Benchmarking industrial water purification systems with the aid of life cycle assessment

Yalamacilar B. B., Elginoz N., Babuna F. F.

DESALINATION AND WATER TREATMENT, vol.211, pp.422-431, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 211
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.5004/dwt.2021.26574
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, Environment Index, Geobase, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.422-431
  • Keywords: Water purification, Reverse osmosis, Ion exchange, Environmental impacts, Life cycle assessment, DESALINATION, TECHNOLOGIES, CHLORINATION
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Water is among the essential inputs of many industrial production processes. Substantial amounts of water with varying qualities is of importance in running quite a number of industrial sectors. The water quality requirements necessitate the application of different water purification systems. This study concentrates on comparing the environmental impacts of reverse osmosis and an ion exchange system that treat the water supplied from a well to a quality suitable for boiler water makeup. Life cycle assessment methodology is adopted for this evaluation. Purification system with the ion exchanger requires 18.6% less energy in comparison with the reverse osmosis system. However, substantially higher environmental impacts are obtained for the ion exchanger system when compared with the treatment scheme of reverse osmosis. Hence, the reverse osmosis system should be favored. Changing the source of energy from the grid mix to wind power is observed to further reduce abiotic depletion potential (fossil), human toxicity potential, acidification potential, eutrophication potential, and terrestric ecotoxicity potential for the reverse osmosis system.