Characterisation of waste water from biomass gasification equipment: a case-study from Cambodia

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The gasification of rice husks for small-scale power generation in
rice mills and other small factories in Cambodia has spread rapidly in the past
decade and has a favourable investment payback period where the facility is
off-grid. The technology is widely regarded as a sustainable, low-carbon power
option. However, installed gasification technologies produce a black waste
water which is frequently disposed of into the local environment without any
treatment. An analysis was undertaken to identify and measure the key
potential contaminants and compare concentrations in the water and sediment
with regulatory thresholds established in Cambodia and within other
jurisdictions. It was found that concentrations of organic contaminants such as
phenols and benzene-type molecules (BETX) (water and sediment) and
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (sediment), as well as macro water
quality indicators, were far higher than regulatory thresholds prescribe, posing
threats to sensitive aquatic ecosystems into which such waste is introduced.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-151
Number of pages26
JournalWorld Review of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2015


  • biomass gasification
  • rice husk feedstock
  • waste water
  • chemical analysis
  • environmental analysis
  • black water.

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