Biotreat LCA

BIOTREAT LCA focused on treatment systems for drinking water resources. The competitiveness of the BIOTREAT technologies relative to other water treatment technologies was determined with LCA.

The client

EU’s Seventh Framework Program – European Union

Our role

2.-0 LCA consultants mainly contributed to the WP6 of the project, which dealt with LCA and cost assessment. Our analysis combined environmental LCA and life cycle costs of technology implementation relative to the water quality achieved. Project completed December 2014.

New technologies for bioremediation

The overall aim of BIOTREAT was to develop new technologies for bioremediation of drinking water resources contaminated with micropollutants such as pesticides and pharmaceuticals.

Micropollutants are organic pollutants that occur in contaminated water at extremely low concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 10 microgram/l, but still above the EU limit values. The basis of the proposed technologies was bioaugmentation, which in the context was the introduction of specific degrading microorganisms or microbial consortia into existing sand filters at waterworks, mobile biofilters placed close to groundwater abstraction wells, sand barriers between surface waters and abstraction wells, and subterranean protective barriers established to prevent micropollutants from entering into aquifers.

With the view to developing a water purification technology that is also competitive it was necessary to analyse both the financial and the environmental aspects of its further exploitation, including management, safety and regulatory aspects.

A new technology has to be competitive both in relation to 1) the environment, where all unwanted emissions have to be taken into account 2) to human health and 3) financially. The best approach to assessing the competitiveness of the technology was to combine the environmental LCA, the costs related to technology implementation and the water quality achieved. Some of the results of this project are published in an article: ‘Prospective environmental and economic assessment for biotreatment of micropollutants in drinking water resources in Denmark‘.