A sustainable performance assessment framework for circular management of municipal wastewater treatment plant

Shanmugam, Kavitha and Gadhamshetty, Venkataramana and Bhattacharyya, Debraj and et al, . (2022) A sustainable performance assessment framework for circular management of municipal wastewater treatment plant. Journal of Cleaner Production, 339. pp. 1-17. ISSN 0959-6526

[img] Text
Journal_of_Cleaner_Production.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (9MB)


Municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) could become valuable contributors to a circular economy by implementing the 3R principles (reduce, reuse, and recycle). While reducing the pollution load of sewage is the primary objective of a WWTP, this process generates several potentially valuable byproducts including treated effluent, biogas, and sludge. The effluent can be reused in various end use applications and biogas can be reused as a fuel (for electricity generation, transportation, and cooking) or a chemical feedstock. The sludge can either be directly recycled as soil conditioner or via thermochemical/biochemical processing routes to recover material (e.g., hydrochar), energy (e.g., heat, and syngas), and resource value (phosphorus). This work presents a five-layered assessment framework for quantitatively evaluating the sustainable value of municipal WWTPs by using life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle costing assessment (LCCA) tools. In addition, indicators reflecting potential benefits to stakeholders and society arising from investments into municipal WWTPs such as the private return on investment (PROI) and the environmental externality costs to investment ratio (EECIR). The framework is validated in a hypothetical case study where the sustainable value of a circularly managed municipal WWTP is evaluated in situations involving multiple byproduct utilization pathways. Four future circular options (FCOs) are examined for a 50,000 m3/d capacity WWTP treating sewage up to tertiary standards. The FCOs mainly differ in terms of how biogas is reused (to meet the WWTP's internal energy demands, as cooking fuel, or as fuel for city buses after upgrading) and how sludge is recycled (as soil conditioner or by producing hydrochar pellets for electricity generation). The FCO in which treated effluent is reused in industry, biogas is used as cooking fuel, and sludge is used as a soil conditioner provides the greatest sustainable value (i.e., the lowest private costs and environmental externality costs (EEC) together with high revenues), the highest PROI, and the lowest EECIR. The strengths and limitations of the proposed assessment framework are also discussed. © 2022 The Authors

[error in script]
IITH Creators:
IITH CreatorsORCiD
Bhattacharyya, DebrajUNSPECIFIED
Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This work was performed as part of the Green Technology and Environmental Economics Research Platform (GreenTEE) at Umeå University. Green TEE is a collaborative interface between municipal authorities and academic researchers that seeks to develop technologies and promote policy making studies directed towards improving the sustainable performance of cities. The authors gratefully acknowledge Bio4Energy ( https://www.bio4energy.se/ ), a strategic research environment established by the Swedish government, for supporting this work. The authors also acknowledge financial support from the Green TEE platform . The authors, specifically Gadhamshetty acknowledge the National Science Foundation (NSF) support in form of CAREER (# 1454102 ) and RII FEC awards (# 1849206 , # 1920954 ).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Circular centric viewpoint; Environmental performance; Layered assessment framework; Sustainable value case study; Total cost assessment; Wastewater treatment plants
Subjects: Others > Environmental Sciences
Civil Engineering
Divisions: Department of Chemistry
Department of Civil Engineering
Depositing User: . LibTrainee 2021
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2022 06:51
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2022 06:51
URI: http://raiith.iith.ac.in/id/eprint/9565
Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.130657
OA policy: https://v2.sherpa.ac.uk/id/publication/13808
Related URLs:

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item
Statistics for RAIITH ePrint 9565 Statistics for this ePrint Item