Pathways to a net-zero-carbon water sector through energy-extracting wastewater technologies

Aishwarya Rani, Seth W. Snyder, Hyunook Kim, Zhongfang Lei, Shu Yuan Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The energy-consuming and carbon-intensive wastewater treatment plants could become significant energy producers and recycled organic and metallic material generators, thereby contributing to broad sustainable development goals, the circular economy, and the water-energy-sanitation-food-carbon nexus. This review provides an overview of the waste(water)-based energy-extracting technologies, their engineering performance, techno-economic feasibility, and environmental benefits. Here, we propose four crucial strategies to achieve net-zero carbon along with energy sufficiency in the water sector, including (1) improvement in process energy efficiency; (2) maximizing on-site renewable capacities and biogas upgrading; (3) harvesting energy from treated effluent; (4) a new paradigm for decentralized water-energy supply units.

Original languageEnglish
Article number49
Journalnpj Clean Water
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


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