Skip to main content

A Life Cycle Assessment Approach to Biosolids Management

Buy Article:

$9.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Or sign up for a free trial

The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an innovative tool that enables municipalities to go beyond the traditional cost and environmental impact analysis to make sustainable decisions. A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) provides a holistic, “cradle-to-grave” analysis within the defined system boundaries, allowing decision-makers to meet the “triple bottom line” goals. LCA is a unique tool that provides a means to quantify the environmental impacts, assisting a facility in selecting the appropriate technology to manage its biosolids. In addition to the traditional life cycle cost comparison, an LCA compares carbon foot printing, eco-toxicity, and green-house gas emissions, among other environmental impact categories of importance to a particular facility. It provides an accurate accounting of different, often conflicting, environmental parameters. For example, LCA would be a useful tool to quantify impacts in the case of membrane technology for wastewater treatment, which provides higher effluent quality but consumes significantly more energy than an activated sludge process.

The case study focused on comparing different biosolids disposal alternatives which include land filling, land application and incineration. The model defines the system boundary to account for emissions to air, water, and land. The operating costs include resource consumption, energy usage, electricity from various sources and transportation impacts for the different biosolids management alternatives. The environmental impacts of each of the treatment technologies were aggregated into categories such as global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, acidification, utilizing the SimaPro software package to implement the IMPACT 2002+, Eco-Invent and IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) evaluation methodologies.

The results from the study helped understand the environmental burdens for each alternative based on energy and material inputs as well as the importance of selecting a candidate methodology. It also highlights the significance of transportation choices for biosolids management in terms of in energy consumption, global warming and human toxicity burdens.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Biosolids Management Alternatives; Carbon Footprint; Life Cycle Assessment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

More about this publication?
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation includes access to most papers presented at the annual WEF Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) and other conferences held since 2000. Subscription access begins 12 months after the event and is valid for 12 months from month of purchase. A subscription to the Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is included in Water Environment Federation (WEF) membership.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access. Access begins 12 months after the conference or event
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • Learn about the many other WEF member benefits and join today
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more