Comparative environmental and economic life cycle assessment of high solids anaerobic co-digestion for biosolids and organic waste management

Eunyoung Lee, Deborah Stolte Bezerra Lisboa Oliveira, Luiza Stolte Bezerra Lisboa Oliveira, Eduardo Jimenez, Youngwoon Kim, Meng Wang, Sarina J. Ergas, Qiong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

High-Solids Anaerobic co-Digestion (HS-AcD) of sewage sludge (biosolids) with the organic fraction of municipal solid waste is a promising waste management alternative due to high methane yields, lower reactor volume requirements, lower energy inputs, and less leachate production than liquid anaerobic digestion. This study evaluated the environmental and economic burdens and benefits of HS-AcD of biosolids, Food Waste (FW), and Yard Waste (YW) using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) methods using Hillsborough County, Florida in the U.S. as a case study. Results for HS-AcD were compared with incineration, composting, and landfilling, with and without landfill gas use. The results showed that HS-AcD of a mixture of biosolids, FW, and YW had the lowest environmental impacts in all categories analyzed (global warming potential, acidification, eutrophication, and ecotoxicity). In terms of economics, HS-AcD had the lowest life cycle cost, with or without considering land acquisition. The results show that HS-AcD is the best choice to manage biosolids and the organic waste in Hillsborough County in terms of both environmental and economic sustainability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number115443
JournalWater Research
Volume171
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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