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A self-sustaining high-strength wastewater treatment system using solar-bio-hybrid power generation

Bustamante, Mauricio, Liao, Wei
Bioresource technology 2017 v.234 pp. 415-423
anaerobic digestion, biogas, cold zones, energy balance, power generation, solar energy, wastewater treatment, Arizona, Michigan
This study focuses on system analysis of a self-sustaining high-strength wastewater treatment concept combining solar technologies, anaerobic digestion, and aerobic treatment to reclaim water. A solar bio-hybrid power generation unit was adopted to power the wastewater treatment. Concentrated solar power (CSP) and photovoltaics (PV) were combined with biogas energy from anaerobic digestion. Biogas is also used to store the extra energy generated by the hybrid power unit and ensure stable and continuous wastewater treatment. It was determined from the energy balance analysis that the PV-bio hybrid power unit is the preferred energy unit to realize the self-sustaining high-strength wastewater treatment. With short-term solar energy storage, the PV-bio-hybrid power unit in Phoenix, AZ requires solar collection area (4032m2) and biogas storage (35m3), while the same unit in Lansing, MI needs bigger solar collection area and biogas storage (5821m2 and 105m3, respectively) due to the cold climate.