Sieti, Natalia; Vlysidis, Anestis; Gkika, Anastasia; Petrakli, Foteini; Walser, Tobias; Studer, Christoph; Braun, Gregor; Hischier, Roland; Koumoulos, Elias
The textile industry is one of the most-water consuming industrial sectors globally. Textile dyeing is a large polluter of global relevance. Associated freshwater resource scarcity and water pollution challenges require innovative treatment and wastewater recycling technologies for a more sustainable future of textile industry, globally. In the context of wastewater reuse, technology selection for advanced wastewater treatment is a key parameter. However, little is known regarding how smart innovative methods perform on sustainability and whether they cause potential environmental impacts that may outweigh the benefits of the treatment. To provide insight into this area, this study considers life cycle environmental impacts and life cycle costing of a smart innovative treatment system aimed at reducing potential environmental impacts while also reducing treatment costs. The examined technology integrates novel and innovative catalytic degradation approaches with highly selective separation and extraction techniques on a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6-7. Considering screening life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Costing (LCC) this advanced technology will be compared with the current state of the art. The environmental and economic performance of each system is analyzed and the potential for wastewater recirculation is discussed. The results of this study indicates that the integration of environmental concerns along with life cycle economic parameters in early development stages of a novel treatment system facilitate the circular and sustainable innovation processes. Closed loop processes in textile manufacturing across Europe and beyond will be of interest for industrial manufacturers, regulators, and consumers – all striving towards improved sustainability performance. Acknowledgments: This research has received funding from European Union’s H2020 Research and Innovation Programme Waste2Fresh under Grand Agreement No 958491.