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Title: Energy performance factors in wastewater treatment plants: A review
Authors: Cardoso, B. J. 
Rodrigues, E. 
Gaspar, A. R. 
Gomes, Á. 
Keywords: Wastewater treatment plant; Energy performance; Energy efficiency; Benchmarking; Water; Performance factors
Issue Date: 1-Nov-2021
Project: PD/BD/142812/2018 
Serial title, monograph or event: Journal of Cleaner Production
Volume: 322
Abstract: Given their increasing number and the implementation of more energy-intensive treatment methods, wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) expect to increase energy consumption. In addition, climate change presents new challenges to the operation of these facilities, thus being critical to understand how to improve their energy performance and environmental sustainability while ensuring the quality of service provided. This paper reviews the latest publications on the energy performance of municipal WWTPs, particularly on the different phases of the treatment process and the impacting factors. The contextual and underlying factors that influence energy performance were identified, categorized, and analyzed through a broad survey. The most significant factors are the plant size, load factor (plant capacity utilization), and dilution factor. The implementation of anaerobic-anoxic-oxic systems is considered suitable in sensitive areas requiring high pollutant and nutrient removal rates, presenting, in some cases, moderate energy consumption (0.267 kWh/m3), being similar to the conventional activated sludge (0.269 kWh/m3). In more stringent effluent quality requirements, such as wastewater reuse, membrane bioreactors are advised, despite higher consumption (0.33 kWh/m3). Energy improvements can also be achieved by implementing automatization, inverters, and strategies that increase flexibility and adaptability in the operational process. Lastly, given the multidimensional characteristics of the WWTPs assessment, further improvements may be identified if the energy performance of these plants is compared using holistic and multi-criteria approaches, integrating multiple inputs and outputs simultaneously.
ISSN: 09596526
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.129107
Rights: embargoedAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D ADAI - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais
I&D INESCC - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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