Just a few years ago, Thai village inhabitants lived amongst odorous wastewater lagoons sourced from a local starch plant. The starch plant treated its wastewater through cascading open lagoons with a retention time of more than a year. The combination of atmospheric temperature, water temperature and such a large body of wastewater formed an anaerobic environment in the ponds. These conditions led to methane generation from the organic content in the wastewater. The methane was then released into the atmosphere, emitting greenhouse gases that are 21 times stronger than CO2.
This project captures the methane under two closed anaerobic wastewater treatment facilities and converts the gas into energy, partially replacing the need for fossil fuel consumption. Thus, the project has a two-fold effect: it prevents methane from heating our climate and avoids thousands of tons of fossil fuel being burnt per year.
With this project, not only has the local air and water quality improved significantly, but also the starch plant has reduced its fossil fuel consumption by up to 4700 liters per day. In effect, the project and resulting carbon revenues have generated jobs for locals. The project promotes sustainable development by supporting social and educational activities in the community.
- 17 new jobs have been created.
- New qualified jobs for locals have increased the general income level which benefits all the community
- With newly cleaned water, locals can farm fish and irrigate fields, and in turn increase their income
- Plant workers increase their knowledge and skills through their training on modern technologies
- Technology transfer supports the workers’ understanding of modern and sustainable applications
- With the now covered lagoons and the UASB reactor in operation, air pollution and strong odour from the wastewater have been reduced significantly
- All water from the wastewater cycle can be re-used in the plant, which reduces water consumption.
- No solid waste is generated but sludge, that is given to local farmers as fertilizer