Water Resources Management

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 521–537 | Cite as

Life Cycle Assessment of Water Recycling Technology

  • N. Tangsubkul
  • P. Beavis
  • S. J. Moore
  • S. Lundie
  • T. D. Waite
Article

Abstract

Environmental performance of different water recycling technologies is compared on the basis of the associated potential environmental impacts using the technique of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The LCA method is used here to support decision making in water recycling in terms of (1) comparison and selection of suitable technology and (2) identification of opportunities to enhance the environmental performance of the water recycling train. In addition to the conventional impact categories used in LCA, a new soil salinisation potential is included. The environmental impact contribution from the construction phase of each technology is estimated using the Missing Inventory Estimation Tool (MIET) approach which relies on the input–output analysis technique. LCA results are reported and discussed in detail in this paper and areas of potential improvement are identified including: (1) sludge quality and quantity, and (2) energy consumption. The suitability of using the LCA technique in the context of water recycling is discussed and the limitations of LCA for this particular purpose are outlined and further research needs identified.

Key words

life cycle assessment Missing Inventory Estimation Tool technology comparison water recycling technology 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Tangsubkul
    • 1
  • P. Beavis
    • 1
  • S. J. Moore
    • 1
  • S. Lundie
    • 1
  • T. D. Waite
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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