Unit 4: Introduction to anaerobic treatment technology

Expected Study Load : 8 hours.


This Unit deals with a - in my view - very promising aspect of ecological sanitation: anaerobic treatment. As much as we may love the urine separation and faeces composting version of sanitation - for many people it stays one bridge too far.. For them, but of course also for others, biogas production is a great alternative. No separation of streams (although it is still possible!), a simple exit from the house, and the availability of a green energy source is yours! Of course it is not that simple, as you will see in this Unit.. But biogas systems are the reality for many households and public toilet systems already!

Learning Objectives:

After completing this unit, you will:

  • Be able to describe the main inputs and outputs of the anaerobic digestion (AD) process
  • Understand that the AD process is able to remove (convert) organic matter, but does not remove significantly the nutrients or pathogens
  • Be aware of the four-step process which is underlying the AD process and which is mediated by micro-organisms (with the key role taken up by methanogens, which are not bacteria)
  • Understand the comparison of UDD toilets compared to toilets connected to a household biogas plant
  • Understand how commonly used AD treatment technologies work (septic tanks, anaerobic baffled reactors, household biogas plants, anaerobic ponds, UASBs)
  • Know of the impact of temperature and residence time on pathogen removal in the AD process
  • Be able to calculate the volume of a digester required for a given design residence time
Have a look here how biogas system can be used..!

Last modified: Monday, 3 May 2010, 12:11 PM