Life cycle assessment of solid waste management strategies in a chlor-alkali production facility

Edmundo Muñoz, Rodrigo Navia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The waste management of a chlor-alkali and calcium chloride industrial facility from southern Chile was the object of this study. The main solid waste materials generated in these processes are brine sediments and calcium chloride sediments, respectively. Both residues are mixed in the liquid phase and filtered in a press filter, obtaining a final low humidity solid waste, called 'mixed sediments', which is disposed of in an industrial landfill as non-hazardous waste. The aim of the present study was to compare by means of LCA, the current waste management option of the studied chlor-alkali facility, namely landfill disposal, with two new possible options: the reuse of the mixed sediments as mineral additive in compost and the use of brine sediments as an unconventional sorbent for the removal of heavy metals from wastewater. The functional unit was defined as 1 tonne of waste being managed. To perform this evaluation, software SimaPro 7.0 was used, selecting the Ecoindicator 99 and CML 2000 methodologies for impact evaluation. The obtained results indicate that the use of brine sediments as a novel material for the removal of heavy metals from wastewater (scenario 3) presented environmental benefits when compared with the waste management option of sediments landfilling (scenario 1). The avoided environmental loads, generated by the substitution of activated granular carbon and the removal of Cu and Zn from wastewater in the treatment process generated positive environmental impacts, enhancing the environmental performance of scenario 3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)634-643
Number of pages10
JournalWaste Management and Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • Brine sediments
  • calcium chloride sediments
  • heavy metals
  • industrial waste
  • LCA
  • reuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Pollution


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