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: 2.72). 08/2008; 88(2):219-52. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2007.02.011
Source: PubMed


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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    • "One approach for water resource management in waterintensive industries is water network design, which includes design in both production and secondary use levels. Design of water network , by means of graphical methodologies (Alwi et al., 2008; Manan et al., 2006), mathematical programming (Feng et al., 2007) and synthesis of mass exchange networks (Shafiei et al., 2004), has been applied to allocate streams between operational units within the water system, due to the increased interests for sustainable development in industries (Boix et al., 2012). The purpose of water network design is to maximize water generation and reuse water into the industrial processes (El-Halwagi et al., 2003). "
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    • "On the other hand, the minimum water targets can only be achieved when all possible methods are employed to holistically reduce fresh water consumption through elimination, reduction, outsourcing and regeneration. A systematic water reductions technique through water management hierarchy (WMH) was introduced by Wan Alwi and Manan [1] to give new insight in process modification and its application was further demonstrated in Wan Alwi et al. [2]. The process changes are systematically implemented in terms of priority through a clear guidance. "
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    • "Correljé et al. (2007) present an overview of policy principles that play a role as basic assumptions in water management. Water resources management is discussed by many authors such as Zhang et al. (2008), Mitchell et al. (2003), Zhao and Chen (2008), Wilson et al. (1997), Maqsood et al. (2005), Ekinci and Konak (2009), Sherali and Smith (1997), Jacovkis et al. (1989) and Wan Alwia et al. (2008). These approaches focus on a specific part of the water cycle, being isolated from the total water system, in which a extensive range of actors and processes play a role, which are not addressed in these studies. "
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