W10 AM Life Cycle Approaches to Water Resources|
Wednesday, 16 November 2005: 8:00 AM - 11:40 AM in 341-342
484 (MON-1117-222921) Applying life cycle assessment to wastewater treatment: concepts and implementation.
Start time: 8:00 AM
Monteith, H1, Bagley, D2, MacLean, H2, 1 Hydromantis, Inc., Hamilton, ON, Canada2 Dept. of Civil Engineering, the University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
The life cycle assessment (LCA) approach has migrated from beginnings in manufacturing and production to many other aspects of contemporary human activity, including environmental impacts. For example, a recent paper has investigated water treatment, use and wastewater treatment in terms of a complete human hydrologic cycle. In this paper, issues related to two conceptual examples of LCA application to wastewater treatment will be examined. In the first example, most current wastewater treatment practices rely on aerobic treatment, an energy intensive process resulting in large volumes of solids for stabilization and disposal, and potentially significant upstream air emissions (e.g., greenhouse gases, NOx, SOx and PM10). Anaerobic processes, conversely, are net energy producers, generating much smaller quantities of biomass for disposal. Due to slow growth kinetics at ambient wastewater temperatures, however, the process applicability in temperate climates may be limited. Another example, disposal of residual wastewater solids is a divisive issue. Wastewater biosolids have substantive nutrient value that can replace energy-intensive chemical fertilizers in agriculture or other applications. However, stabilization of the solids, their transport and application at the ultimate destination also have inherent costs, in terms of energy consumption, social stigma and environmental impact. Incineration of the solids at the treatment plant site may offer reduced overall energy and environmental costs. Recovery of energy from biogas produced by anaerobically digested wastewater solids will be discussed to illustrate a LCA approach in greater detail. Energy recovery and use by processes such as boilers, engine-generators, micro-turbines, fuel cells were examined. Factors assessed include capital and operating costs of biogas cleaning and recovery processes, value of energy recovered, and emissions produced, both from on-site biogas use and off0site electricity generation. Examples of the sensitivity of process sustainability to the value of purchased and recovered energy will be provided.
485 (KEN-1117-513544) Enhancing the Sustainability of Urban Water Infrastructure Using Life Cycle Approaches.
Start time: 8:20 AM
Kennedy, C1, Sahely, H1, Racoviceanu, A1, Filion, Y1, Karney, B1, 1 University of Toronto
Several studies undertaken at the University of Toronto have used life cycle approaches in the development of practical tools for measuring and enhancing the sustainability of urban water infrastructure. A life cycle inventory of energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for water treatment systems, which considered chemical manufacturing and transportation, and water treatment plant operation revealed that operational impacts accounted for 94% of total energy use and 90% of GHG emissions. A life cycle energy analysis of water distribution systems accounting for energy use in the fabrication, use and end-of-life stages of water mains for various pipe replacement strategies found that a pipe replacement period of roughly 50 yrs yielded the lowest overall energy expenditure. A life cycle estimation framework was utilized to estimate the GHG emissions from Canadian wastewater treatment facilities; direct on-site emissions due to biological processes and on-site fuel usage accounted for approximately 670,000 Mg/yr CO2 equivalents rising to 1,050,000 Mg/yr once indirect emissions are included. These studies highlight the interconnectedness of water and energy, both essential natural resources and vital inputs into human activity affecting the integrity of ecosystems. Sustainability is achieved in the co-management of these key resources, notably by implementing demand side management schemes for both water and energy conservation and using a systems approach to urban water planning and decision-making. Current research focuses on the development of a decision support tool which integrates the components of the urban water system and utilizes a whole-systems perspective and life cycle approaches to assess different scenarios to enhance its sustainability. The assessment framework includes a physical model of the urban water system representing flows of water, energy and other materials coupled with an economic model and an assessment module which simulates potential scenarios and compares alternatives using sustainability criteria.
487 (KIR-1117-847084) Life Cycle Approaches to Suburban and Exurban Stormwater Management.
Start time: 9:00 AM
Kirk, B1, Bowden, B1, Erickson, J1, Roseen, R2, Todd, J2, Voinov, A2, 1 Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA2 Center for Stormwater Treatment Evaluation and Verification, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, USA
Over the last two decades the goals of stormwater management, initially focused on flood control, have gradually broadened to include water quality, which continues to be defined by an increasingly larger number of criteria pollutants. The scope has also broadened to include the impacts of sprawling residential and commercial development. And as water resource pressures in US population centers increase nationwide, using and retaining stormwater and recharging local aquifers have become yet another objective. In meeting these objectives of flood protection, water quality control, and groundwater recharge; regulation has focused almost entirely on controlling site and (literal) downstream impacts with little to no concern for the (figurative) upstream impacts associated with the provision, operation, and decommissioning of the management systems. As a result of heightened stormwater standards, increasingly intensive stormwater management is applied to increasingly smaller catchments and an increasing number of development activities. To achieve these higher standards a host of structural and non-structural stormwater best management practices (BMPs) are being recommended and applied prescriptively, without regard to their net (upstream and downstream) consequences. The life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology has been used to systematically evaluate the long-term, indirect, and cumulative non-monetary impacts of human activities including, recently, urban water systems. As such LCA may provide a truer quantification of the net or total environmental benefit of employing specific stormwater BMPs, or a clearer sense of what aspects of stormwater management are most effective. For this reason LCA is being used to compare multiple conventional and low-impact development (LID) BMPs under evaluation at a BMP performance verification center in New England. The life cycle inventory data from these evaluations are being applied to site specific management scenarios using the US EPA TRACI assessment method to develop a streamlined LCA methodology directed at practical comparisons and design guidance for stormwater designers and decision makers.
Start time: 9:20 AM
488 (FLI-1118-775793) Improving Our Ability to Assess the Sustainability of Freshwater Resources Through The Use Of Life Cycle Analysis.
Start time: 10:00 AM
Flint, R.W.1, 1 Five E's Unlimited, Washington, DC, USA
Water resources management is one of the most important challenges the U.S. faces. While experts discuss links between water shortages, erratic weather conditions, and population growth, there is mounting evidence that land development patterns can exacerbate problems with water quality and quantity. Water supply is no longer just a U.S. western issue. We are drinking, irrigating, and using water faster than precipitation can replenish groundwater from the Great Plains to Chicago to the Florida Everglades. The demand for good water resources is continuing to increase, with shortfalls potentially leading to social injustices, civil unrest, and human conflict. Sustainable development is the key to water resource quantity and quality, as well as national security, economic health, and societal well-being. Carrying out development activities that are sustainable requires simultaneous, multi-dimensional thinking about the consequences of present actions on future public and environmental health through examination of the connections among environmental, economic, and social concerns when we make choices for action. Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is an investigation which aims to quantify the level of resource used, as well as the wastes produced at every stage of a product's life or process, identifying both direct and indirect environmental impact potentials. Currently, impacts to water resources are generically indicated by quantity of water used without regard to the distinction of use versus consumption, quality of water, location, and nature of the source, etc. To understand how to improve this important impact category it is vital to understand the balance between the indicators which most accurately describe sustainability of water resources and the availability of data for those indicators across our vast economic supply chain. The development of indicators in the context of LCA applying tools like lean-thinking, eco-effectiveness, factor 4/10, industrial ecology, and the environmentally sustainable management systems approach for assessing the sustainability of water resources will be discussed in this presentation. Results of a 2-year initiative that has been targeting the development of sustainable water resource indicators will also be described.
489 (BRA-1117-829655) Stakeholder involvement in EPIC-ICT - an LCA-based EU project affecting the electronics sector.
Start time: 10:20 AM
Braune, A1, Warburg, N1, Herrmann, C2, Kreissig, J2, Stutz, M3, 1 University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany2 PE Europe GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany3 Motorola Advanced Technology Center - Europe, Taunusstein, Germany
LCA is a method to enhance decision-making in industry and for policy-making by taking environmental issues of the complete life cycle of products into account. Different actors, who all have direct or indirect influence on a product's environmental performance, have different views on the whole system and different spheres of influence. They all have diverse intentions for taking part in Life Cycle Assessment studies. In order to increase the credibility and public acceptance of results from LCA studies, adequate integration of stakeholders is of crucial importance. Both, studies mainly carried out in close cooperation with industry as well as mainly publicly funded studies need to meet the stakeholders' demands and provide impartial results. Recently various environmentally driven legislations in the electronics and other sectors have not sufficiently included the stakeholders' needs. Based on this procedure strong disapproval by affected parties can be seen. Therefore, new LCA based legislative measures to be implemented will increasingly take stakeholders needs into account. This presentation will describe how the EU initiated EPIC-ICT project (Development of Environmental Performance Indicators for ICT products) copes with adequate participation of affected internal and external stakeholders. On the one hand, experiences with methods to address external actors will be provided (e.g. workshops, newsletter etc.). The success of these methods will be presented by showing the positive feedback of the involved stakeholders, representing various groups (industrial, governmental various NGOs and organizations like CENELEC, CEN,). On the other hand, the presentation will dwell on practical aspects of internal participation of the partners (e.g. Dell, Motorola, Philips), like information exchange and validation of information. Proven solutions like scenario analysis, relevance and weak point analysis will be presented.
490 (MAR-1118-677907) World regional characterization factors for toxic emissions: does it make a difference?
Start time: 10:40 AM
Margni, M.1, 2, Gigante, F.1, Jolliet, O.1, 1 EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland2 CIRAIG, Montreal, Canada
One of the common criticisms to life cycle impact assessment methods is linked to the fact that characterization factors are usually calculated for a given geographical context, such as Western Europe or North America. The straightforward adoption of such factors to assess emission occurring in other continental regions could lead to misleading results, especially for impacts categories with a strong regional variation. This paper presents a fist attempt extending a spatial fate and exposure modeling approach at a global scale analyzing the variation of characterization factors developed for 13 different geographical regions, incl. Europe, Africa (2x), Asia (2x) , Oceania (2x), North America, Central America, South America (2x), as well as 8 oceanic zones. The multimedia fate and exposure model IMPACT 2002 is used. The model accounts for relationships between the location of food production and drinking water extraction, as well as where population cohorts live relative to where chemical emissions occur. Global databases provide reliable and consistent data among all continents, which allowed adapting the Western European IMPACT 2002 model to all other continents. The model considers chemical transport between the different spatial zones accounting for the potential impacts of an emission that leaves the systems. Results of a test set of organic chemicals are then cross-compared between the different emission locations. Despite important variations in characterization factors relative to which geographical location the pollutant is emitted (up to a factor of 100) this remains restricted compared the variations of the entire set (up to 9 orders of magnitude) and the ranking tends to remain constant. Variations linked to the geographical location are mainly due to population density, and also other specific continental parameters such as agricultural production.
491 (ADA-1118-517380) Evaluation of USES Model for Deriving Characterization Factors for Metals.
Start time: 11:00 AM
Adams, W.1, Verdonck, F.2, Van Sprang, P.3, Russell, A.4, 1 Rio Tinto, Murray, UT, USA2 Euras, Gent, BE, BE3 Euras, Gent, BE, BE4 Borax, Valencia, CA, USA
Two workshops, Montreal and Apeldoorn were a collaborative effort between ICMM and the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative. These workshops identified key issues in the life cycle assessment of metals that need improvement in order to develop a robust LCIA methodology. It is recognized that the characterization factors (CFs) for metals require additional research to improve their reliability (www.leidenuniv.nl/interfac/cml/ssp/projects/declaration). Current models used to develop assessment factors do not include important process for metals such as speciation, essentiality, bioavailability, and other metal specific fate parameters. The models also have limited compartmentalization and ability to deal with spatial and temporal changes in exposure. Toxicity potentials are standard values used in LCA to enable a comparison of toxic impacts between substances. Huijbrechts (2001) calculated toxicity potentials for 181 substances utilizing the USES model for the six impact categories, i.e. freshwater aquatic ecotoxicity (AETPfresh), marine aquatic ecotoxicity (AETPsalt), freshwater sediment ecotoxicity (SETPfresh), marine sediment ecotoxicity (SETPsalt), terrestrial ecotoxicity (TETP) and human toxicity (HTP) after initial emission to the compartments air, freshwater, seawater, industrial soil and agricultural soil, respectively. Marine Ecotox potential for metals is usually high using this approach whereas most open ocean metal concentrations are very low. A sensitivity analysis of the USES model was untaken using copper as an example. Results of the study indicate: fate processes on the global scale (moderate, arctic and tropical) are determining the marine water and sediment ecotoxicity potentials for copper most; inclusion of speciation and bio-availability processes would be very beneficial as the dominant metal fate process is currently partitioning; sedimentation processes from the water and burial in deep sediment layer are the second most important fate parameter; more accurate estimates of input parameters should be used, especially for the PNECwater and PNECsediment; and all partition coefficients should be updated. Implications for further model development will be discussed.
492 (BRA-1117-830796) Beyond the Fence Line - How to combine EMS and the life cycle perspective for an efficient data management.
Start time: 11:20 AM
Braune, A1, Pflieger, J1, Kreissig, J2, Binder, M2, Fischer, M1, Eyerer, P1, 1 University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany2 PE Europe GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany
In recent years, an accelerated demand for information on environmental effects 'beyond the fence line' of organizations can be observed. There is a widespread agreement that emissions directly released at facilities and resources used have to be monitored and inventoried. This is done by means of diversely shaped Environmental Management Systems (EMS). However, taking on the responsibility for further product related environmental issues requires to enhance the view to the life cycle perspective. Some of the guidelines for EMS already ask for the integration and reporting of indirect environmental aspects. Also, reporting schemes in line with the Kyoto protocol strive for to cover indirect emissions by expanding the inventories' boundaries. For example the three level approach under different schemes divides the inventories into different scopes according to the boundaries: Scope I focuses on emissions from core operations of the organization (direct emissions). Scopes II and III include imported and exported upstream and downstream emissions like energy-related emissions and emissions from business travel, product transport and waste disposal. Nowadays, data for indirect environmental aspects of all widely used materials and energy sources are available. Derived from comprehensive Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) the indirect impacts are given in form of so-called environmental profiles of the respective products. Almost all organizations are facing the challenge how to manage and collect required data and use them in an efficient and transparent way to fulfil the expectations of all interested stakeholders. This presentation will describe how to efficiently link and manage environmental data and will present a practice-oriented strategy how to combine EMS and LCA in a time and resource efficient way by using existing tools. A data management system where both perspectives are included will be presented and the manageability will be specified.