Combined MFA-LCA for Analysis of Wastewater Pipeline Networks

Oslo's wastewater pipeline network has an aging stock of concrete, steel, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipelines, which calls for a good portion of expenditures to be directed toward maintenance and investments in rehabilitation. The stock, as it is in 2008, is a direct consequence of the influx of pipelines of different sizes, lengths, and materials of construction into the system over the years. A material flow analysis (MFA) facilitates an analysis of the environmental impacts associated with the manufacture, installation, operation, maintenance, rehabilitation, and retirement of the pipelines. The forecast of the future flows of materials—which, again, is highly interlinked with the historic flows—provides insight into the likely future environmental impacts. This will enable decision makers keen on alleviating such impacts to think along the lines of eco‐friendlier processes and technologies or simply different ways of doing business. Needless to say, the operation and maintenance phase accounts for the major bulk of emissions and calls for energy‐efficient approaches to this phase of the life cycle, even as manufacturers strive to make their processes energy‐efficient and attempt to include captive renewable energy in their total energy consumption. This article focuses on the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions associated with the wastewater pipeline network in the city of Oslo.

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