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Assessment of sustainability of a hybrid of advanced treatment technologies for recycling industrial wastewater in developing countries: Case study of Iranian industrial parks

Piadeh, Farzad, Alavi-moghaddam, Mohamad Reza, Mardan, Saeed
Journal of cleaner production 2018 v.170 pp. 1136-1150
case studies, decision making, developing countries, sustainable development, wastewater, water reuse, Iran
Today, advanced treatment units are widely suggested for industrial wastewater reuse as a non-conventional water resource in the developing countries positioned in arid/semi-arid areas. However, the sustainability of these units still remains blur due to the lack of a proper framework and availability of the collected data or experiences. The present study aimed to propose a framework for assessing the sustainability of advanced hybrid treatment systems through three major steps: (1) describing feasible alternatives and defining evaluation procedure (modified analytical hierarchy process); (2) elaborating the decision making process including 32 proposed integrated indices (8 sub-criteria and 4 criteria) and defining five possible scenarios and finally (3) prioritizing the alternatives, finding the best answer and making a sensitive analysis. The framework was proposed by recommending 8 alternatives for industrial parks in Iran as the case study. The results indicated that the weights of the economic and technological criteria could play a significant role when these systems were experienced as a new practice in difficult or poor situations. However, by improving the situation from “Transition” to “Ideal”, other aspects such as environmental and social criteria were regarded as major concerns. In addition, alternative 5 and 6 as two hybrid system were determined as high rank for five relevant defined scenarios. Alternative 6 was regarded as the best answer with the highest average score by regarding all of the scenarios. Finally, based on sensitivity, the best answer relies on the variation in the criteria weights.