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Energy and greenhouse gas life cycle assessment and cost analysis of aerobic and anaerobic membrane bioreactor systems: Influence of scale, population density, climate, and methane recovery
Cashman, S., Cissy Ma, J. Mosley, J. Garland, B. Crone, AND X. Xue. Energy and greenhouse gas life cycle assessment and cost analysis of aerobic and anaerobic membrane bioreactor systems: Influence of scale, population density, climate, and methane recovery. Bioresource Technology. Elsevier Online, New York, NY, 254:56-66, (2018). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2018.01.060
Highlights • AnMBRs operated at lower temperatures in warmer climates reduce impacts of WWT. • AnMBR costs remained higher than AeMBR costs under all scenarios. • Displacement of potable water dwarfed the operational water impacts of MBRs. • AeMBR realized net energy benefits at 1 MGD scale and higher. • Psychrophilic AnMBR realized net energy benefits at all scales.
This study calculated the energy and greenhouse gas life cycle and cost profiles of transitional aerobic membrane bioreactors (AeMBR) and anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBR). Membrane bioreactors (MBR) represent a promising technology for decentralized wastewater treatment and can produce recycled water to displace potable water. Energy recovery is possible with methane generated from AnMBRs. Scenarios for these technologies were investigated for different scale systems serving various population densities under a number of climate conditions with multiple methane recovery options. When incorporating the displacement of drinking water, AeMBRs started to realize net energy benefits at the 1 million gallons per day (MGD) scale and mesophilic AnMBRs at the 5 MGD scale. For all scales, the psychrophilic AnMBR resulted in net energy benefits. This study provides insights into key performance characteristics needed before an informed decision can be made for a community to transition towards the adoption of MBR technologies.