Life cycle environmental and economic assessment of removing pharmaceuticals from source separated urine in a university community

Kelly A. Landry, Treavor H. Boyer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Urine source separation has been proposed as a novel method to isolate pharmaceuticals at a higher concentration than wastewater for more effective removal, and thereby reduce the load of pharmaceuticals to the environment. A life cycle assessment (LCA) and was performed to evaluate the overall environmental impacts and economic costs of removing pharmaceuticals by ion-exchange from source separated urine generated annually at the University of Florida. Eight treatment scenarios were evaluated: including centralized wastewater treatment with and without an advanced ozonation process, centralized treatment of source separated urine collected by vacuum truck or vacuum sewer, decentralized treatment of source separation urine. Within source separation scenarios, landfill disposal or regeneration of spent resin was also considered. Urine source separation had 90% lower environmental impact compared with centralized wastewater treatment due to reduced potable water production for flush water, reduced electricity use at the wastewater treatment plant, and reduced nutrient discharge due to nutrient recovery by struvite precipitation. Centralized wastewater treatment upgraded with ozone had the greatest reduction in pharmaceutical toxicity, however it had the greatest total ecotoxicity due to ozone operation and infrastructure. Among source separation scenarios, decentralized treatment of urine and centralized treatment of urine collected by vacuum truck had negligible cost differences compared with centralized wastewater treatment. Whereas, urine collected by vacuum sewer and centralized treatment with ozone cost 30% more than centralized treatment without ozone. Implementation of urine source separation may provide significant environmental benefits but negligible cost savings compared with centralized wastewater treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWEFTEC 2016 - 89th Water Environment Federation Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference
PublisherWater Environment Federation
Pages3022-3035
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781510870475
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event89th Annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference, WEFTEC 2016 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Sep 24 2016Sep 28 2016

Publication series

NameWEFTEC 2016 - 89th Water Environment Federation Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference
Volume9

Conference

Conference89th Annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference, WEFTEC 2016
CountryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Period9/24/169/28/16

Keywords

  • Ion-exchange
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Life cycle costing
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Urine source separation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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  • Cite this

    Landry, K. A., & Boyer, T. H. (2016). Life cycle environmental and economic assessment of removing pharmaceuticals from source separated urine in a university community. In WEFTEC 2016 - 89th Water Environment Federation Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference (pp. 3022-3035). (WEFTEC 2016 - 89th Water Environment Federation Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference; Vol. 9). Water Environment Federation. https://doi.org/10.2175/193864716819715554