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Evaluation of the environmental and economic performance of wastewater treatment technologies of warm climate regions

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 11, Issue 4, 1110472
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.d11.0472
Bernardo Mundim , Isaac Volschan Junior, Bettina Susanne Hoffmann
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Wastewater treatment plants are designed, operated, and maintained in light of environmental legislation, which mainly determines the removal of certain pollutants. This article proposes to comparatively assess the environmental and economic impacts of wastewater treatment technological routes commonly used in Brazil. For this purpose, life cycle assessment and life cycle costing were applied to four wastewater treatment processes, at two different scales. The results show the positive contribution of upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactors in the flowcharts of the wastewater treatment plants to reduce the generation of environmental and economic impacts, by 3.15% to 84.53% and 25.03% to 38.68%, respectively. It can be concluded that the technological route that obtained the best environmental and economic performance is the upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor followed by a trickling filter, while the one that achieved the worst performance was activated sludge.

Keywords: Wastewater treatment, Life cycle assessment, Life cycle costing, Capital expenditure, Operational expenditure, Sewage.

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