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Title: Life cycle assessment of a commercial rainwater harvesting system compared with a municipal water supply system

Abstract

Building upon previously published life cycle assessment (LCA) methodologies, we conducted an LCA of a commercial rainwater harvesting (RWH) system and compared it to a municipal water supply (MWS) system adapted to Washington, D.C. Eleven life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) indicators were assessed, with a functional unit of 1 m3 of rainwater and municipal water delivery system for toilets and urinals in a four-story commercial building with 1000 employees. Our assessment shows that the benchmark commercial RWH system outperforms the MWS system in all categories except Ozone Depletion. Sensitivity and performance analyses revealed pump and pumping energy to be key components for most categories, which further guides LCIA tradeoff analysis with respect to energy intensities. Tradeoff analysis revealed that commercial RWH performed better than MWS in Ozone Depletion if RWH’s energy intensity was less than that of MWS by at least 0.86 kWh/m3 (249% of the benchmark MWS energy usage at 0.35 kWh/m3 ). RWH also outperformed MWS in Metal Depletion and Freshwater Withdrawal, regardless of energy intensities, up to 5.51 kWh/m3 . An auxiliary commercial RWH system with 50% MWS reduced Ozone Depletion by 19% but showed an increase in all other impacts, which were still lower than benchmarkmore » MWS system impacts. Current models are transferrable to commercial RWH installations at other locations.« less

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge Inst. for Science and Education (ORISE), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1393266
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1623689
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0014664
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Cleaner Production
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Journal of Cleaner Production Journal Volume: 151 Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0959-6526
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Science & Technology - Other Topics; Engineering; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Life cycle assessment; Commercial rainwater harvesting; Municipal water supply; Energy intensity

Citation Formats

Ghimire, Santosh R., Johnston, John M., Ingwersen, Wesley W., and Sojka, Sarah. Life cycle assessment of a commercial rainwater harvesting system compared with a municipal water supply system. United Kingdom: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.02.025.
Ghimire, Santosh R., Johnston, John M., Ingwersen, Wesley W., & Sojka, Sarah. Life cycle assessment of a commercial rainwater harvesting system compared with a municipal water supply system. United Kingdom. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.02.025.
Ghimire, Santosh R., Johnston, John M., Ingwersen, Wesley W., and Sojka, Sarah. Mon . "Life cycle assessment of a commercial rainwater harvesting system compared with a municipal water supply system". United Kingdom. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.02.025.
@article{osti_1393266,
title = {Life cycle assessment of a commercial rainwater harvesting system compared with a municipal water supply system},
author = {Ghimire, Santosh R. and Johnston, John M. and Ingwersen, Wesley W. and Sojka, Sarah},
abstractNote = {Building upon previously published life cycle assessment (LCA) methodologies, we conducted an LCA of a commercial rainwater harvesting (RWH) system and compared it to a municipal water supply (MWS) system adapted to Washington, D.C. Eleven life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) indicators were assessed, with a functional unit of 1 m3 of rainwater and municipal water delivery system for toilets and urinals in a four-story commercial building with 1000 employees. Our assessment shows that the benchmark commercial RWH system outperforms the MWS system in all categories except Ozone Depletion. Sensitivity and performance analyses revealed pump and pumping energy to be key components for most categories, which further guides LCIA tradeoff analysis with respect to energy intensities. Tradeoff analysis revealed that commercial RWH performed better than MWS in Ozone Depletion if RWH’s energy intensity was less than that of MWS by at least 0.86 kWh/m3 (249% of the benchmark MWS energy usage at 0.35 kWh/m3 ). RWH also outperformed MWS in Metal Depletion and Freshwater Withdrawal, regardless of energy intensities, up to 5.51 kWh/m3 . An auxiliary commercial RWH system with 50% MWS reduced Ozone Depletion by 19% but showed an increase in all other impacts, which were still lower than benchmark MWS system impacts. Current models are transferrable to commercial RWH installations at other locations.},
doi = {10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.02.025},
journal = {Journal of Cleaner Production},
number = C,
volume = 151,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = {2017},
month = {5}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.02.025

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 12 works
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