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Scottish Water deploys ground-breaking tech for emissions reduction

  • Scottish Water deploys ground-breaking tech for emissions reduction
    Credit: Scottish Water

About the entity

Scottish Water
We are a publicly owned company, answerable to the Scottish Parliament and the people of Scotland. It's our job to provide 1.34 billion litres of drinking water every day and take away 847 million litres of waste water daily.

A ground-breaking new technique for measuring emissions from wastewater treatment plants (WWTW) is being deployed in Scotland for the first time.

The infra-red tech can pinpoint tiny molecules of emissions from more than two kilometers away, giving experts a detailed read-out of greenhouse gases to allow them to eliminate them more effectively.

Waste water treatment accounts for most of Scottish Water’s emissions. Targets are in place to become operationally net zero by 2030 and achieve full net zero status by 2040.

The use of Grandperspective’s scanfeld® technology is a sector-first in the UK and will revolutionise understanding of gas emissions and transform treatment processes so they become environmentally sustainable.

Scottish Water operates more than 1800 wastewater treatment works in cities, towns and rural communities.

Existing techniques for identifying emissions only allow for localised understanding of emissions. The use of Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) technology will allow for a larger area to be scanned for nitrous oxide, methane and carbon dioxide and the role that treatment works play in emitting them.

This UK and sector first deployment of Grandperspective’s scanfeld® solution will enhance our understanding of greenhouse gas emissions

The solution being implemented at a WWTW near Glasgow was identified through the Hydro Nation Chair programme, based at Stirling University. Around 200 businesses globally were assessed for their suitability. The HNC Technology programme led by Senior Innovation Fellow David Millar joined forces with Scottish Water’s Net Zero Research and Innovation lead Susan Lee to select the best technology.

David Millar said: “We have selected this technology for trial because it offers a level of granular detail, which we hope will deepen our understanding of emissions from wastewater treatment plants. Identifying, quantifying, and locating the sources of emissions at these plants is vital as we work towards the target of going beyond net zero by 2040.”

Susan Lee said: “This is a great opportunity for Scottish Water to build a deeper understanding of how much we are emitting on a whole wastewater treatment site scale. This work will complement the industry best practice methods we are already adopting to quantify emissions to take steps to reduce them.”

Scotland Hydro Nation Chair Professor Andrew Tyler said: “This is an exciting milestone. This UK and sector first deployment of Grandperspective’s scanfeld® solution will enhance our understanding of greenhouse gas emissions from wastewater treatment processes and establish a baseline against which we can assess change.”

George Ponton, Head of Research and Innovation at Scottish Water said: “The Hydro Nation Chair programme was established to bring thought leadership, research excellence and innovative solutions from Scotland and beyond, focused on addressing the key challenges facing the water sector in Scotland.”

Peter Maas, Chief Technology Officer, Grandperspective, said: “We eagerly anticipate the results of Scottish Water's scanfeld® deployment. The technology's potential to drive sustainability and facilitate emissions monitoring is truly promising. I am excited to support Scottish Water's journey towards a greener future."

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