Methanol’s Potential in Wastewater Treatment Nitrogen Removal

Wastewater Treatment PlantRichmond, Virginia- An article in Wednesday’s Richmond Times-Dispatch notes that breweries and cider makers in the city have had their wastewater utility surcharge lowered due to their production of methanol as a byproduct of their brewing activities.

Methanol can be used by wastewater treatment plants to lower levels of nitrogen in wastewater thereby improving water quality of rivers and bays downstream from the plant.  The city of Richmond, for example, is completing a  USD $115 million upgrade of its wastewater treatment plant to reduce the discharge of nitrogen and phosphorus and the city will be purchasing USD $1.2 million in methanol per-year to operate the plant.

As states and municipalities across the United States become more concerned about nitrogen discharge, there is an increasing potential market opportunity for methanol to be used as a carbon source to reduce nitrogen levels.

MI has recently contracted with Gary Johnson, an Environmental Engineering Consultant with over 30 years of experience in the nitrogen removal field to develop a database of specific municipal and industrial users of supplemental carbon for denitrification across the United States.  This database will identify potential market opportunities for the methanol industry.  In addition, Gary will work with MI to develop outreach materials for improving the awareness of methanol to the wastewater treatment community and explaining methanol’s benefits as a carbon source for denitrification.   More information can be found here.


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