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Wastewater

There are few biogas plants operating in the sewage sector due to the lack of technical and economical viability of projects, operational difficulties and Brazil's deficit in water treatment services. Projects are studied and underway for this segment although with the obstacle with initial high cost of imported equipment.

Considering the size and population growth of Brazil, there is long term potential for biogas from wastewater projects. Brazil has approximately 15 million sewage connections with a total volume of 5 million m3 per day providing a sizeable volume of raw material. More than 200 municipalities in 12 states have private company concessions for wastewater treatment and sanitation serving more than 15 million people. The private ownership facilitates purchasing process for foreign companies. 

There is currently a pilot project for biogas generation in Niteroi. The plant will have the capacity to treat 400 liters of wastewater per second producing 720m³ of biogas per day. There are also six plants installed in the West of the state of Paraná as reference models for biogas conversion into electricity amounting to 524 kW; enough to supply 130 households.

The biggest obstacles in Brazil are the technical and economical viability of projects, operational difficulties and the insufficient reach of water sanitation services. The latter is especially notable in the collection and treatment of sewage in urban areas. As most necessary equipment is imported, the investments have high initial cost.