Integration Across Life Cycles

Task 5: Integration across life cycle of systems.

  • Life cycle assessment (LCA) is the process of considering a product or process over the all life stages such that adverse affects are decreased, not simply shifted to a different life stage. Wastewater treatments systems have been studied with this type of systems thinking. However, LCA has typically been applied to centralized systems that do limited resource recovery. LCA has not been completed on treatment systems which recover multiple resources, nor has previous research considered the complexities of wastewater treatment on a variety of scales. This PIRE will complete LCAs on anaerobic and algal-based recovery systems at multiple scales under varied geographical and cultural contexts. The information gained will help identify the scale and geographical context at which these resource recovery technologies have the lowest environmental impact.
Embodied Energy characterization of two wastewater treatment systems using SimaPro. Photo from Pablo Cornejo-Warner

Embodied Energy characterization of two wastewater treatment systems using SimaPro. Photo from Pablo Cornejo-Warner