Life-cycle Assessment of Full-scale Membrane Bioreactor and Tertiary Treatment Technologies in Fruit Processing Industry
Life-cycle assessment (LCA) was conducted to quantitatively assess the total environmental impacts of membrane bioreactor (MBR) and tertiary technologies treating wastewater in the fruit processing sector, allowing comparisons on the impacts of different treatment options, including impacts without on-site treatment. The system boundaries for all scenarios comprise raw materials extraction and processing, transportation, construction, operation and waste disposal. SimaPro 126.96.36.199 was used as the software tool, and two impact assessment methods (ReCiPe v1.11 and TRACI v2.1) were applied. Results showed that MBR combined with RO and UV contributed the least damage to the ecosystem, and minimized eutrophication impacts from the sewage when compared to the non-treatment scenario. Treating wastewater in municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) would mitigate eutrophication effects, but it resulted in more environmental impacts from categories such as climate change and human health compared with implementing on-site treatment systems.