Sheetal Jaisingh Kamble, Anju Singh, Manoj Kharat, Hiranmayee Kanekar and Caroline Chubilleau
National Institute of Industrial Engineering, India
Thinkstep Sustainability Solutions Pvt. Ltd., India
Pole Technology Propres, France
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: Int J Waste Resour
Life cycle assessment can be used as a tool to evaluate the environmental impacts associated with wastewater treatment plants. The objective of the present study was to conduct a comparative life cycle assessment of five wastewater treatment plants: Sequencing batch reactor (SBR), moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR), membrane bioreactor (MBR), activated sludge process (ASP) and constructed soil filter (CSF). The life cycle impact assessment was performed using Gabi software, CML baseline method. The impact categories that are affected the most, from the higher to the lower score are: Marine ecotoxicity potential, abiotic depletion potential (fossil), global warming potential, human toxicity potential, terrestrial ecotoxicity potential, acidification potential, freshwater ecotoxicity potential, eutrophication potential, photochemical ozone creation potential, abiotic depletion potential (elements) and ozone layer depletion potential. The characterization results indicate that the constructed soil filter system has a better environmental performance in the most of the impact categories analyzed. The environmental impact is caused mainly by the amount of electricity consumed, whereas the impact of producing the chemicals is comparatively low. Further, two scenarios were assessed: (1) Wastewater is treated and discharged, (2) 25%, 50% and 100% of treated effluent is reused for non-potable applications. The results show the reuse rate significantly affects environmental performance of the system and using the reclaimed water for higher value applications results in larger environmental credit. The total life cycle benefit from reuse of the tertiary treatment effluent is much higher than the life cycle energy consumption for the tertiary treatment.