A comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of solar photo-Fenton and solar photoelectro-Fenton, two solar-driven advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) devoted to the removal of non-biodegradable pollutants in water, is performed. The study is based on the removal, at laboratory scale, of the amino acid α-methylphenylglycine, a good example of soluble and non-biodegradable target pollutant. The system under study includes chemicals, electricity, transport of all raw materials to the plant site, and the generation of emissions, but it does not take into account the impact of the infrastructure needed to build a hypothetical solar plant. Nine environmental impact categories are included in the LCA: global warming potential, ozone depletion potential, aquatic eutrophication potential, acidification potential, human toxicity potential, photochemical ozone formation potential, fresh water aquatic ecotoxicity potential, marine aquatic ecotoxicity potential, and terrestrial ecotoxicity potential and abiotic resource depletion potential. Although previous experimental results show that both AOPs are able to efficiently degrade the pollutant, the LCA indicates that solar-driven photo-Fenton is the most environmentally friendly alternative, mainly because the use of electricity in solar photoelectro-Fenton experiments involves high environmental impacts. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
|Journal||Journal of Environmental Monitoring|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2011|