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1.
Water Res ; 127: 139-149, 2017 12 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29035767

RESUMO

In recent years, cities in some water stressed regions have explored alternative water sources such as seawater desalination and potable water recycling in spite of concerns over increasing energy consumption. In this study, we evaluate the current and future life-cycle energy impacts of four alternative water supply strategies introduced during a decade-long drought in South East Queensland (SEQ), Australia. These strategies were: seawater desalination, indirect potable water recycling, network integration, and rainwater tanks. Our work highlights the energy burden of alternative water supply strategies which added approximately 24% life-cycle energy use to the existing supply system (with surface water sources) in SEQ even for a current post-drought low utilisation status. Over half of this additional life-cycle energy use was from the centralised alternative supply strategies. Rainwater tanks contributed an estimated 3% to regional water supply, but added over 10% life-cycle energy use to the existing system. In the future scenario analysis, we compare the life-cycle energy use between "Normal", "Dry", "High water demand" and "Design capacity" scenarios. In the "Normal" scenario, a long-term low utilisation of the desalination system and the water recycling system has greatly reduced the energy burden of these centralised strategies to only 13%. In contrast, higher utilisation in the unlikely "Dry" and "Design capacity" scenarios add 86% and 140% to life-cycle energy use of the existing system respectively. In the "High water demand" scenario, a 20% increase in per capita water use over 20 years "consumes" more energy than is used by the four alternative strategies in the "Normal" scenario. This research provides insight for developing more realistic long-term scenarios to evaluate and compare life-cycle energy impacts of drought-adaptation infrastructure and regional decentralised water sources. Scenario building for life-cycle assessments of water supply systems should consider i) climate variability and, therefore, infrastructure utilisation rate, ii) potential under-utilisation for both installed centralised and decentralised sources, and iii) the potential energy penalty for operating infrastructure well below its design capacity (e.g., the operational energy intensity of the desalination system is three times higher at low utilisation rates). This study illustrates that evaluating the life-cycle energy use and intensity of these type of supply sources without considering their realistic long-term operating scenario(s) can potentially distort and overemphasise their energy implications. To other water stressed regions, this work shows that managing long-term water demand is also important, in addition to acknowledging the energy-intensive nature of some alternative water sources.


Assuntos
Conservação de Recursos Energéticos , Abastecimento de Água , Cidades , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Água Potável , Secas , Queensland , Reciclagem , Água do Mar/química , Purificação da Água/métodos
2.
Environ Sci Technol ; 51(21): 12061-12071, 2017 Nov 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28948786

RESUMO

Nitrogen standards for discharge of wastewater effluent into aquatic bodies are becoming more stringent, requiring some treatment plants to reduce effluent nitrogen concentrations. This study aimed to assess, from a life-cycle perspective, an innovative decentralized approach to nitrogen recovery: ion exchange of source-separated urine. We modeled an approach in which nitrogen from urine at individual buildings is sorbed onto resins, then transported by truck to regeneration and fertilizer production facilities. To provide insight into impacts from transportation, we enhanced the traditional economic and environmental assessment approach by combining spatial analysis, system-scale evaluation, and detailed last-mile logistics modeling using the city of San Francisco as an illustrative case study. The major contributor to energy intensity and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was the production of sulfuric acid to regenerate resins, rather than transportation. Energy and GHG emissions were not significantly sensitive to the number of regeneration facilities. Cost, however, increased with decentralization as rental costs per unit area are higher for smaller areas. The metrics assessed (unit energy, GHG emissions, and cost) were not significantly influenced by facility location in this high-density urban area. We determined that this decentralized approach has lower cost, unit energy, and GHG emissions than centralized nitrogen management via nitrification-denitrification if fertilizer production offsets are taken into account.


Assuntos
Troca Iônica , Nitrogênio , Animais , Cidades , Efeito Estufa , São Francisco , Águas Residuárias
3.
Nat Mater ; 16(7): 698-699, 2017 06 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28653697
4.
Environ Sci Technol ; 50(24): 13184-13194, 2016 12 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27993062

RESUMO

Nonpotable water reuse (NPR) is one option for conserving valuable freshwater resources. Decentralization can improve distribution system efficiency by locating treatment closer to the consumer; however, small treatment systems may have higher unit energy and greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. This research explored the trade-off between residential NPR systems using a life-cycle approach to analyze the energy use and GHG emissions. Decentralized and centralized NPR options are compared to identify where decentralized systems achieve environmental advantages over centralized reuse alternatives, and vice versa, over a range of scales and spatial and demographic conditions. For high-elevation areas far from the centralized treatment plant, decentralized NPR could lower energy use by 29% and GHG emissions by 28%, but in low-elevation areas close to the centralized treatment plant, decentralized reuse could be higher by up to 85% (energy) and 49% (GHG emissions) for the scales assessed (20-2000 m3/day). Direct GHG emissions from the treatment processes were found to be highly uncertain and variable and were not included in the analysis. The framework presented can be used as a planning support tool to reveal the environmental impacts of integrating decentralized NPR with existing centralized wastewater infrastructure and can be adapted to evaluate different treatment technology scales for reuse.


Assuntos
Águas Residuárias , Água , Meio Ambiente , Efeito Estufa , Estágios do Ciclo de Vida
5.
Environ Sci Technol ; 49(19): 11321-8, 2015 Oct 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26339921

RESUMO

The freight infrastructure network (e.g., roads, railways, waterways, etc.) is the backbone of nearly all trade partnerships in the United States and abroad. The manner in which the individual portions of its constituent parts are interrelated or arranged plays an important role for determining the environmental footprint of goods moved within the network. Herein, we compare the spatial distribution of potential consumer-producer exchanges (i.e., accessibility) under varying greenhouse gas (GHG) budgets or preferences for minimal transportation-related GHG emissions. We conduct case studies using two freight modes (truck and intermodal rail) for two representative commodities: meat/seafood and paper articles. Results across all counties in the United States indicate that the geographic area in which trade is possible, given a GHG budget, varies by transportation mode, location, and commodity. Our results suggest that intermodal terminal availability is an important determinant of low-GHG accessibility. Since only a fraction of road-to-rail terminals accommodate meat/seafood (4.9%) and paper (0.7%), the United States could increase its expected GHG savings associated with truck-to-rail mode-switching policies by 70% (+20 kg CO2,e/ton for meat/seafood) and 310% (+30 kg CO2,e/ton for paper) by upgrading current terminals to allow the exchange of all types of goods.


Assuntos
Carbono/análise , Mercantilização , Transportes , Gases/análise , Geografia , Efeito Estufa , Humanos , Veículos Automotores , Incerteza , Estados Unidos
6.
Environ Sci Technol ; 49(17): 10303-11, 2015 Sep 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26230383

RESUMO

Treatment and water reuse in decentralized systems is envisioned to play a greater role in our future urban water infrastructure due to growing populations and uncertainty in quality and quantity of traditional water resources. In this study, we utilized life-cycle assessment (LCA) to analyze the energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of an operating Living Machine (LM) wetland treatment system that recycles wastewater in an office building. The study also assessed the performance of the local utility's centralized wastewater treatment plant, which was found to be significantly more efficient than the LM (79% less energy, 98% less GHG emissions per volume treated). To create a functionally equivalent comparison, the study developed a hypothetical scenario in which the same LM design flow is recycled via centralized infrastructure. This comparison revealed that the current LM has energy consumption advantages (8% less), and a theoretically improved LM design could have GHG advantages (24% less) over the centralized reuse system. The methodology in this study can be applied to other case studies and scenarios to identify conditions under which decentralized water reuse can lower GHG emissions and energy use compared to centralized water reuse when selecting alternative approaches to meet growing water demands.


Assuntos
Poluentes Atmosféricos/análise , Conservação de Recursos Energéticos , Gases/análise , Efeito Estufa , Reciclagem/métodos , Águas Residuárias/análise , Purificação da Água/métodos , Água Potável
7.
Environ Sci Technol ; 48(23): 13583-91, 2014 Dec 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25369123

RESUMO

The water-energy nexus is of growing interest for researchers and policy makers because the two critical resources are interdependent. Their provision and consumption contribute to climate change through the release of greenhouse gases (GHGs). This research considers the potential for conserving both energy and water resources by measuring the life-cycle economic efficiency of greenhouse gas reductions through the water loss control technologies of pressure management and leak management. These costs are compared to other GHG abatement technologies: lighting, building insulation, electricity generation, and passenger transportation. Each cost is calculated using a bottom-up approach where regional and temporal variations for three different California water utilities are applied to all alternatives. The costs and abatement potential for each technology are displayed on an environmental abatement cost curve. The results reveal that water loss control can reduce GHGs at lower cost than other technologies and well below California's expected carbon trading price floor. One utility with an energy-intensive water supply could abate 135,000 Mg of GHGs between 2014 and 2035 and save--rather than spend--more than $130/Mg using the water loss control strategies evaluated. Water loss control technologies therefore should be considered in GHG abatement portfolios for utilities and policy makers.


Assuntos
Fontes Geradoras de Energia/economia , Efeito Estufa/prevenção & controle , Transportes/economia , Abastecimento de Água/economia , California , Mudança Climática , Custos e Análise de Custo , Tecnologia
8.
Environ Sci Technol ; 48(22): 13045-52, 2014 Nov 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25321067

RESUMO

The life-cycle output (e.g., level of service) of infrastructure systems heavily influences their normalized environmental footprint. Many studies and tools calculate emission factors based on average productivity; however, the performance of these systems varies over time and space. We evaluate the appropriate use of emission factors based on average levels of service by comparing them to those reflecting a distribution of system outputs. For the provision of truck and bus services where fuel economy is assumed constant over levels of service, emission factor estimation biases, described by Jensen's inequality, always result in larger-than-expected environmental impacts (3%-400%) and depend strongly on the variability and skew of truck payloads and bus ridership. Well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emission factors for diesel trucks in California range from 87 to 1,500 g of CO2 equivalents per ton-km, depending on the size and type of trucks and the services performed. Along a bus route in San Francisco, well-to-wheel emission factors ranged between 53 and 940 g of CO2 equivalents per passenger-km. The use of biased emission factors can have profound effects on various policy decisions. If average emission rates must be used, reflecting a distribution of productivity can reduce emission factor biases.


Assuntos
Monitoramento Ambiental , Veículos Automotores , Poluentes Atmosféricos/análise , Viés , Humanos , São Francisco , Estados Unidos , United States Environmental Protection Agency , Emissões de Veículos/análise
9.
Environ Sci Technol ; 48(15): 8446-55, 2014.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24988448

RESUMO

Cellulosic ethanol can achieve estimated greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions greater than 80% relative to gasoline, largely as a result of the combustion of lignin for process heat and electricity in biorefineries. Most studies assume lignin is combusted onsite, but exporting lignin to be cofired at coal power plants has the potential to substantially reduce biorefinery capital costs. We assess the life-cycle GHG emissions, water use, and capital costs associated with four representative biorefinery test cases. Each case is evaluated in the context of a U.S. national scenario in which corn stover, wheat straw, and Miscanthus are converted to 1.4 EJ (60 billion liters) of ethanol annually. Life-cycle GHG emissions range from 4.7 to 61 g CO2e/MJ of ethanol (compared with ∼ 95 g CO2e/MJ of gasoline), depending on biorefinery configurations and marginal electricity sources. Exporting lignin can achieve GHG emission reductions comparable to onsite combustion in some cases, reduce life-cycle water consumption by up to 40%, and reduce combined heat and power-related capital costs by up to 63%. However, nearly 50% of current U.S. coal-fired power generating capacity is expected to be retired by 2050, which will limit the capacity for lignin cofiring and may double transportation distances between biorefineries and coal power plants.


Assuntos
Poluição do Ar/prevenção & controle , Biocombustíveis , Efeito Estufa/prevenção & controle , Lignina , Carbono , Carvão Mineral , Custos e Análise de Custo , Etanol , Poaceae , Centrais Elétricas , Estados Unidos , Água , Zea mays
10.
Bioresour Technol ; 150: 476-85, 2013 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24119498

RESUMO

Petroleum fuels are predominantly transported domestically by pipelines, whereas biofuels are almost exclusively transported by rail, barge, and truck. As biofuel production increases, new pipelines may become economically attractive. Location-specific variables impacting pipeline viability include construction costs, availability and costs of alternative transportation modes, electricity prices and emissions (if priced), throughput, and subsurface temperature. When transporting alcohol or diesel-like fuels, pipelines have a lower direct energy intensity than rail, barge, and trucks if fluid velocity is under 1 m/s for 4-inch diameter pipelines and 2 m/s for 8-inch or larger pipelines. Across multiple hypothetical state-specific scenarios, profit-maximizing design velocities range from 1.2 to 1.9 m/s. In costs and GHG emissions, optimized pipelines outperform trucks in each state and rail and barge in most states, if projected throughput exceeds four billion liters/year. If emissions are priced, optimum design diameters typically increase to reduce pumping energy demands, increasing the cost-effectiveness of pipeline projects.


Assuntos
Poluição do Ar/análise , Biocombustíveis/economia , Efeito Estufa/economia , Emissões de Veículos/análise , Custos e Análise de Custo , Eletricidade , Etanol/economia , Etanol/metabolismo , Políticas , Temperatura , Termodinâmica , Transportes , Incerteza
11.
Environ Sci Technol ; 47(16): 9044-52, 2013 Aug 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23906086

RESUMO

Passenger cars in the United States (U.S.) rely primarily on petroleum-derived fuels and contribute the majority of U.S. transportation-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Electricity and biofuels are two promising alternatives for reducing both the carbon intensity of automotive transportation and U.S. reliance on imported oil. However, as standalone solutions, the biofuels option is limited by land availability and the electricity option is limited by market adoption rates and technical challenges. This paper explores potential GHG emissions reductions attainable in the United States through 2050 with a county-level scenario analysis that combines ambitious plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) adoption rates with scale-up of cellulosic ethanol production. With PHEVs achieving a 58% share of the passenger car fleet by 2050, phasing out most corn ethanol and limiting cellulosic ethanol feedstocks to sustainably produced crop residues and dedicated crops, we project that the United States could supply the liquid fuels needed for the automobile fleet with an average blend of 80% ethanol (by volume) and 20% gasoline. If electricity for PHEV charging could be supplied by a combination of renewables and natural-gas combined-cycle power plants, the carbon intensity of automotive transport would be 79 g CO2e per vehicle-kilometer traveled, a 71% reduction relative to 2013.


Assuntos
Biocombustíveis , Eletricidade , Veículos Automotores , Carbono , Efeito Estufa , Estados Unidos , Emissões de Veículos
12.
Environ Sci Technol ; 47(19): 10771-80, 2013 Oct 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23869434

RESUMO

Pressure management is one cost-effective and efficient strategy for controlling water distribution losses. This paper evaluates the life-cycle energy use and emissions for pressure management zones in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Halifax, Nova Scotia. It compares water savings using fixed-outlet and flow-modulated pressure control to performance without pressure control, considering the embedded electricity and chemical consumption in the lost water, manufacture of pipe and fittings to repair breaks caused by excess pressure, and pressure management. The resulting energy and emissions savings are significant. The Philadelphia and Halifax utilities both avoid approximately 130 million liters in water losses annually using flow-modulated pressure management. The conserved energy was 780 GJ and 1900 GJ while avoided greenhouse gas emissions were 50 Mg and 170 Mg a year by Philadelphia and Halifax, respectively. The life-cycle financial and environmental performance of pressure management systems compares favorably to the traditional demand management strategy of installing low-flow toilets. The energy savings may also translate to cost-effective greenhouse gas emission reductions depending on the energy mix used, an important advantage in areas where water and energy are constrained and/or expensive and greenhouse gas emissions are regulated as in California, for example.


Assuntos
Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/métodos , Engenharia Sanitária/métodos , Abastecimento de Água , Poluentes Atmosféricos/análise , Poluição do Ar/prevenção & controle , Dióxido de Carbono/análise , Nova Escócia , Philadelphia , Pressão
13.
Environ Sci Technol ; 46(10): 5285-93, 2012 May 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22506875

RESUMO

From 1991 to 2009, U.S. production of ethanol increased 10-fold, largely due to government programs motivated by climate change, energy security, and economic development goals. As low-level ethanol-gasoline blends have not consistently outperformed ethanol-free gasoline in vehicle performance or tailpipe emissions, national-level economic and environmental goals could be accomplished more efficiently by concentrating consumption of gasoline containing 10% ethanol (i.e., E10) near producers to minimize freight activity. As the domestic transportation of ethanol increased 10-fold in metric ton-kilometers (t-km) from 2000 to 2009, the portion of t-km potentially justified by the E10 blend wall increased from less than 40% to 80%. However, we estimate 10 billion t-km took place annually from 2004 to 2009 for reasons other than the blend wall. This "unnecessary" transportation resulted in more than $240 million in freight costs, 90 million L of diesel consumption, 300,000 metric tons of CO(2)-e emissions, and 440 g of human intake of PM(2.5). By 2009, the marginal savings from enabling Iowa to surpass E10 would have exceeded 2.5 g CO(2)-e/MJ and $0.12/gallon of ethanol, as the next-closest customer was 1600 km away. The use of a national network model enables estimation of marginal transportation impacts from subnational policies, and benefits from policies encouraging concentrated consumption of renewable fuels.


Assuntos
Etanol/economia , Gasolina/economia , Transportes/economia , Emissões de Veículos/análise , Poluentes Atmosféricos/análise , Poluição do Ar/análise , Comércio/economia , Custos e Análise de Custo , Efeito Estufa , Humanos , Modelos Teóricos , Saúde Pública , Estados Unidos
14.
Environ Sci Technol ; 45(11): 4808-16, 2011 Jun 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21563817

RESUMO

Particulate matter (PM) is a significant contributor to death and disease globally. This paper summarizes the work of an international expert group on the integration of human exposure to PM into life cycle impact assessment (LCIA), within the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative. We review literature-derived intake fraction values (the fraction of emissions that are inhaled), based on emission release height and "archetypal" environment (indoor versus outdoor; urban, rural, or remote locations). Recommended intake fraction values are provided for primary PM(10-2.5) (coarse particles), primary PM(2.5) (fine particles), and secondary PM(2.5) from SO(2), NO(x), and NH(3). Intake fraction values vary by orders of magnitude among conditions considered. For outdoor primary PM(2.5), representative intake fraction values (units: milligrams inhaled per kilogram emitted) for urban, rural, and remote areas, respectively, are 44, 3.8, and 0.1 for ground-level emissions, versus 26, 2.6, and 0.1 for an emission-weighted stack height. For outdoor secondary PM, source location and source characteristics typically have only a minor influence on the magnitude of the intake fraction (exception: intake fraction values can be an order of magnitude lower for remote-location emission than for other locations). Outdoor secondary PM(2.5) intake fractions averaged over respective locations and stack heights are 0.89 (from SO(2)), 0.18 (NO(x)), and 1.7 (NH(3)). Estimated average intake fractions are greater for primary PM(10-2.5) than for primary PM(2.5) (21 versus 15), owing in part to differences in average emission height (lower, and therefore closer to people, for PM(10-2.5) than PM(2.5)). For indoor emissions, typical intake fraction values are ∼1000-7000. This paper aims to provide as complete and consistent an archetype framework as possible, given current understanding of each pollutant. Values presented here facilitate incorporating regional impacts into LCIA for human health damage from PM.


Assuntos
Exposição Ambiental/estatística & dados numéricos , Material Particulado , Meio Ambiente , Humanos
15.
Environ Sci Technol ; 45(7): 2541-53, 2011 Apr 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21405015

RESUMO

In the modern global economy, water and energy are fundamentally connected. Water already plays a major role in electricity generation and, with biofuels and electricity poised to gain a significant share of the transportation fuel market, water will become significantly more important for transportation energy as well. This research provides insight into the potential changes in water use resulting from increased biofuel or electricity production for transportation energy, as well as the greenhouse gas and freshwater implications. It is shown that when characterizing the water impact of transportation energy, incorporating indirect water use and defensible allocation techniques have a major impact on the final results, with anywhere between an 82% increase and a 250% decrease in the water footprint if evaporative losses from hydroelectric power are excluded. The greenhouse gas impact results indicate that placing cellulosic biorefineries in areas where water must be supplied using alternative means, such as desalination, wastewater recycling, or importation can increase the fuel's total greenhouse gas footprint by up to 47%. The results also show that the production of ethanol and petroleum fuels burden already overpumped aquifers, whereas electricity production is far less dependent on groundwater.


Assuntos
Petróleo/estatística & dados numéricos , Transportes/estatística & dados numéricos , Abastecimento de Água/estatística & dados numéricos , Pegada de Carbono/estatística & dados numéricos , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Estados Unidos , Ciclo Hidrológico , Abastecimento de Água/análise
16.
Environ Sci Technol ; 43(19): 7303-9, 2009 Oct 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-19848138

RESUMO

Computational logic, in the form of semiconductor chips of the complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) transistor structure, is used in personal computers, wireless devices, IT network infrastructure, and nearly all modem electronics. This study provides a life-cycle energy analysis for CMOS chips over 7 technology generations with the purpose of comparing energy demand and global warming potential (GWP) impacts of the life-cycle stages, examining trends in these impacts over time and evaluating their sensitivity to data uncertainty and changes in production metrics such as yield. A hybrid life-cycle assessment (LCA) model is used. While life-cycle energy and GWP of emissions have increased on the basis of a wafer or die, these impacts have been reducing per unit of computational power. Sensitivity analysis of the model shows that impacts have the highest relative sensitivity to wafer yield, line yield, and die size and largest absolute sensitivity to the use-phase power demand of the chip.


Assuntos
Computadores , Conservação de Recursos Energéticos , Efeito Estufa , Fontes de Energia Elétrica , Indústrias , Semicondutores
17.
Sci Total Environ ; 407(17): 4812-20, 2009 Aug 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-19535129

RESUMO

This paper develops the IMPACT North America model, a spatially resolved multimedia, multi-pathway, fate, exposure and effect model that includes indoor and urban compartments. IMPACT North America allows geographic differentiation of population exposure of toxic emissions for comparative risk assessment and life cycle impact assessment within U.S. and Canada. It looks at air, water, soil, sediment and vegetation media, and divides North America into several hundred zones. It is nested within a single world box to account for emissions leaving North America. It is a multi-scale model, covering three different spatial scales--indoor, urban and regional--in all zones in North America. Model results are evaluated against monitored emissions and concentrations of benzo(a)pyrene, 2,3,7,8-TCDD and mercury. Most of the chemical concentrations predicted by the model fall within two orders of magnitude of the monitored data. The model shows that urban intake fractions are one order of magnitude higher than rural intake fractions. The model application and importance is demonstrated by a case study on spatially-distributed emissions over the life cycle of diesel fuel. Depending on population densities and agricultural intensities, intake fractions can vary by eight orders of magnitudes, and even limited indoor emissions can lead to intakes comparable to those from outdoor emissions. To accurately assess these variations in intake fraction, we require the essential three original features described in the present paper: i) inclusion of the continental model within a world box for persistent pollutants, ii) addition of an urban box for short- and medium-lived substances (for grid size larger than 100 km), and iii) assess indoor emissions. This model can therefore be used to screen chemicals and assess regionalized intake fractions within North America for population-based human exposure assessment, life cycle impact assessment, and comparative risk assessment. The model can be downloaded at http://www.impactmodeling.org.


Assuntos
Exposição Ambiental , Modelos Teóricos , América do Norte
18.
Environ Sci Technol ; 43(8): 2680-7, 2009 Apr 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-19475934

RESUMO

Life-cycle air emission effects of supplying water are explored using a hybrid life-cycle assessment For the typically sized U.S. utility analyzed, recycled water is preferable to desalination and comparable to importation. Seawater desalination has an energy and air emission footprint that is 1.5-2.4 times larger than that of imported water. However, some desalination modes fare better; brackish groundwater is 53-66% as environmentally intensive as seawater desalination. The annual water needs (326 m3) of a typical Californian that is met with imported water requires 5.8 GJ of energy and creates 360 kg of CO2 equivalent emissions. With seawater desalination, energy use would increase to 14 GJ and 800 kg of CO2 equivalent emissions. Meeting the water demand of California with desalination would consume 52% of the state's electricity. Supply options were reassessed using alternative electricity mixes, including the average mix of the United States and several renewable sources. Desalination using solar thermal energy has lower greenhouse gas emissions than that of imported and recycled water (using California's electricity mix), but using the U.S. mix increases the environmental footprint by 1.5 times. A comparison with a more energy-intensive international scenario shows that CO2 equivalent emissions for desalination in Dubai are 1.6 times larger than in California. The methods, decision support tool (WEST), and results of this study should persuade decision makers to make informed water policy choices by including energy consumption and material use effects in the decision-making process.


Assuntos
Conservação de Recursos Energéticos , Abastecimento de Água , Água do Mar/química , Cloreto de Sódio/isolamento & purificação
19.
Environ Sci Technol ; 42(13): 4663-9, 2008 Jul 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-18677988

RESUMO

This paper builds on previous research on end of life of products by synthesizing some of the theories proposed in the literature and presenting a method for environmental decision-making related to buildings. This is achieved through different solutions, but most significantly through the use of hybrid life-cycle assessment and the definition of allocation boundaries in a way that decreases the uncertainty associated with technologicalforecasting. Results show that there is no significant difference between the results of two major end-of-life assessment approaches (attributional and consequential), and that the choice between the use of one or the other for buildings may not be a critical decision. Assessing the impacts of recycling polices requires accounting for product substitutions, market analysis, and the full supply chain impacts of the recycling chains. Increasing the recycling of concrete from deconstructed buildings from the current 27% rate to 50% could yield a 2-3% (2.7-5.6 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents) reduction in buildings' greenhouse gas emissions, or the equivalent of removing 408,000-847,000 typical cars from U.S. roads.


Assuntos
Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/economia , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/métodos , Materiais de Construção , Meio Ambiente , Modelos Teóricos
20.
Environ Sci Technol ; 42(9): 3163-9, 2008 May 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-18522089

RESUMO

Sewage sludge management poses environmental, economic, and political challenges for wastewater treatment plants and municipalities around the globe. To facilitate more informed and sustainable decision making, this study used life-cycle inventory (LCI) to expand upon previous process-based LCIs of sewage sludge treatmenttechnologies. Additionally, the study evaluated an array of productive end-use options for treated sewage sludge, such as fertilizer and as an input into construction materials, to determine how the sustainability of traditional manufacturing processes changes with sludge as a replacement for other raw inputs. The inclusion of the life-cycle of necessary inputs (such as lime) used in sludge treatment significantly impacts the sustainability profiles of different treatment and end-use schemes. Overall, anaerobic digestion is generally the optimal treatment technology whereas incineration, particularly if coal-fired, is the most environmentally and economically costly. With respect to sludge end use, offsets are greatest for the use of sludge as fertilizer, but all of the productive uses of sludge can improve the sustainability of conventional manufacturing practices. The results are intended to help inform and guide decisions about sludge handling for existing wastewater treatment plants and those that are still in the planning phase in cities around the world. Although additional factors must be considered when selecting a sludge treatment and end-use scheme, this study highlights how a systems approach to planning can contribute significantly to improving overall environmental sustainability.


Assuntos
Reatores Biológicos , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/métodos , Esgotos/microbiologia , Eliminação de Resíduos Líquidos/métodos , China , Meio Ambiente , Monitoramento Ambiental/métodos , Arquitetura de Instituições de Saúde , Concentração de Íons de Hidrogênio , Esgotos/química , Gerenciamento de Resíduos
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