N2O: Monitoring and process understanding important
Good monitoring of nitrous oxide - which is not technically trivial - and reliable knowledge of the processes involved are thus very important for optimal operation of WWTPs. At Eawag, environmental engineer Wenzel Gruber has been working intensively on these issues in several long-term measurement campaigns, for which he has now been awarded the Otto Jaag Water Protection Prize. The dissertation was supervised, among others, by Prof. Eberhard Morgenroth, Head of the Engineering Department at Eawag. Gruber's work is of great importance for both research and practice, says Morgenroth. This extends, he says, to new methods for taking more precise account of nitrous oxide emissions in greenhouse gas balances in Switzerland or other countries. In addition, says Morgenroth, the work forms a basis for efficiently achieving the legally required increase in nitrogen elimination at wastewater treatment plants.
Prize winner Gruber is pleased about the recognition of his work, even if the prize money of 750 Swiss francs is very modest. In future, initially in parallel with his research work at Eawag, he intends to set up a new company to advise WWTPs and cantons on nitrous oxide issues and to carry out measurement campaigns.