EPA Science Inventory

Integrated water quality, emergy and economic evaluation of three bioremediation treatment systems for eutrophic water

Citation:

Lu, H., Y. Yuan, Daniel E. Campbell, P. Qin, AND L. Cui. Integrated water quality, emergy and economic evaluation of three bioremediation treatment systems for eutrophic water. ECOLOGICAL ENGINEERING. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, 69:244-254, (2014).

Description:

This study was targeted at finding one or more environmentally efficient, economically feasible and ecologically sustainable bioremediation treatment modes for eutrophic water. Three biological species, i.e. water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica), loach (Misgurus anguillicaudatus) and a pseudomonad (Rhodopseu- domonas palustris), were combined in different ways: (A) water spinach–loach–pseudomonad; (B) water spinach–loach; (C) water spinach–pseudomonad, to construct three ecological engineering systems tar- geted at removing nutrients from the eutrophic water of Taihu Lake, PR China. An integrated water quality, emergy and economic evaluation of the three treatment systems was performed based on the observed changes in biomass, water quality, and other natural and economic inputs and outputs. The three ecologi- cal engineering treatment systems showed a different order of efficiency in removing nutrients (treatment A > B > C), produced different environmental loadings at the foreground (treatment B > C > A), background (treatment C = A > B) and whole system scales (treatment C > A > B), and had different economic feasibility (treatment B > A > C). Finally, after taking all direct and indirect environmental and economic impacts into account, treatment A was found to be the best choice at the foreground scale, followed by treatment C and then B, while at the background and whole system scales, treatment B was the best option followed by A and C. In this analysis, emergy evaluation was found to be an ideal ecological integration tool for quantify- ing both the environmental and economic characteristics of ecological engineering systems and processes at multiple scales, including pollution treatment systems. The complex results of this study obtained by considering water treatment efficiency, emergy indices of sustainability and loading on multiple scales besides economic output/input analysis can inform decision-makers about trade-offs that confront them in the management of eutrophic waters.

Purpose/Objective:

This study was targeted at finding one or more environmentally efficient, economically feasible and ecologically sustainable bioremediation treatment modes for eutrophic water. The methods section included a reformulation of the Environmental Loading Ratio (ELR) to include the emergy of those factors that enhance processing capacity in the denominator and those factors that add to loading in the numerator, regardless of their origin as purchased or free inputs. This change may prove to be a significant innovation in the future.

URLs/Downloads:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0925857414001906   Exit

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Completion Date: 06/11/2014
Record Last Revised: 06/11/2014
Record Created: 06/11/2014
Record Released: 06/11/2014
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 278258

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

ATLANTIC ECOLOGY DIVISION

MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT BRANCH