Optimization based integrated process modelling-LCA: application to potable water production


CALL: 2013

DOMAIN: SR - Water Resources under Change


LAST NAME: Benetto




KEYWORDS: Life cycle assessment, optimization, constrain, multiobjective, drinking water, chemical processes

START: 2014-06-01

END: 2017-05-31

WEBSITE: https://www.list.lu/

Submitted Abstract

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a recognized methodology, governed by ISO 14040-44 standards, which is used to quantify environmental impacts associated with a product, process, or service across its whole life cycle (from raw material extraction to disposal). At the micro level, LCA can be effectively used to design industrial processes in order to improve their environmental performances. The main scientific barriers to this aim are however the lack of flexibility of models representing process plants in LCA, which are usually black-box models, and the lack of a systematic way of generating process design and operational alternatives for reaching environmental improvements.A step forward towards an integrated process modelling-LCA framework was recently achieved by the OASIS partners, who developed an effective tool (named EVALEAU) to simulate and assess potable water treatment chains. In order to fully address the aforementioned limitations and in line with the international efforts of the LCA community to strengthen the role of LCA in process ecodesign, the next development step envisaged by the partners consists in coupling LCA with optimization algorithms automatically seeking the best design alternative (in the realm of technically and economically feasible solutions) according to predefined criteria. The main aim of the project is therefore to develop a generic process ecodesign modelling framework, rooted on coupling of process modelling, LCA and optimization algorithms based on constraint and multiobjective programming. The project will focus on the case of water treatment chains. The developed ecodesign approach will be tested and validated on four specific case studies of water treatment designs. The OASIS project builds on existing competences and collaborations between the project partners and is an essential step in the pursuit of their respective research agendas. The main impact foreseen is the consolidation of collaborative efforts between these groups in building of toward a critical mass around the scientific topic, and the ensuing international visibility and recognition.

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