EGU23-1285, updated on 22 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Circular approach for industrial water management via water balance and LCA: A poultry slaughterhouse case study

Chuan Jiet Teo1,2, Thomas Wintgens2, and Johann Poinapen1
Chuan Jiet Teo et al.
  • 1KWR, Water Treatment adn Resource Recovery, Netherlands
  • 2RWTH Aachen University, Institut für Siedlungswasserwirtschaft (ISA)

Ensuring the availability and sustainable water management not only is one of the UN SDGs, but sustainable water production is also one of the main accelerating global challenges within the upcoming decades. Unless the efficiency of water use rises, this imbalance of available freshwater resources and the increasing consumption will reduce freshwater ecosystem services. Industries are one of the largest freshwater consumers. Despite the huge potential to tackle water scarcity, industrial (waste)water management is often underlooked and has become a barrier to overcome to complete the transition towards a circular economy. This means designing for resource (water) minimisation and reduced hazards (such as phosphorus and heavy metals). A decentralised wastewater treatment, in association with local organisation and governance, is increasingly recognised as one of the options to contribute towards increasing the efficiency of wastewater treatment and closing the industrial water loop by the recovery and reuse of the treated wastewater. However, the design of an industrial water treatment system is a complex problem that involves different trade-offs (i.e. use of energy vs use of chemicals). In this context, life cycle assessment (LCA) offers an opportunity to evaluate the environmental sustainability of these technologies and processes, identifying the environmental impacts of the processes in the value chain by capturing trade-offs across various categories of environmental concern.

Circular water management for a slaughterhouse is especially relevant for the sustainable transition towards a circular economy. Throughout the value chain of livestock processing, the slaughterhouse is the second largest user of water, and also a potentially significant point source of pollution to local ecosystems and communities.

The objective of this study is to apply LCA and water footprint analysis to evaluate the environmental impact and missed opportunity of treating industrial wastewater streams generated from a poultry slaughterhouse located in Romania. LCA will be carried out at the planning and design levels of the wastewater system to allow analysis to be done regarding alternative wastewater management strategies, considering different treatment schemes including retrofitting physical-chemical treatment and biological treatment as separate scenarios. The foreground data is based on field data collection that considers effluent qualities. The background inventories are based on the Ecoinvent database v.3. The life cycle impact assessment is applied on both the characterised and normalised levels using the Environmental Footprint (EF) method.

How to cite: Teo, C. J., Wintgens, T., and Poinapen, J.: Circular approach for industrial water management via water balance and LCA: A poultry slaughterhouse case study, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-1285,, 2023.

Supplementary materials

Supplementary material file