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Life Cycle Assessment of Community-Based Sewer Mining: Integrated Heat Recovery and Fit-For-Purpose Water Reuse

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 1H9, Canada
2
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Helsinki, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
3
School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2G7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Environments 2020, 7(5), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7050036
Received: 14 April 2020 / Revised: 11 May 2020 / Accepted: 12 May 2020 / Published: 14 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Energy Consumption in Urban Water Cycles)
Municipal sewage contains significant embedded resources in the form of chemical and thermal energy. Recent developments in sustainable technology have pushed for the integration of resource recovery from household wastewater to achieve net zero energy consumption and carbon-neutral communities. Sewage heat recovery and fit-for-purpose water reuse are options to optimize the resource recovery potential of municipal wastewater. This study presents a comparative life cycle assessment (LCA) focused on global warming potential (GWP), eutrophication potential (EUP), and human health carcinogenic potential (HHCP) of an integrated sewage heat recovery and water reuse system for a hypothetical community of 30,000 people. Conventional space and water heating components generally demonstrated the highest GWP contribution between the different system components evaluated. Sewage-heat-recovery-based district heating offered better environmental performance overall. Lower impact contributions were demonstrated by scenarios with a membrane bioreactor (MBR) and chlorination prior to water reuse applications compared to scenarios that use more traditional water and wastewater treatment technologies and discharge. The LCA findings show that integrating MBR wastewater treatment and water reuse into a district heating schema could provide additional environmental savings at a community scale. View Full-Text
Keywords: life cycle assessment; heat recovery; membrane bioreactor; water reuse; community-based wastewater treatment life cycle assessment; heat recovery; membrane bioreactor; water reuse; community-based wastewater treatment
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Cabling, L.P.B.; Kobayashi, Y.; Davies, E.G.R.; Ashbolt, N.J.; Liu, Y. Life Cycle Assessment of Community-Based Sewer Mining: Integrated Heat Recovery and Fit-For-Purpose Water Reuse. Environments 2020, 7, 36.

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