EmiCo. | Our analyzer of greenhouse gases

Real-time measurements of nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) from the gas and liquid phase, to optimize direct emissions in the aeration tanks of sewage treatment plants

Variolytics Emission Control System (EmiCo) is the first analysis system in the world that can directly measure greenhouse gases produced during wastewater treatment. It thus provides unprecedented insights into direct emissions in aeration tanks,to optimize wastewater treatment with regard to greenhouse gases. With its patented analysis method, EmiCo can reduce emissions in sewage treatment plants by up to 50%!

Simultaneous measurement from the liquid and gas phase

EmiCo is the first analyzer for sewage treatment plants that can measure compoenents simultaneously from the liquid and gas phase. Our measuring method enables the formation of greenhouse gases in the aeration tank to be precisely monitored. In order to control the process correctly, it is important for operators to determine the formation of nitrous oxide and methane in the liquid phase. For example, the formation of harmful nitrous oxide in aeration tanks can be completely avoided and the nitrous oxide can be converted into harmless molecular nitrogen in the denitrification tanks. The measurement from the gas phase then validates that no harmful greenhouse gases are emitted. Alternatives can measure only from gas or only from liquid. EmiCo does both, making it unique in the market!

Multiplexing – 1 analyzer, many measuring points

EmiCo can analyze in up to 8 aeration  tanks at the same time in waste water treatment. Simultaneous measurement works by switching valves on the analyzer. The measurements are carried out serially, with each measuring point being monitored by the analyzer for 2 minutes. This means that a real-time factor of 16 minutes can be achieved with 8 measuring points. The multiplexing method reduces the costs for expensive measurement technology and high maintenance costs, since only 1 analyzer is required for several measurement points.

Sensitive measurements

The measurements from the EmiCo. system are carried out using a process mass spectrometer. Mass spectrometry is characterized by its high measurement sensitivity. This means that measurements can be taken from the low ppb to the 100% range without any problems. For emissions monitoring, sensitivities from the gas and liquid phase of 0.5ppm for nitrous oxide (N20), 0.9ppm for methane (CH4) and 0.4ppm for C02 can be achieved. With EmiCo, operators of sewage treatment plants can monitor greenhouse gases in their aeration tanks very sensitively and in real time

Emission Control System

No drift

In addition to the analyzer, the EmiCo system has a reference gas tank, with which the system calibrates itself automatically on a daily basis. The reference gas is a mixture of all measurement-relevant gases. This prevents a drift in the measurement result for measurements over a longer period of time. For customers, this means savings in time and money for time-consuming calibration of the measurement technology. The auto-calibration of the EmiCo system thus guarantees process reliability. Measured values of greenhouse gases are therefore always accurate.

Your path to an optimization

In the first integration step, the EmiCo system is installed at your sewage treatment plant and independently collects data on the formation of nitrous oxide (N20) and methane (CH4) in the aeration tanks. The data is then transferred to a user interface. The real-time values of nitrous oxide and methane are made visible and allow you to gain new insights into the state of the activation stage. In the second integration step, the common process parameters at your sewage treatment plant are correlated with the nitrous oxide and methane values. Our AI, or existing optimization software, can now be used to provide you with recommendations for action to reduce greenhouse gases.

  • 50% reduction in CO2e – emissions

  • 20% lower energy consumption

  • Reduction in use of chemicals

Patented Inlet-System

… enables simultaneous liquid and gas measurements with mass spectrometry

In the liquid inlet there is a membrane, at the interface of which all volatile components in a liquid are constantly transferred to a vacuum through the membrane in traces. From the gas flow in the vacuum, a small proportion of molecules is fed into a high vacuum and measured in this way. The mass spectrometric measurement from the liquid and gas phase alternates continuously through a valve switch, thus enabling dual measurement from the liquid and gas phase. (Patent: EP3292563A1, DE102015208250A1, US10361072B2, WO2016177810A1, disclosure date November 10, 2016).

Reliable, durable hardware

With its patented inlet system, EmiCo is designed to measure in parallel from the liquid and gas phase. The liquid gas analyzer is the ideal combination of a classic quadrupole mass spectrometer for gas analysis and a membrane inlet mass spectrometer (MIMS technology) for liquid analysis. As a result, the EmiCo can be integrated into industrial processes without any problems and can measure continuously without disturbing existing processes. Another plus lies in the technical structure of EmiCo. In contrast to microsensors, the analysis unit is not located directly in the liquid. The sensor is therefore not exposed to external mechanical loads. This makes our sensor technology durable and low-maintenance.

System integration and ease of use

The user-friendly software architecture simplifies real-time control of the device and visualizes the measurement data in the same user interface. Another plus is the uninterrupted and complete integration into the control system of the sewage treatment plant. For this purpose, EmiCo offers a software architecture that can be easily integrated into process control systems of other third-party optimization software via common interfaces. A modern user interface and smart functions make it easier to use. EmiCo delivers consistently accurate measurement data with low measurement noise (low noise) and high linearity, which means that changes in reactions can be tracked in real time (from 25 milliseconds).

Your contribution is important!

EU-Goals und German Regulation

Recent studies show that wastewater treatment plants produce 2% of the world’s greenhouse gases. This corresponds to the emissions generated by global air travel. The EU has set itself the goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050. In Germany, the Federal Climate Protection Act is in force. Wastewater treatment is assigned to sector 5 (waste management and other). This sector should reduce its emissions by at least 55% by 2030 from the current 9 million t to 4 million t CO2 equivalent

Greenhouse gas reduction with civic acceptance

Your contribution to achieving the climate goals has an immediate effect, with a huge, measurable impact and is socially fair, because every citizen pays the same amount for the public water infrastructure. Other measures, on the other hand, quickly reach the limits of bourgeois acceptance. Examples like; the expansion of regenerative energy generation, the expansion of the charging station infrastructure for electric vehicles or the promotion of alternative mobility. All of these measures mean a structural change in the municipality and are often met with resistance from individual groups in society

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Be a leader of climate change in the wastewater industry!


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Variolytics GmbH

  Meitnerstraße 6, 70563 Stuttgart DE
  +49 711 2525 9620