Lack of inventory data on chemical emissions often forces life cycle assessors to rely on crude emissions estimates (e.g. 100 % of the applied chemical mass is assumed emitted) or in the worst case to omit chemical emissions due to lack of emission data. The inventory model SewageLCI 1.0, provides a mean for assessors to obtain fractions of chemicals emitted to the environment via waste water collection and treatment systems. SewageLCI 1.0 is based on existing models capable of estimating chemical degradation in waste water collection and treatment systems and also on national European statistics concerning waste water treatment systems. By combining readily available statistics and models stemming from environmental chemistry and waste water treatment science, the SewageLCI 1.0 model was built to simulate national specific average waste water collection and treatment systems and the model is hence capable of estimating the national specific average emissions fractions for organic chemicals. In order to illustrate the applicability, versatility and the general use of SewageLCI 1.0, a case study set of 6 organic chemicals was assessed in 15 national waste water different treatment grids. The results obtained applying SewageLCI 1.0 model reveal that it’s possible to account for many of the variations in emission quantities of chemicals, caused by variations in the chemical fate properties and in the composition of national waste water treatment grids. The results indicate that the total emission fraction of a chemical may vary as much as up to one order of magnitude across the 15 countries included in the case study. Further, the case study reveals that for most of the chemicals considered, the dominant emission route after transport in waste water collection systems and potentially waste water treatment is emission to surface water recipients, other environmental compartments such as agricultural soil may receive considerable loads of chemicals emitted by the national specific waste water grids. The SewageLCI 1.0 presentation and case study reveal how broad inclusion of chemicals emitted to the environment via waste water treatment grids ideally should be captured by LCA. Despite SewageLCI 1.0 simulates national and hence theoretical average European waste water treatment grids and thus can’t be validated, it is concluded that the model provides the best possible general mean for including emissions of chemicals with wide and dispersive use in LCAs.
|Number of pages||1|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
|Event||SETAC Europe 25th Annual Meeting - Barcelona, Spain|
Duration: 3 May 2015 → 7 May 2015
Conference number: 25
|Conference||SETAC Europe 25th Annual Meeting|
|Period||03/05/2015 → 07/05/2015|