Recyclability Definition of Recycled Nanofiltration Membranes through a Life Cycle Perspective and Carbon Footprint Indicator

The direct end-of-life recycling of reverse osmosis membranes (RO) into recycled nanofiltration (r-NF) membranes has been pointed out as a circular technology. For the first time, an environmental analysis of the whole life cycle of r-NF membranes was performed, focused on their usage. The carbon footprint (CF) of NF water treatment processes (Functional Unit: 1 m3 of treated water) with different pressure vessel (PV) designs and energy sources using r-NF and commercial NF-270-400 was quantified. Moreover, to compensate for the lower permeability of the r-NF, two design strategies were assessed: A) an increment in inlet pressure, and B) an increase in the number of modules. The inventory included energy modelling for each design and membrane. The interaction of both strategies with the permeability and service life of r-NF, together with different energy sources, was assessed using a novel hybrid analytical–numerical method. The relevance of energy use at the usage stage was highlighted. Therefore, r-NF permeability is the foremost relevant parameter for the definition of CF. The low impact of the r-NF replacement favoured strategy B. The use of an environmental indicator (CF) made it possible to identify the frontiers of the recyclability and applicability of r-NF membranes. 

Informació addicional

  • Any: 2022
  • Autors: Senán-Salinas, Jorge; Landaburu-Aguirre, Junkal; García-Pacheco, Raquel; García-Calvo, Eloy
  • Referència: Membranes, Open Access, Volume 12, Issue 9, September 2022, Article number 854

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