A holistic framework for design of cost-effective minimum water utilization network

Chemical Engineering Department, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia.
Journal of Environmental Management (Impact Factor: 3.19). 08/2008; 88(2):219-52. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2007.02.011
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Water pinch analysis (WPA) is a well-established tool for the design of a maximum water recovery (MWR) network. MWR, which is primarily concerned with water recovery and regeneration, only partly addresses water minimization problem. Strictly speaking, WPA can only lead to maximum water recovery targets as opposed to the minimum water targets as widely claimed by researchers over the years. The minimum water targets can be achieved when all water minimization options including elimination, reduction, reuse/recycling, outsourcing and regeneration have been holistically applied. Even though WPA has been well established for synthesis of MWR network, research towards holistic water minimization has lagged behind. This paper describes a new holistic framework for designing a cost-effective minimum water network (CEMWN) for industry and urban systems. The framework consists of five key steps, i.e. (1) Specify the limiting water data, (2) Determine MWR targets, (3) Screen process changes using water management hierarchy (WMH), (4) Apply Systematic Hierarchical Approach for Resilient Process Screening (SHARPS) strategy, and (5) Design water network. Three key contributions have emerged from this work. First is a hierarchical approach for systematic screening of process changes guided by the WMH. Second is a set of four new heuristics for implementing process changes that considers the interactions among process changes options as well as among equipment and the implications of applying each process change on utility targets. Third is the SHARPS cost-screening technique to customize process changes and ultimately generate a minimum water utilization network that is cost-effective and affordable. The CEMWN holistic framework has been successfully implemented on semiconductor and mosque case studies and yielded results within the designer payback period criterion.

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