MCE–GIS evaluation for the potential location of RO membrane recycling plant in the Segura River Basin, Spain

The large amount of end-of-life (EoL) reverse osmosis (RO) membrane modules needed in desalination processes represents an important opportunity for material valorization. Alternative waste management routes are being developed worldwide to give them a second life within the Circular Economy (CE) principles. The aim of this study is the potential location identification for an EoL-RO direct recycling plant in the Segura River Basin, one of the most important desalination areas of Spain (with more than 42% of the Spanish desalination capacity). Using Geographical Information System (GIS) technologies, a Multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) methodology has been used for the suitability assessment for the membranes recycling plant best location. The evaluated criteria have been divided into restricted (natural protected areas, rivers, roads, reservoirs, supply channels and flood-prone areas) and conditioning (land use, topography and distance to shoreline). The spatial analysis shows that the 0.8% and 4.7% of the river basin area are optimally and highly suitable, respectively, for the recycling plant location. On the contrary, the totally restricted areas are more than 23% of the basin. This work will be the base for further environmental and economic studies of the reverse logistics: EoL-RO modules collection and the distribution of recycled products.

Additional Info

  • Year: 2021
  • Authors: Blanco A., Senan J., García-Pacheco R., Pascual-Aguilar J.A.
  • Reference: Environmental Earth Sciences, Volume 80, Issue 8, April 2021, Article number 305

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Laboratory of Chemical and Enviromental Engineering

Institut de Medi Ambient
Universitat de Girona
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17003 Girona
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