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Picking the Right Model for the Sustainable Design of Wastewater Treatment Plants

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Models to predict carbon footprints and greenhouse gas emissions can be used by designers to make decisions on the potential environmental impact and sustainability of different options. Most of the models focus primarily on indirect carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions due to electricity use; however these models can give misleading results on the overall impact of design decisions or limit the focus of options by not including significant CO2 emissions such as those considered to be from biogenic sources. This paper looks at the use of a Comprehensive model proposed by Bridle et al (2008) to investigate different options to reduce carbon emissions at the three major wastewater treatment plants in Perth, Western Australia, and compares the results from this model with those of standard models used in Australia. A case study investigating the impact of reducing the solids retention time at one of the plants showed that the standard models predicted significant reductions in CO2 emissions whereas the Comprehensive model showed the reductions would be insignificant and the proposed option not worth carrying out.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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