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Determination of the Relationship between the Energy Content of Municipal Wastewater and Its Chemical Oxygen Demand

Lookup NU author(s): Ziye Dai, Dr Elizabeth Heidrich, Dr Jan DolfingORCiD, Professor Adam Jarvis



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by American Chemical Society, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


© 2019 American Chemical Society. Quantitatively evaluating progress toward energy neutral, or even energy positive, wastewater treatment necessitates reliable data on the intrinsic energy content of the wastewater. It has long been assumed that the amount of energy in wastewater is directly related to its chemical oxygen demand (COD), but the convoluted method for measuring the wastewater energy content has meant that a reliable, statistically robust relationship between COD and energy has never been drawn. In this research, we used a new drying method and analyzed a set of 107 municipal wastewater samples, with a range of COD values from 16.4 to 1151 mg/L. The results revealed a strong correlation between COD and energy content of 16.1 kJ/g of COD (p < 0.001). Reliable predictions of a wastewater's energy content can now be made on the basis of the COD measurement alone.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dai Z, Heidrich ES, Dolfing J, Jarvis AP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environmental Science and Technology Letters

Year: 2019

Volume: 6

Issue: 7

Pages: 396-400

Print publication date: 09/07/2019

Online publication date: 01/05/2019

Acceptance date: 01/05/2019

Date deposited: 03/07/2019

ISSN (electronic): 2328-8930

Publisher: American Chemical Society


DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.9b00253


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