Methane emissions from stabilization ponds for municipal wastewater treatment in Mexico

M. G. Paredes, L. P. Güereca, L. T. Molina, A. Noyola*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: Wastewater treatment (WWT) is applied for environmental protection and water reclamation. However, this activity has been identified as a source of methane (CH4), contributing to climate change. WWT (municipal and industrial) is estimated to produce 8 to 11% to overall CH4 emissions. In order to apply effective mitigation strategies in the water sector, a more precise inventory of CH4 emission should be accomplished. The application of the Tier 1 methodology in the Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) results in rough estimations, as default emission factors are used. An effort should be done for determining actual emission factors for the more representative treatment processes in a given region or country. In this work, a detailed inventory of CH4 emissions form municipal wastewater management in Mexico was obtained, based on the Tier 1 IPCC methodology. In addition, on-site CH4 emission measurements in five stabilization ponds (SP) were realized. The total CH4 emissions generated by municipal WWT in Mexico were 600.4 Gigagrams (Gg) for year 2010. Also, the IPCC (theoretical) estimations showed that CH4 emissions were overestimated if compared with the results obtained in the five sampled facilities. The on-site emission factors obtained showed wide variation as they are specific to each sampled system and to their particular environmental and operating conditions. In Mexico, the value of 0.431 kg CH4/kg BOD removed (0.110 kg CH4/m3 treated water) may be used for SP with good operational practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-153
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Integrative Environmental Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor & Francis.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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