Accepted 24th August, 2016
This paper provides a comprehensive background on climate change and the energy–water nexus, articulating the currently pressing demand for global energy and water security. The relevancy of alternative energy generation methods such as anaerobic algae digestion in municipal wastewater to keep up with the 21st century’s energy and water demands, while at the same time trying to follow a greenhouse gas reducing path for emissions, will be analyzed. Furthermore, the chemical processes involved and the synthesis of biogas from municipal wastewater sludge will be discussed, together with the question of on-demand energy supply and challenges involved in biogas generation from municipal wastewater and potential solutions. Advances and current initiatives concerning biogas production from municipal wastewater via anaerobic algal digestion was reviewed to contrast the technological advances with reference to a case study from a developing country, Senegal, and a brief overview of wastewater systems in North America will be given.
Keywords: Renewable energy, alternative energy, sustainable development, municipal waste, water-energy nexus, biogas production, anaerobic digestion, algae, municipal wastewater plants