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Potential environmental benefits of anaerobic digestion of sewage for energy production in secondary schools of Kakamega County, Kenya

Author: 
Ibrahim O. Barasa and Donald N. Siamba
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

It is strongly believed that secondary schools can generate energy from sewage to supplement biomass energy thereby protecting the environment. However, potential beneficiaries are oblivious of the environmental health benefits of utilising sewage for energy generation. This study assessed the potential environmental benefits of anaerobic digestion of sewage for energy production in secondary schools of Kakamega County, Kenya. Sewage influents and effluents samples were analyses in the laboratories for Total Kjeldal Nitrogen (TKN), P2O5, heavy metals, E.coli and faecal coliforms. It was established that there was an increase in the TKN, P2O5, and pH concentrations in the effluent after anaerobic digestion. However, its dry matter content, E.coli and faecal coliforms concentrations reduced as the heavy metals remained unchanged. Thus, anaerobic digestion of sewage for energy generation reduces the E.coli and faecal coli forms concentrations in the effluent to harmless levels in the environment. There was a decrease in the dry matter content and the amount of methane released into the biosphere. The decrease in the dry matter means less storage space for the sewage as the controlled methane emissions implies low greenhouse gas generation. The digestate can be utilised as a bio nutrient. Thus, sewage utilisation for energy production in secondary schools can help to meliorate environmental challenges.

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