An Environmental Performance Analysis of Upgraded and Integrated Treatment Techniques for Drinking Water Production through Reclamation

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 10, Issue 2, 1090393
Milena L. Pithon1, José C. Mierzwa2, Luiz Kulay1
1 Chemical Engineering Department, Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo, Av. Prof. Lineu Prestes, 580, 05508-000, Brazil
2 Environmental Engineering Department, Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo, Av. Professor Almeida Prado, 83, tr.2, São Paulo, 05508-900, Brazil


Water scarcity is a source of concern for modern society. This study analyzed the environmental performance of integrating conventional and upgraded technologies for water production. Life Cycle Assessment technique was applied for the impact categories of Primary Energy Demand, Global Warming Potential and Water Depletion for obtaining 1.0 m3 potable water. The results obtained from the individual analysis of each technology suggested that potable reuse is a promising alternative due to it has registered a lower Water Depletion than the other schemes, with equivalent performances for Primary Energy Demand (4.76 MJ/m3) and Global Warming Potential (155 gCO2eq/m3). The best results of integrating technologies were obtained by the arrangement associating potable reuse and chemical treatment, with performances 65 to 67% lower than the other assessed compositions, depending on the water rate from potable reuse in the mix.

Keywords: Water scarcity, Potable reuse, Reverse osmosis, Membrane bioreactor, LCA, Environmental performance.

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