(548p) Supply Chain Analysis and Process Evaluation for Advancing Sustainable Material Recovery from Post-Consumer Waste | AIChE

(548p) Supply Chain Analysis and Process Evaluation for Advancing Sustainable Material Recovery from Post-Consumer Waste


Ruiz-Mercado, G. - Presenter, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Zavala, V. M., University of Wisconsin-Madison
To protect human health and the environment, communities should have sustainable infrastructures to manage waste. Critically, organic post-consumer waste (e.g., livestock) may cause some air quality degradation, soil quality detriment, and water pollution issues. For instance, nutrient pollution from organic waste contributes to tropospheric ozone and acid rain, and can origin negative impacts on aquatic ecosystems, terrestrial biodiversity, and drinking source waters. Better nutrient management initiatives are essential to addressing the wide ecological and economic impacts caused by nutrient pollution.

Despite the significant environmental benefits by performing management initiatives (e.g., nutrient recovery) of post-consumer materials, the deployment of recovery technologies for obtaining value-added products and renewable energy is not a current practice due to the high investment and production costs and product market value uncertainty. Furthermore, such technological alternatives vary in their technical performances and cause different levels of economic and environmental impacts throughout their life cycles. Therefore, understanding the tradeoffs in processing post-consumer materials and their supply chain is an important part of informing decision-makers who are considering recovery and recycle of these materials.

This work presents a supply chain design framework to conduct simultaneous economic and environmental analysis of post-livestock organic material to value-added products under different government incentive scenarios[1]. In addition, this contribution describes a process evaluation from a sustainability perspective by applying some GREENSCOPE indicators[2] to the recovery technologies as a gate-to-gate sustainable objective function in which the four GREENSCOPE target areas (i.e., efficiency, energy, economics, and environment) are evaluated. The material management and process evaluation frameworks are applied to a case study for dairy farms in the State of Wisconsin (U.S.). The analysis reveals that the best strategy to manage waste is to synergize the deployment of technologies that conduct simultaneous recovery of liquefied biomethane and nutrients.

The selection of a suitable supply chain configuration for advancing the sustainable management of post-consumer waste is a complex decision-making process that is highly dependent on the spatial locations of the waste and technology placement, management technology, the destination of products, geographical prioritization, and on local economic (market) and policy conditions. In addition, providing a process performance evaluation is an essential first step towards a holistic sustainability analysis, with social, economic, and environmental implications.

[1] Sampat, A. M.; Gerardo J. Ruiz-Mercado, and Victor Zavala. "Economic and Environmental Analysis for Advancing Sustainable Management of Livestock Waste: A Wisconsin Case Study." ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. (2018). DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.7b04657.

[2] Ruiz-Mercado, G. J.; Smith, R. L.; Gonzalez, M. A. Sustainability Indicators for Chemical Processes: I. Taxonomy Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 2012, 51, 2309– 2328 DOI: 10.1021/ie102116e.