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Evaluation of the WERF Life Cycle Assessment Manager for Energy Recovery (LCAMER) Tool for Two Complex Facilities

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While residuals (solids) management is a demanding and costly component of wastewater treatment, wastewater residuals also represent an opportunity for energy recovery and for reducing overall treatment costs. Wastewater utilities are interested in moderating the impacts of volatile electric power costs and in enhancing their environmental sustainability.

Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) developed the Life Cycle Assessment Manager for Energy Recovery (LCAMER) spreadsheet-based tool in 2006 for the purpose of assessing life cycle costs for on-site energy recovery systems using biogas produced by anaerobic digestion of biosolids. The authors completed two case studies to demonstrate the application of the LCAMER Tool. The case studies focused on demonstrating the applicability, effectiveness, and areas of improvement for the LCAMER Tool by evaluating proposed anaerobic digestion and biogas-to-energy improvements for two large wastewater utilities. The case studies discussed in this document include detailed data on biogas generation, estimated energy recovery facility capital and operations and maintenance (O&M) costs, and discussion of potential air emissions from such facilities.
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Keywords: Biogas; Cogeneration; LCAMER Tool; emissions; energy recovery; energy recovery system; gas processing system; life cycle cost

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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