Methodological issues in LCA of wastewater treatment combined with PHA biopolymer production
Conference contribution, 2013
Production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) by mixed microbial cultures utilising the organic content of wastewaters is one of the technologies studied in the EU project ROUTES. When comparing the life-cycle environmental impacts of simultaneous wastewater treatment and production of PHA-rich biomass to traditional wastewater and solids treatment, the handling of this multi-functionality is critical for the results. Only one LCA of such a system has been found in the literature. The current paper identifies substitution and allocation based on chemical oxygen demand removal as two possible options to account for the multi-functionality of the system. Examples based on literature data were used to show that for global warming potential, the choice of allocation method can substantially affect the results.
Life cycle assessment