Techno-economic and environmental assessment of different municipal wastewater treatment systems

Çiçekalan B., Kosar S., Cingoz S., Eyit N., Erşahin M. E., Ozgun H.

Journal of Water Process Engineering, vol.53, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 53
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jwpe.2023.103822
  • Journal Name: Journal of Water Process Engineering
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, INSPEC
  • Keywords: Aerobic granular sludge, Environmental benefits, High rate activated sludge, Membrane bioreactor, Municipal wastewater treatment, Techno-economic
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


A comprehensive economic evaluation and environmental assessment of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is a precondition to ensure long-term economic, environmental, and social sustainability. In this study, a techno-economic feasibility analysis for different modern compact municipal wastewater treatment technologies including aerobic granular sludge (AGS), high rate activated sludge (HRAS) coupled with membrane bioreactor (MBR), HRAS + MBR process, was conducted. The findings were comparatively evaluated with the conventional anaerobic/anoxic/aerobic (A2O) process. Capital, operation and maintenance (O&M) costs for each system were investigated in detail. Environmental benefits for each system were assessed and an energy balance for each system was conducted. 21 % lower energy consumption was observed in the AGS system in comparison to the A2O system. This finding might be associated with the absence of mixers, return sludge pumping and recirculation of wastewater for nitrogen removal in AGS system. The unit total cost was found to be 0.113 €/m3, 0.091 €/m3, and 0.195 €/m3 for A2O process, AGS process, and HRAS + MBR process in order. Based on the energy balance and economic analysis, AGS system was found to have lower net energy consumption and total cost compared to A2O process and HRAS + MBR process. The results obtained from this study are of vital importance in the economic evaluation of the projected large new WWTPs.