Urban Climate Change Mitigation in Mexico City: Innovative Solutions in Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants

  • K. Peña MuñozEmail author
Part of the Springer Environmental Science and Engineering book series (SPRINGERENVIRON)


Mexico City’s Metropolitan Area (ZMCM) is the third largest mega city in the world (INEGI 2010). Mexico City is also a signatory of the Global Cities Covenant on Climate and the Carbon Cities Climate Registry, suggesting that Mexico City and its ZMCM must consider national mitigation and adaptation strategies (SMADF 2008). A good opportunity is located in Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs). Until 2009, only 9 % of the Wastewater produced at ZMCM was treated at (WWTPs) while the rest was discharged into surface waters (SEMARNAT 2009). A WWTP is an essential public service that simultaneously consumes a large amount of energy and produces a significant amount of by-product such as sewage sludge. In ZMCM, sludge is disposed in landfill, contributing to the green house gas emission of the area. However, there is an excellent conservation potential in WWTP which includes anaerobic digestion of sludge for biogas production as a renewable source of green energy. Additional optimization of different processes and services at WWTPs could be reached by implementing a pre-treatment of sludge and a two-stage anaerobic digestion, which could increase the total yield of bio-methane-hydrogen. Moreover, hydrogen has the highest energy content per unit weight of any known fuel (Das 2009). This is particularly interesting, as there are additional socio-economic benefits of using bio-hydrogen as a source of green energy. This chapter explores the benefits of implementing pretreatments and anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge in WWTP in ZMCM and highlights the environmental framework for wastewater treatment and green energy production.


Anaerobic digestion Climate change Green energy Mega-city WWTP 



The author acknowledges the financial support provided by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) and the Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología (ICYT-DF) for developing her PhD thesis. In addition, the author is thankful to Ingeniería y Equipos Ambientales S.A. de C.V. for providing information to prepare this chapter and to the Alexander von Humboldt Network for Cities and Climate Change for giving an open forum to discuss Climate Change from different points of view.

Glossary of Terms


Anaerobic digestion


Green house gases


Milligrams per liter


Cubic meters per second


Waste water treatment plants


Mexico City’s metropolitan area


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Waste Water Technology (AWT), Institute for Sanitary Engineering, Water Quality and Solid Waste Management (ISWA)University of StuttgartStuttgartGermany

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