Estudio de viabilidad del proceso de recuperación del fósforo contenido en las aguas residuales: una aproximación económica.

Rect@ 01/2010;
Source: DOAJ

ABSTRACT El fósforo es un recurso esencial, no renovable y cuyo vertido al medio ambiente provoca graves impactos negativos. Por ello, la recuperación del fósforo contenido en el agua residual se ha convertido en una necesidad para alcanzar el desarrollo sostenible. A pesar de la escasez de este elemento, en la actualidad el precio de venta de las rocas fosfáticas es inferior al del reciclaje del mismo, por lo que no existen incentivos económicos para la implementación de tecnologías de recuperación de este nutriente. En este trabajo se propone una metodología que permite evaluar la viabilidad económica de un proyecto de recuperación del fósforo contenido en las aguas residuales considerando no sólo los impactos internos sino también los externos. Para ello y haciendo uso de la función distancia direccional se estima el precio sombra del fósforo, el cual representa una aproximación a los beneficios ambientales derivados de evitar su vertido al medio ambiente. Así mismo, se realiza una aplicación empírica de esta metodología a una muestra estaciones depuradoras de aguas residuales (EDARs) que en la actualidad no cuentan con tratamiento de eliminación ni de recuperación de fósforo. La cuantificación e incorporación del beneficio ambiental en los estudios de viabilidad demuestra que la recuperación del fósforo contenido en las aguas residuales es un proceso viable no sólo desde el punto de vista ambiental sino también desde una perspectiva económica.

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