world. France. (c) the anaerobic filter. their different designs. decentralised or semi-decentralised wastewater treatment system. available space. Anaerobic digestion is one of the oldest technologies applied for wastewater treatment. low-tech components and adaptability. were added in 1905 to make the septic tank more efficient. It fails to produce enough biogas. energy balance and CO2-emission reduction compared to conventional aerobic wastewater treatment systems. On the other hand. especially from the perspective of the poor. wastewater from low or no flush toilets and the kitchen waste. too). addition of other organic waste. was given a septic tank patent in 1881 and credited with the invention. biogas sanitation units are often designed as primary treatment of wastewater to remove large particles and some organic matter (by settling and digestion) (Sasse. the settleable solids content in the influent. but without urine. The construction of biogas sanitation units is the same as for completely mixed domestic wastewater treatment but it can be smaller if designed for blackwater or brown water.1 Introduction Target audience of this publication Figure 1. excreta or faecal sludge only. but this publication focuses only on treating blackwater or brown water. blackwater or brown water.3 Definition of biogas sanitation systems Biogas sanitation systems are defined as ‘‘engineered systems designed and constructed to utilise biological processes which break down solids and liquids by bacterial action in treating organically loaded sludge. Four types of biogas sanitation units are briefly described in this document: (a) the biogas settler or biogas septic tank.1 Summary 2. anaerobic treatment processes need aerobic post-treatment to achieve the same effuent quality as aerobic processes do (if agricultural reuse is not possible). excreta.2 Scope of this document Anaerobic treatment units. want to know the most important documents written in this field for further reading have a particular interest in developing countries. The first baffles • • Last Updated: 22 April 2010 Page 3 . One way out of this problem is to add organic kitchen waste to the biogas unit. Biogas sanitation systems can purify a wide range of wastewater. The traditional high flush toilet generates a wastewater which is not suitable for on-site treatment in a small-scale biogas plant (unless animal waste is added. the dilution factor of the influent with flush water or urine. mixed domestic wastewater. The main advantages of anaerobic treatment systems compared to aerobic treatment systems are the generation of biogas and significantly less sludge production. Sanitation concepts for brownwater or blackwater of faecal sludge (excreta) based on anaerobic technology have advantages in terms of nutrient recycling. Baffles. maintenance. the climate and soil temperatures. The specific local circumstances must be taken into consideration when planning a biogas sanitation system. faecal sludge.

5 Applications of biogas sanitation Biogas sanitation systems are typically used as part of an onsite household-based. Also in England. England. 1991). 2. constructed wetlands or aerobic pond systems. 2002) and presented to the Ministry of Commerce and Technology. Secondary and tertiary treatment is normally accomplished in a separate aerobic treatment process with natural aerated trickling filters. It is only the water generated by the user for anal cleansing and does not include dry materials. built in 1859. Last Updated: 22 April 2010 Page 4 . 1992).fcs.org/india/overview_4457. A document on the Biodigester Septic Tank (BST) was prepared in 2000 by the Scientific Research Council of Jamaica (Ministry of Land & Environment. biogas septic tank) and secondary treatment for nutrient removal (nitrogen). in 1904.. Georgia.htm DED = German Development Service (www. Tanzania. Excreta (nightsoil) 6. The project was initiated as GTZ-Biogas Dissemination Programme in 1984 in the region of Cankuzo. Uganda. where a septic tank was used to generate biogas for the sewer gas destructor lamp. in England in 1895 and in South Africa in 1898. In 1895. Nicaragua. Faecal sludge This publication focuses only on options 3 to 7 as they are less well described in the literature and can easily be incorporated into an ecosan system. The first sewage treatment plant designed as a biogas plant was installed in 1938 in Mumbai-Dadar (Eggerling et al. Ethiopia.5 L to 3 L per cleaning. Indonesia. Marrocco. Kenya. as the application expanded with the development of the “Purifying Domestic Sewage Biogas Tank” developed by the Chinese Chengdu Biogas Research and Development Centre (Cheng and Yao-fu. Vietnam and Zambia . Since then community biogas sanitation systems have been promoted by various stakeholders throughout India.html http://www. thus replacing septic tanks and soak-away pits. Burundi. In 1978. A major increase in the number of pure biogas sanitation systems took place in 1984. Buthan. 206 small-scale biogas plants. hygienisation and COD and BOD reduction (anaerobic filter. In China. It is reported that the septic tank was first introduced in the USA in 1883.. After first experiences with family-sized biogas septic tanks.were made of oak boards . a type of street gas lighting.. Since then many public toilets have been connected to biogas septic tanks. Organic waste 3. 1996). The training of craftsmen. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The volume of water collected during anal cleansing ranges from 0. was conducted under the lead of the Ministry for Energy and Mining in Burundi. and the Ministry of Land & Environment/Ministry of Water & Housing for approval to be used as the system for future on-site sewage treatment for housing developments. Blackwater 5. Jamaica. 2000). composed by biogas settlers and anaerobic filters. the toilet and the pigsties were connected to the same underground digester (van Buren. Republic of Korea. • 2. (who received these?) Was this only in Jamaica? Pure biogas sanitation systems are now in operation in many countries around the world such as Barbados. (2008). leading to safe reuse of treated effluent. This shows that the technology is becoming more and more known and accepted. Lesotho. Bolivia. As a standard. In the following years a wide range of requests were received from housing developers to utilise the biogas technology (the Biodigester Septic System) for the onsite treatment of domestic sewage. 1992). The first national biogas program supported by German Development Cooperation using toilet wastewater and human excreta as feedstock. it became part of a “Special Energy Programme” in 1988 and was stopped due to civil war in Burundi in 1992. and 84 institutional biogas sanitation plants 3 with digester volumes of up to 250 m had been constructed (Kossmann et al. Mozambique. Thailand. China. Cameroon.6 Characteristics and definitions The following characteristics were taken from Tilley et al. Private contractors were commissioned for larger plants. the first dual purpose tank for both sedimentation and sludge treatment (biogas settler) was installed in Hampton. http://www. Anal cleansing water is water collected after it has been used to cleanse oneself after defecating and/or urinating. Brown water 4. Nepal. Where? Standards for on-site household based “biodigester septic tanks and biolatrines” were developed in 2000 by the GTZ 3 and DED supported Ethiopian Project LUPO (Land-Use Planning Oromiya) and later were improved in Lesotho by the 1 2 3 1 NGO Technology for Economic Development (TED) (Kellner. the technology concept of a biogas septic tank was developed in Exeter. 1985).de). the city of Qingdao started the operation of the first large scale biogas sanitation digester in July 1978. Faeces 7. Biogas sanitation systems are usually designed as: • a primary treatment for removal of settleable and digestable solids and organic matter (biogas settler. the project started in 1987 to build middle and large scale biogas sanitation systems connected to the toilets of boarding schools and other institutions (where?). At the same time. South Africa. based on urban household septic tanks (Guo-Qiang. the Ministry of Health. Philippines. but the biogas was also used. Domestic wastewater 2. 1979). Laos. Rwanda. In order to treat collected faecal sludge and excreta (nightsoil). Bangladesh. India. the Zhangzhou College of Education developed a small-scale 3-step biogas digester for anaerobic treatment of excreta from household dry toilets (Yongfu et al. India. the small-scale agricultural biogas plant was developed in Taiwan in 1920. Its primary function was sewage treatment. The first biogas septic tank unit usually referred to in the literature is the biogas sanitation unit at the Mantunga Homeless Lepers Asylum near Mumbai. By 1992. upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor).edu/pubs/current/C819-2. the establishment of a service system and the set-up of material credit funds were to provide the basis for a self-reliant dissemination concept. They have been used to treat: 1.unicef.ded. an experimental community sanitation biogas plant with support of UNICEF was 2 implemented in Uttar Pradesh in India . decentralised or semi-decentralised wastewater treatment processes.uga.

hydrogen sulphide and other components. Flushwater is the water that is used to transport excreta from the user interface (toilet) to the storage or treatment point. Brownwater is generated by urine diversion flush toilets and therefore. faeces and flushwater along with anal cleansing water (if anal cleansing with water is practiced) and/or dry cleansing material (such as toilet paper). acid formation stage. as only 70–85% of the urine is diverted).biogas. and organic acids. Source: F. ammonium (NH4-N) can range from 300-3000 mg/L while helminth eggs can reach up to 60. Also depending on the fermentation temperature. 2005). creating climate critical emissions due to its methane content. the volume depends on the volume of the flushwater used. More photos: http://www. Blackwater is the mixture of urine. 1 kg tolid solids of human o o excreta produces 430 L at 35 C or 300 L at 25 C (Yongfu et al. but diluted in flushwater or anal cleansing water.. with average composition of 71% water and 29% dry matter (Pipoli. diet and climate). 12% K and have 10 –10 faecal coliforms /100 mL. Typically biogas is composed of methane (50–75%). Treated sludge is the general term for partially digested or fully stabilised faecal sludge. the effluent may be completely sanitised or may require further treatment before it can be used or disposed of. It originates from either a collection. It is also common to relate the production to the dry solids (TS) or organic dry matter (OTS) of the input material. Freshwater. bio-chemical degradation is originated by bacteria. The rate of methane production depends on the rate of removed COD and the temperature. The digestion process starts with hydrolysis of the input materials caused by bacteria in order to break down insoluble organic polymers such as carbohydrates. Imhoff tanks and anaerobic lagoons this biogas is vented out. Depending on the faeces it is solid. In biogas sanitation systems. and the people have cattle in the villages. recycled greywater. which leads to pollution. Of the total nutrients excreted. The USA Environmental Protection Agency has strict criteria to differentiate between degrees of treatment and consequently. and the storage.6 kg/person/d (depending on age. or any combination of the three can be used as flushwater source. hydrogen. Organics refers here to biodegradable organic material that could also be called biomass or green organic waste (including kitchen waste). Blackwater contains all of the pathogens of faeces and all of the nutrients of urine. and the recommended reuse.7 Basic principles of biogas sanitation 2. “Treated sludge” is used as a general term to indicate that the sludge has undergone some level of treatment.Biogas is the common name for the mixture of gases released from anaerobic digestion.population density is quite high there.aspx. but concentrated in nutrients and pathogens. In conventional septic tanks. The composition of faecal sludge varies significantly depending on the location. 30% P. how those different types of sludges can be used. Excreta (nightsoil) consists of urine and faeces that are not mixed with any (flushing) water.com/photos/gtzecosan/sets/72157613849109546/ Last Updated: 22 April 2010 Page 5 . 1992). The composition will determine the appropriate type of treatment. The pathogen and nutrient load of faeces is not reduced. Brown water consists of faeces and flushwater (although in actual practice there is always some urine.7. In Vietnam and in Nepal there is a large and successful biogas support program from SNV (financed by KfW) See: www. In human faeces organic matter makes up 86% of dry matter. Depending on the type of treatment. 2. which have toilets connected as 4 well (near Hanoi. soft or runny. storage and treatment or a (semi-) centralised treatment technology. methanogenesis) performed by different bacteria and microorganisms. It is meant to indicate that the sludge has undergone some degree of treatment and is no longer raw. Each person produces approximately 50 L per year of faecal matter. Klingel (2008). Due to the biological conditions this decompostion process is possible under anoxic (under presence of nitrate) and anaerobic conditions: Organic substances are split by bacteria into components and components are “re-arranged”. (quote standard ecosan reference. Figure 2. Construction of fixed dome household biogas plants for animal manure.12-0. The digestion is a multi-stages process (consisting of hydrolysis. faeces contain about 7 9 10% N. About 40 % to 60 % of organic matter is converted to biogas.org. although it should not be assumed that treated sludge is fully treated or that it is automatically safe. the different degrading reactions take place in one digester.vn/Web/Default. the water content. Faeces refers to (semi-solid) excreta without urine or water. such as Jönsson) Useful rules of thumb for biogas production: 1 kg total solids of human excreta produces up to 478 L of biogas in 60 days hydraulic residence time.000 eggs/L. rainwater. grass and market wastes. Vietnam). Effluent is the general term for liquid that has undergone some level of treatment and/or separation from solids. Faecal sludge is the general term for the raw (or partially digested) slurry or solid that results from the storage of blackwater or excreta. carbon dioxide (25–50%) and varying quantities of nitrogen. only diluted by the flushwater and anal cleansing water. For example. Organic degradable material could include leaves. Average daily production of fresh human manure (only faeces) is: 0. Excreta is small in volume. ammonia.flickr. followed by acetogenic bacteria converting the resulting organic acids 4 Photos are from surroundings of Hanoi .1 Process fundamentals Anaerobic digestion is a complex physical-chemical and biological process that takes place in the absence of oxygen. Acidogenic bacteria then convert sugars and amino acids into carbon dioxide.

2002). 2.. 2. oxygen. for example polysaccharide to monosaccharide Acidification: (i) acid producing bacteria convert intermediate fermentation products into acetic acid. 2009).22 to 1. This problem can be avoided by 6 solid/liquid separation (AQUATRON . light metal cat-ions. The following seven groups of materials have such an impact already at low presence level: 5 ammonia . or organic waste (kitchen waste) is added as carbon rich material. heating and electricity generation (with combined heat and power or CHP units). it is important to maintain. More details to be added 2. Any material.8. Urea will be toxic to the bacteria (self-intoxification).7. 2007). the digestion process consists of the following three steps: 1.2 Parameters for monitoring anaerobic processes Important parameters for monitoring anaerobic processes are: organic dry substance. a typical septic tank system consists of a (baffled) tank and a soak-away drain without any reuse of the pre-treated effluent and the biogas produced.8. The latter option is only feasibly for large biogas systems. other organic acids.10 Septic tanks (anaerobic but not optimised for biogas production and reuse) The reason why urine (which is converted to ammonium/ammonia) is nevertheless not a major problem in anaerobic treatment of faecal sludge is described in the following Section 2. a carbon/nitrogen (C/N) ratio between 20-30:1 for achieving an optimum rate of digestion. 2. In other words.2.1 Possible biogas uses Biogas can be used for (in order of simplicity. the pH value will increase. methanogens convert these products into methane and carbon dioxide.35 and financial internal rates of return (FIRRs) from 7. Kenya (source: S.2 Flaring of biogas to avoide methane emissions (greenhouse gas) This section will explain the issue of methane being a potent greenhouse gas. and sulfides. heavy metals. pH value. Blume.htm 8 www. Urea from the urine is transformed by enzymes to ammonia. Biogas cooker at Gachoire Girls High School in Kagwe.3% (Renwick et al. H2 and CO2. Financial analysis of costs and benefits provides insight into consumer willingness to invest in combined biogas and sanitation technologies by capturing potential net returns to the household. Figure 3. and carbon dioxide. and only the “solid” part (faecal sludge) is digested.bergerbiotechnik. In practice. reduce low molecular weight components into alcohols. along with additional ammonia. 2. and will have a toxic effect on bacteria (and also result in low biogas production).7. amino acids. Kiambu district near Nairobi. if the C/N ratio is very low. 3. Hydrolysis and fermentation: (i) the organic matter is hydrolysed by extracellular enzymes. can be inhibitory or toxic to the anaerobic digestion process. at some concentration level. and substrate structure.unu. Therefore. without post-treatment). The concentration of nitrogen in the blackwater could be quite high. The C/N ratio can be manipulated by combining materials low in carbon with those that are high 8 in nitrogen .pdf 7 For details on urine diversion toilets see another GTZ technology review on urine diversion components: http://www. with simplest option first): cooking with gas stoves. moisture content.com/downloads/aquatronhybridtoiletsystem. depending on soil conditions and Last Updated: 22 April 2010 Page 6 .into acetic acid. H2S and traces of methane (CH4). If the C/N ratio is very high the biogas production will be low (why?).gtz. For further details please refer to Ulrich et al. explain why flaring would be important and why it is often not done in practice (technical difficulties with the flare). redox potential. some facilitating and inhibiting factors that play an important role in the process are described below. hydrogen. The organisms that are responsible for digestion are sensitive to the environmental conditions. (ii) bacteria decompose the long chains of complex to simpler substances. not just the web page) 5 The septic tank is a well-known anaerobic pre-treatment system (typically used as the only form of treatment. carbon dioxide and ammonium.5% to 10. Compared to a proper designed. organic acids. acidity and alkalinity. lighting. operated and maintained biogas sanitation system. 5 www. (2009). A discussion paper prepared by Winrock International for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs presents as result for selected African countries that biogas sanitation could yield benefit-cost ratios (BCRs) ranging from 1. (ii) acid producing bacteria create anaerobic conditions for CH4 (methane) producing bacteria Methane formation: methanogens. short chain organic acids.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80434e/80434E0k.de/en/themen/umwelt-infrastruktur/wasser/9397. thus interrupting the digestion process.9 Financial and economic aspects An understanding of financial and economic returns are key ingredients in the decision-making process towards biogas sanitation. C/N ratio. where the term “septic” actually refers to the anaerobic conditions in the tank. CO2. methane producing bacteria. by weight. More information on the costs of different units will be added. At the end of the process. filter bag (Vinnerås and 7 Jönsson. 2. settler) or urine diversion toilets .htm (need to quote the actual book.8 What should be done with the biogas? 2. volatile fatty acids.

3 3.. Most of the organic matter is contained in the faeces.5 kg VSS/kg COD removed. (2009) for more details) 10 9 Last Updated: 22 April 2010 Page 7 .com/Re-St/Septic-System-Impacts.1 Advantages and limitations of biogas sanitation systems Advantages of biogas sanitation systems 3. In reality. It is known that during anaerobic digestion an inactivation of most animal and plant pathogens is obtained under long period thermophillic conditions (>50°C for several days). require low but treatment units of a DEWATS adequate maintenance. and there are findings that reactors with retention times of 60 days and more produce pathogen reduced effluents (reference?).groundwater level. constructed and operated. • If well designed. The traditional practices of recycling faecal sludges to agriculture or aquaculture (e. This allows them to minimise the purchase of chemical fertiliser. Its organic matter content. the effluent of a septic tank can transport bacteria. phosphorus and potassium. 2009). Low space requirement: its underground construction does not occupy valuable space especially in urban 2 3 areas. saving a large amount of investment into the sewerage system (the same is true for aerobic systems).1 Incomplete pathogen removal Human excreta are contaminated with all kinds of pathogens and hence a reliable technology is necessary for their inactivation. and the organics as soil conditioner. For the same reason. 2 g of phosphorus and 3 g of potassium. 3.1 kg VSS/kg COD removed.2). such as the anaerobic pre10 . Chinese.2. part of this potential is lost. and other contaminants into the groundwater causing serious 9 problems . medium-sized (community level) or large scale (although this is the same for aerobic systems). by contrast aerobic activated sludge treatment performs in order of 0. one adult excretes in the order of 30 g of carbon (90 g of organic matter). The operation of a biogas sanitation system combined with aerobic post-treatment can reduce the specific sludge production by 40% (Gasparikova et al. Excreta is not only a fertiliser. futher explanations required) • • • www. and of organic matter. It is important to note that the space above a biogas plant should not be built on. which serves as a soil conditioner and humus replenisher – an asset not shared by chemical fertilisers – is of equal importance. They have lower energy and maintenance cost compared to many aerobic systems. compared to 25-30 m /m /d in aerobic ponds and constructed wetlands (Ulrich et al. Biogas septic tanks have at least the same investment as a conventional septic tank. only 0.8.1. (reference? Jönsson et al (2004)) It has been calculated that the fertilising equivalent of excreta is nearly sufficient for a person to grow its own food (Drangert 1998).html DEWATS is a name coined by the German NGO BORDA and stands for Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Systems (see Ulrich et al.5-1 m per m and per day (i. viruses. Treatment capability for a wide variety of domestic and industrial effluents (especially suitable for wastewater high in organic matter). in addition to procuring water for irrigation. during storage and treatment (such as nitrogen loss through ammonia volatilisation).1 Advantages compared to aerobic wastewater treatment systems The advantages of biogas sanitation systems compared to conventional or pure aerobic wastewater treatment systems are: • Cost effectiveness: biogas sanitation systems can be less expensive to build than some other treatment options (specify which ones . However.g. Operation and maintenance require only low skilled labour.waterencyclopedia. and capture the biogas for further use. urban farmers are using wastewater. Biogas systems can be built as decentralised wastewater treatment. • • 3. in Southeast Asia) have for centuries made use of this resource.2 Reuse of digester sludge Sanitation has a strong link to agriculture. as the nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus contained in human excreta are suitable as fertiliser. household chemicals.they are more expensive than UDDTs!). but should remain accessible. Phosphorus is equally distributed between urine and faeces.1. 10-12 g of nitrogen. Flaring of methane from septic tanks is never carried out in practice because the amount of methane per household is considered too low and such flares are not easy to maintain. (source.. Operation and maintenance expenses (energy and supplies) are low. However several studies on wet fermentation report that also mesophilic and lower temperature operation inactivates pathogens. when considering all septic tanks of the world together. The sludge yield from anaerobic treatment is approximately 0. Low-tech systems. while most of the nitrogen (70-80%) and potassium are contained in urine. the amount of methane is actually significant in terms of greenhouse gas emissions although still lower than the methane emitted from cows’ digestion systems (see also Section 2. 2005). five times less sewage sludge production compared to aerobic systems are expected. Excreta are a rich source of inorganic plant nutrients such as nitrogen. Low-tech system: Anaerobic technology does not rely on complex machines and processes (such as aeration systems).e. raw or treated in arid or semi-arid zones or during dry seasons.2 Disadvantages of biogas sanitation systems 3. Can be large or small: the systems are suitable to be designed at small (decentralised). area per 2 3 flowrate) are needed. Dutch and German studies showed that there is a complete inactivation of the pathogenic test organisms through aerobic post composting process. Each day.

2001). 3. China 1985) – Table 1 still needs to be referenced in the text Thermophilic fermentation (5355°C) Days Salmonella Shigella Poliviruses E-Coli titre Schistosoma ova Hookworm ova Ascaris ova 1–2 1 2 Several hours 1 2 Fatality (100%) 100 100 10-1 – 10-2 100 100 100 Mesophilic fermentation (35-37°C) Days 7 5 9 21 7 10 36 Fatality (100%) 100 100 100 10-4 100 100 98. the removal of 65% of solids.1 Overview of main types of biogas sanitation systems Classification of biogas sanitation systems Pathogens & parasitic ova Biogas sanitation systems can be classified according to various parameters. Therefore buffer tanks for wastewater flow equalisation can be useful. active and passive heating and other solutions should be considered. Digesters are designed for an optimum economic balance between gas yield and volume (HRT).5 Possibility for explosions As methans is flammable. BS are also applied as a pre-treatment step in combined anaerobic/aerobic systems (DEWATS) and for constructed wetlands. The quality of the final effluent from the systems usually improves with the complexity of the treatment facility. Therefore the retention time is chosen as the total time required to produce an optimum fraction of the total gas (to size the digester to obtain all possible biogas would not economical). funds and micro-location.2. In temperatures below 8ºC not much digestion will take place. Flushed pollutants or surges in water flow may temporarily reduce treatment effectiveness. To improve biogas sanitation systems the application of insulation. mesophilic (35-45ºC) and thermophilic (53-65ºC). grain) are always nessesary. Different types of biogas sanitation units may be combined with each other (so called combined systems or DEWATSpre-treatment) in order to benefit from the specific advantages of the different systems. (2) volumetric load. The three ranges of temperature in which methanogens work are called psychrophilic (8-25ºC). Coli indicator (source: Zhang Wudi. a dark slurry. 3. there is always a small (but manageable) risk of explosions when methane escapes into a limited volume of air.8 Ambient temperature fermentation (8-25°C) Fatality Days (100%) 44 100 30 100 40 60 7– 22 30 100 10-4 – 10-5 100 90 53 4 4. Any kind of suitable organic waste (kitchen waste) could be added to increase the biogas yield.Table 1. 40% of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and a 1-log removal of E.2. coli can be expected in a well designed biogas septic tank although efficiencies vary greatly depending on operation. household toilets connected to biogas systems are technically more complicated that urine diversion dehydration toilets (UDDTs). Mention advantage of building them below ground for temperature reasons.2 Temperature dependence Organic material degrades more rapidly at higher temperatures because all biological processes operate faster at higher temperatures (up to a limit). The direct effluent from the reactor. Biogas septic tanks Last Updated: 22 April 2010 Page 8 . In fact. Effects of anaerobic sanitisation on selected pathogens and parasitic ova as well as on E. is mainly applied as on-site household based system with secondary treatment of effluents in compost (solids) and drainages/subsurface irrigation (liquid). The required hydraulic retention time (HRT) of the substrate in the digester depends on the process temperature and the type and concentration of the substrate itself. and (3) sludge retention time (SRT). grasland. biogas sanitation is mainly a primary or secondary treatment step (which may need post-treatment depending on the disposal or reuse strategy). build and maintain biogas sanitation systems is required at the local level. an SRT of at least 75 days has to be considered to achieve methanogenic conditions (Zeeman et al.. (2000)) while a SRT of 15 days is necessary for sufficient hydrolysis and acidification of lipids. Biogas sanitation is often applied in countries where the ambient average temperature ranges above 15°C. is a nutrient-rich fertiliser for agriculture and aquaculture. 3. depending on available design. the three most important design criteria are (1) hydraulic retention time (HRT).4 Experienced masons and maintenance staff required A “critical mass” of people with experience to design. (explain which designs use shorter HRTs) Info on volumetric load is still to be added. such as ammonia and pesticides. This will then determine the volume of the digester. In terms of removal of organic matter and nutrients. hygienisation needs (household or community) and effluent reuse (energy plants. The process is also sensitive to temperature changes. Therefore the following sectors can only provide an introduction to the different biogas sanitation systems. The biological components are sensitive to toxic chemicals. vegetable. A minimum of 20 days of HRT is recommended due to bacterial reproduction time. Note: SRT is always equal or longer than HRT. due to the conservation of nitrogen during the anaerobic process.2 Biogas settler (BS) or biogas septic tank (BST) The biogas settler (BS) or biogas septic tank (BST). maintenance.2. For temperatures as low as 15°C. BRTC. (some more details required) 4. but from a health point of view the HRT should be extended. Design information of the recommended four design variations are available through many websites and literature (see Section 5 for details). 3. Generally.3 Variable performance Performance may be less consistent than in conventional treatments. tree nursery. A sludge retention time (SRT) of at least 10 days is necessary to promote methanogenesis in the anaerobic treatment of primary sludge at a process temperature of 25°C (Miron et al. and climatic conditions.2. Local design and engineering adaptations for local human diet (organic load and biogas potential). which have to be avoided in order to ensure a steady biogas production.

unep. where the baffles are used to direct the 11 For futher details see SuSanA case study on Naivasha bus park in Kenya: http://www. Anaerobic filters are reactors consisting of supporting material layer. A good filter material provides 2 3 12 a surface area of 90 to 300 m /m reactor volume . 2009) . it should not be constructed in areas with high groundwater tables or where there is frequent flooding. flow of wastewater in an upflow mode through a series of sludge blanket reactors. Biological oxygen demand up to 70% to 90% is removed in a well operated anaerobic filter. The UASB 12 13 4.4 Anaerobic filter (AF) The anaerobic filter (AF) is suitable for those effluents that contain low content of suspended solids for instance from biogas settlers or biogas septic tanks as primary treatment and narrow COD/BOD ratio. or gravel provide additional surface area for bacteria to settle. AF will work better.susana. BORDA DEWATS systems usually use the ABR as one of their treatment steps. where biogas is produced. Influent wastewater is distributed at the bottom of the UASB reactor and travels in an upflow mode through the sludge blanket. On the surface of these material layers or bed fixation of microorganism the development of biofilm takes place.gpa. Filter materials like rocks. Technical drawing of the biogas settler shown in previous figure (source: C. Figure 5.thewatertreatmentplant. Even though the biogas tank is gas and watertight. 4. The round shape design is more for static reasons and material economy. The treatment efficiency achievable is 7095% BOD removal. If they are preceded by a biogas settler or an ABR or a UASB (see below) that retains settled solids. especially where toilet effluents are diluted with flush water.5 Upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor (UASB) The upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor (UASB). a baffled reactor is considered as the best alternative to aerobic treatment and/or primary settlement. they function efficiently for diluted sewage. They are also called fixed-dome (?). The anaerobic degradation of organic substrates occurs in this sludge blanket. It could be used as primary tretament as well.3 Anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR) The anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR) has a series of upflow and downflow baffles. and can do so in a smaller reactor volume.training. without any coating similar to a fresh water tank or a swimming pool. not for process classification.html?id=229&ln=6 Last Updated: 22 April 2010 Page 9 . which makes the effluent quality moderate (compared to aerobic treatment) but usually superior to that of a conventional septic tank. Therefore.can be installed in any type of climate although the efficiency will be affected in cold climates. Maintenance of biogas settler at Naivasha bus park in Kenya: Cleaning of the manhole of the biogas settler from 11 old clay to prepare for re-sealing (source: C. ABRs are often built without biogas capture. Rieck.org/content. Rieck. the accumulated settled sludge must be removed from the base of the biogas tank periodically. Anaerobic filters can be applied not only for treating concentrated wastewater (contradictory to above?) but also for those wastewaters that have low organic load. 1999). The biogas produced under anaerobic conditions serves to mix the contents of the 13 reactor as they rise to the surface . 2009).com/anaerobic-filters. In case of concentrated sewage the risk of blockage of the filter material increases with the concentration of suspended solids.org/lang-en/casestudies/technology/biogas http://www. Due to this fact.html http://www. Figure 4. is a tank filled with anaerobic granular or flocculant sludge with good settling properties (the bacteria spontaneously agglomerate to form granules). They are best suited for post-treatment. The bacteria in the filter are immobile and generally fix themselves to solid particles or to the reactor walls. However. 4. plastic. Separation of the solids retention times (SRT) from the hydraulic retention times (HRT) is the key to the successful operation of an ABR. The larger surface area for the bacterial growth helps in the quick digestion of the wastes. (coating on the inside or the outside?) In a biogas settler. The sludge zone is completely mixed because the wastewater is fed into the reactor through a number of regularly spaced inlet ports (Liu and Liptak. the solids retention time (SRT) is longer than the hydraulic retention time (HRT) due to a baffle or a separation wall. The UASB reactor has the potential to produce higher quality effluent than biogas septic tanks. The design of an UASB reactor must provide an adequate sludge zone since most of the biomass is retained there. cinder. Explain more. This configuration provides a more intimate contact between anaerobic biomass and wastewater which improves treatment performance.

Guoyuan. Effluent from the UASB will usually still require further treatment prior to discharge to the environment (similarly to biogas septic tanks).6 Maintenance requirements sanitation systems for biogas To be added: common maintenance requirements. W. A.fastonline.gov/pubmed/11730126 Zhang Wudi. M. Sagar Subedi. Abstract at http://www. 7-20. A.. A. 572. Jiequan.de/Dokumente/oe44/ecosan/en -biogas-digest-volume-4-1999. Yunxuan. pdf Van Buren.. http://openlibrary... D. (2002) Faecal separation for nutrient management – evaluation of different separation techniques.org/fileadmin/files/pdf/publi cation/Compendium_of_Sanitation_Sys_and_Tech_2008. Its application for on-site domestic sewage treatment started in 1988 in Cali.scribd. A.. B. Derco. S. p.g.ch/organisation/abteilunge n/sandec/publikationen/publications_wra/downloads_wra/ human_waste_use_ETC_SIDA_UA. R. L.com/doc/8063671/Fm Cheng. Oppliger. (1991) A Study of Purifying Domestic Sewage Biogas Tank. (eds. CRC Press LLC.. T. Hoerz. I. G.. and Yao-fu.pdf. C. P. Germany. http://wedc. (website?) Zeeman. H.) (2009) Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems (DEWATS) and Sanitation in Developing Countries .html. B. C. It is a well-established process for large-scale industrial effluent treatment processes.2 Further references House. C. K. (2005) Evaluation of Anaerobic-Aerobic Wastewater Treatment Plant Operations... 321-329. http://direct. Agricultural Publishing House. NRG-2005-ESPCFeasibility%20of%20Biomass%20based%20Fuel%20Cell s. Germany.. Columbia under the German Development Cooperation GTZ-biogas advisory service. Seventh European Space Power Conference. F.pdf. H. G. Hui. Ethiopia (URL to be added) Kossmann. Kellner.de/Dokumente/oe44/ecosan/e n-decentralised-wastewater-treatment-in-developingcountries-1998. http://www. X. http://www. BRTC.gtz.eawag. Yuansheng.patoczka. Intermediate Technology Publications. F.susana. ISBN 7-109-01777-X. (2000)) – details to be added Pipoli. Zurbrügg. (2010) Evaluation of Biogas Sanitation Systems in Nepalese Prisons. The treatment efficiency achievable is 55-80% BOD removal. B. Mackensen. EAWAG/SANDEC.pdf Vinnerås. (2008) Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies. T.a practical guide. Reuter. J.pdf. (1985) Production and Utilisation of Biogas in Rural Areas of Industrialised and Developing Countries. Y. Duebendorf.. Switzerland. (2006) Biogas Handbook.uk/research/37/48/RN163712281.pdf Renwick. M. UK.Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Systems in Developing Countries. Water Science and Technology 44 (8). S. Q. B. and Gutterer. Kapusta. ESA proceedings. London. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies 14 (1). BORDA Biogas Forum 3 (46). draft final report prepared for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (final version to be obtained). P.bl. X. p. http://www.gtz. http://www.gtz. China 1985 – details to be added 5.. http://www. ISBN: 978 1 84380 128 3 Kellner. G. L. Boca Raton. Germany.com/science/journal/1462075 8 Yongfu.Environmental Engineers’ Handbook.sciencedirect. (1992) The Biogas Technology in China.pdf Ministry of Land & Environment (2002) Jamaica National Environmental Action Plan (JaNEAP) Status Report 2002. http://www. Y. Vögeli. Krämer.completebiogas. U. (URL of scanned document to be provided) Eckenfelder.gtz. and Zurbrügg. C. (2007) A CostBenefit Analysis of National and regional Integrated Biogas and Sanitation Programs in sub-Saharan Africa.gtz. W. Ltd.org/b/OL20817984M/Product ion_and_utilization_of_biogas_in_rural_areas_of_industri alized_and_developing_countries Gasparikova.de/Dokumente/oe44/ecosan/en -biogas-digest-volume-21999. T. p.pdf Strauss. (2001) Potential of anaerobic digestion of complex waste(water). C. SPhttp://www.. and Taiming..ac. Alternative House Information. Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Solutions in Developing Countries Conference Last Updated: 22 April 2010 Page 10 . (eds.org/CD3WD_40/JF/432/24UK. IWA Publishing. 105114. and Kratochvil. and Schertenleib.. Sasse. Add here good photo of a UASB 4.de/Dokumente/oe44/ecosan/en -biogas-digest-volume-31999. URL to be added Miron et al.. BORDA Biogas Forum 1 (48).1 References References used in this document Liu. (URL of scanned document to be provided) Ulrich.nih.. B. LUPO Project..pdf Sasse. A. E. http://www. G. EAWAG.. C. J. (2000) Human Waste (Excreta and Wastewater) Reuse. Yibo. 5 5..de/Dokumente/oe44/ecosan/en-biogasdigest-volume-11999. and Liptak. Italy. G.nlm.. Bremen. Abstract at: http://www.wsscc. Lüthi. von Klopotek. Giusti. E.esa. (2000) Biodigester Septic Tank and Biolatrine. (1992) Overview on Bio Digester Development in China.. and Jönsson. (1998) th Anaerobic Versus Aerobic Treatment in the USA. and Sanders. and Hutton. R. 2932. X.com/toc.. D... BORDA. Habermehl. (2005) Feasibility of biomass-based fuel cells for manned space exploration. C. Krieg. Urban Water 4 (4). Bodík.. W. W. http://www2.. e.lboro. checking for gas leakages. S. China. Mardini.pdf Tilley. ITDG Publishing and BORDA. A. Wittur.. p. USA. and Euler. Z.net/Jurek%20Pages/Papers/Ana erobic%20vs%20Aerobic%20Treatment. GTZ. http://www2. 115–122. Switzerland. Duebendorf. 5 International Symposium of Anaerobic Digestion. Klingler. Z.int/gsp/ACT/doc/POW/ACT-RPR589. Morel.html Guo-Qiang.org/images/documents/07cap-dev/a-material-topic-wg/wg02/renwick-et-al-2007cba-biogas-subsaharanafrica-en. http://www2. W. L. USA. G. GTZ. p. Germany. and Pulliam. (1996) Biogas Digest Volume I IV.is also characterised by a much longer SRT in comparison with the HRT. Biogas – Country Reports.. (1979) A Chinese Biogas Manual. F.uk/knowledge/know.ncbi.pdf Eggeling..) (1999) Wastewater Treatment . L. http://www2. (1998) DEWATS .. Stresa. Pönitz. Chengyong. 7-10. Patozka. Winrock International. p.html Lohri. London.. Volume I: http://www2.. G. H.

L. (in German – URL to be added) Werner.com/photos/gtzecosan/sets/7215762338287 4630/ Video clips on youtube with keywords: biogas. D. Länder-. Publications collated by the SuSanA working group on “sustainable sanitation and renewable energies” (note this group is open for all interested people to join): http://www.3 Further information sources Case studies of the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) about biogas sanitation: http://www. Surabaya. Stöhr. Switzerland.gtz.pdf Sasse. Pluschke. A Publication of the Deutsches Zentrum für Entwicklungstechnologien . (1989) Biogas plants in animal Husbandry. U.. March 2010 http://www2. A Publication of the Deutsches Zentrum für Entwicklungstechnologien – GATE. Status-. Dübendorf. EAWAG/SANDEC. H.pdf Schroth.gtz. U. H. (1988) Biogas Plants. und Seminarberichte und Datenbank des Sektorprojektes zum internationalen Stand der Anaerobtechnologie. Hees. L.. A Publication of the Deutsches Zentrum für Entwicklungstechnologien .pdf 5.flickr. Pol.gtz. http://www2. S. http://www. Kellner..org/lang-en/casestudies/technology/biogas Photos on flickr: http://www. Grohganz. (2007) Anaerobic Digestion of Biodegradable Solid Waste in Low.susana.pdf Müller.susana.org/lang-en/working-groups/wg03 Technical drawings collected on the website of SuSanA: http://www.eawag.org/lang-en/cap-dev/technicaldrawings/biogasplant Last Updated: 22 April 2010 Page 11 .GATE in: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH.gtz.de/dokumente/oe44/ecosan/enbiogas-sanitation-systems-nepalese-prisons-2010.and Middle-Income Countries. Indonesia.GATE in: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH.ch/organisation/abteilunge n/sandec/publikationen/publications_swm/downloads_sw m/Anaerobic_Digestion_high_resolution. http://www2. C. and Kimaro.de/Dokumente/oe44/ecosan/enimproved-biogas-units-developing-countries-1991. and Euler.and Exhibition..susana.. (1998) End-. (1991) Improved Biogas Unit for Developing Countries..de/Dokumente/oe44/ecosan/enbiogas-plants-animal-husbandry-1989. A. http://www2.de/Dokumente/oe44/ecosan/enbiogas-plants-gate-1988. C. a Division of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH. GTZ.pdf Sasse. P. sanitation. N.

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