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Life Cycle Assessment of Leachate Treatment Strategies

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journal contribution
posted on 14.09.2021, 21:15 by Lingyue Zhang, Hao Bai, Yawei Zhang, Yang Wang, Dongbei Yue
Increasingly stringent regulations for leachate discharge call for leachate treatment plants (LTPs) to increase their treatment capacity by adopting membrane treatment processes to remove nitrogen and organics beyond conventional biological treatment processes. This study developed four common treatment strategies based on the existing operation and construction conditions of seven representative LTPs in China. We evaluated the LTPs’ environmental impacts using life cycle assessment (LCA) following the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 14040 and ISO 14044). Compared with conventional secondary treatment processes, implementing high-level technologies to meet the strict standards could reduce an average of 59% of the eutrophication potential while increasing other environmental impacts resulting from both direct and indirect emissions by an average of 146%. We propose advanced technologies that integrate both midpoint and endpoint LCA results to meet stringent standards in areas sensitive to eutrophication.