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Title:Elucidating the relative environmental sustainability of anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) development pathways
Author(s):Zhong, Cheng
Advisor(s):Guest, Jeremy S.
Department / Program:Civil & Environmental Eng
Discipline:Environ Engr in Civil Engr
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor (AnMBR)
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
Wastewater Treatment
Environmental Impacts
Abstract:The current approach to municipal wastewater treatment relies on aerobic- based technologies, which are energy-intensive and thus inconsistent with the trend in which broader environmental impacts are becoming increasingly important in decision-making. Anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs), as an emerging anaerobic technology, are gaining popularity because of their potential to achieve energy-positive treatment and to achieve a high quality effluent. This thesis aims to explore the full-scale design and the environ- mental sustainability of AnMBRs. Key steps and decisions concerning the design of AnMBRs were synthesized into a roadmap. Life cycle assessment (LCA) was conducted for multiple AnMBRs linking various design and operational decisions to broader environmental impacts. This methodology was developed as a MATLAB-based LCA model to pre- dict the environmental impacts categorized by the U.S. EPA’s Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and Other Environmental Impacts (TRACI). The LCA results demonstrate that AnMBRs designed as a contin- uous stirred-tank reactor (CSTR) with a submerged membrane configuration are likely to be the most energy-intensive and also the least environmentally- sustainable, while the addition of granular activated carbon (GAC) into the AnMBR of the same reactor type and configuration would circumvent the principal source of life cycle impacts (gas sparging) and achieve the most en- vironmental sustainable design. The significance of the roadmap developed in this study is its nature as a blueprint for the future research development and design of AnMBR technology.
Issue Date:2014-09-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Cheng Zhong
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-09-16
Date Deposited:2014-08

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