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Renewable Energy 48 (2012) 424e435

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Renewable Energy
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/renene

Thermoeconomic assessment of a sustainable municipal wastewater treatment


system
Aysegul Abusoglu*, Sinan Demir, Mehmet Kanoglu
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Gaziantep, 27310 Gaziantep, Turkey

a r t i c l e i n f o

a b s t r a c t

Article history:
Received 10 February 2012
Accepted 5 June 2012
Available online xxx

This paper presents the thermoeconomic analysis and assessment of a municipal wastewater treatment
system. Operation of an existing municipal wastewater treatment plant is described in detail and
a thermoeconomical methodology based on exergoeconomic relations and the specic exergy costing
(SPECO) method is provided to allocate cost ows through subcomponents of the plant. SPECO method is
based on a step by step procedure which begins from identication of energy and exergy values of all
states dened in the present system through fuel (F) and product (P) approach and ends at the point of
establishing related exergy based cost balance equations together with auxiliary equations. The system
treats nearly 222,000 m3 domestic wastewater per day by using the primary and secondary treatment
systems. Activated sludge is digested in the anaerobic digestion reactors to produce biogas with a 60%
methane content. For each 1 m3 biogas produced in the wastewater treatment plant, 68.26 kg of sludge
with the dry matter content of 5.0% is digested. The de-watered digested sludge with the dry matter
content of 22% is considered as a waste and used for agricultural land applications, currently. The actual
exergetic efciency of the wastewater treatment plant is determined to be 34% which indicates that 66%
of the total exergy input to the plant, mainly by sewage and power consumptions, is destroyed. The
exergetic cost rate and the specic unit exergetic cost of the treated wastewater at the exit of the WWTP
are found to be 62.05 $/h and 3.804 /m3, respectively. The corresponding costs are 81.90 $/h and 1.907 /
m3 for digested sludge at the exit of secondary anaerobic digestion reactor and de-watering unit; and
175.9 $/h and 13.48 /m3 for the biogas produced at the exit of primary and secondary anaerobic
digestion reactors, respectively.
2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords:
Wastewater treatment plant
Sewage
Sludge
Biogas
Exergoeconomy
SPECO

1. Introduction
The main purpose of a municipal wastewater treatment plant
(WWTP) is to minimize or eliminate the environmental impacts of
sewages. In a broad perspective, municipal wastewater or sewage
can be dened as a combination of domestic efuents, either dissolved or as suspended matter [1]. Since the principal producers of
wastewater are municipal (urban) areas, providing a high quality
and effective sewer service to these areas involves carefully planning and infrastructure [2]. Wastewater treatment processes,
generally, have inevitable direct impacts on public health and
environment and involve large amounts of energy consumption.
For instance, the management of sewage sludge produced as
a result of wastewater treatment is one of the most difcult problems to be tackled and solved in both industrialized and developing
countries. This is because sludge produced by WWTPs amounts to
* Corresponding author. Tel.: 90 342 3172576; fax: 90 342 3601104.
E-mail address: ayabusoglu@gantep.edu.tr (A. Abusoglu).
0960-1481/$ e see front matter 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2012.06.005

only a few percent by volume of the processed wastewater, but its


handling accounts for up to 50% of total operating costs [3]. Another
example is greenhouse gas emissions from wastewater treatment
facilities. Although a relatively small contributor to global emissions, methane emissions from wastewater are expected to
increase almost 50 percent between 1990 and 2020 [4], while
estimates of global nitrous oxide emissions from wastewater are
suggested an increase of 25 percent [5].
The main task of the WWTPs is to treat wastewater to an extent
that can be discharged to natural water body after minimizing the
harmful impacts on its natural quality [6]. Treatment process of
wastewater requires large amounts of energy. The major energy
consumption process in WWTPs is the sludge stabilization. Besides
having high energy consumption, sludge can be used as a renewable energy source. As a result of anaerobic digestion process, it is
degraded to produce biogas which consists of 65e70% CH4, 30e35%
CO2, 1e5% H2, and 0.3e3% N2 with various minor impurities,
notably NH3, H2S and halides [7]. Biogas can be used to produce onsite heat and power to meet the energy demand of a wastewater

A. Abusoglu et al. / Renewable Energy 48 (2012) 424e435

treatment facility. Being a location where energy is not only needed


but also produced, WWTPs offer good chances to balance the
energy expenditure [6], and very compatible with the sustainability
principle.
In an effectively managed wastewater treatment plant, to
develop an adequate cost model to be applied is extremely important because non-stop sewage owing to the plant has a direct
relation with the total value of energy resources to be consumed in
the treatment process. Conventional energy and economic valuations of a wastewater treatment system may be used as the tools to
understand the characteristics of the costs and benets of internal
ows. However, to understand the real causes and sources of costs
which have undeniable impacts on cost structure of the system, we
need to develop a more methodological approach that has a fundamental and direct correlation with inefciencies appeared in the
processes and devices of the system. Thermodynamic analysis, using
exergy as a basis, can help determine the real costs of producing
commodities and in pricing such products. Also, it can help evaluate
economic viability and protability. Energy analysis based on the
rst law of thermodynamics do not properly describe factors that
cause performance to deviate from ideality [8], on the other hand
exergy analysis based on the second law of thermodynamics overcomes many of the shortcomings of energy analysis, identifying
properly the causes, locations and magnitude of inefciencies [9].
Thermoeconomic analysis of wastewater treatment plants has
been tackled in very few of the works available in open literature
[10e12]. Lamas et al. [11] proposed the functional diagram method
for determination of costs associated to products generated in
a small hypothetical wastewater treatment plant. In their second
paper [12], the methodology developed [11] was applied to a small
wastewater treatment system in package installed at Sao Paulo
State University in Brazil.
The literature survey indicates that the present paper seems to
be one of the pioneer studies on thermoeconomic analysis of
a municipal WWTP for the reason that the specic ow and cost
relations of the subsystems and processes such as individual
treatment processes, sludge digestion steps and biogas production
are taken into account in a comprehensive manner. First, the
system operation is described in detail based on the actual operating characteristics of an existing WWTP. Then, thermoeconomic
(exergoeconomic) analysis procedure and formulations are developed and applied to the present municipal WWTP using the
specic exergy costing (SPECO) method.
2. System operation
GASKI WWTP is a municipal wastewater treatment facility
installed in Gaziantep, Turkey, and the ow schematic of the facility
is given in Fig. 1. This plant treats nearly 222,000 m3/day of domestic
wastewater using primary and secondary treatments. Primary
treatment system is designed to remove particles with settling rates
of 0.3e0.7 mm/s. At the end of the process, while the degraded
primary sludge is pumped to the plants sludge handling facilities
for further processing, the partially treated wastewater from the
primary settling tanks ows to the secondary treatment system.
Secondary treatment is also called the activated sludge process
due to the air and sludge addition to the wastewater to break it
down further. The suspended solids and heavy particles slump
down to the bottom of settling tanks after passing through
aeration tanks. Some of this settled sludge is circulated back to the
aeration tanks to stimulate the activated sludge process. Note that
the organic matter in the wastewater is only partially mineralized
to CO2 and water. The other part is taken up in the biomass.
The most widely used parameter of organic pollution applied to
both wastewater is the 5-day biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5).

425

This parameter involves the measurement of the dissolved oxygen


used by microorganisms in the biochemical oxidation of the
organic matter. On the other hand, the chemical oxygen demand
(COD) is used to measure the oxygen equivalent of the organic
material in wastewater that can be oxidized chemically using dischromate in an acid solution [13].
The returned sludge contains an enormous amount of microorganisms which help maintain the right mix of bacteria and air in the
tank and contribute to the removal of as many pollutants as possible.
The remaining secondary sludge is removed from the settling tanks
and added to the primary sludge for further processing in the sludge
handling facilities. Wastewater passes through the settling tanks in
two to 3 h and then ows to a disinfection tank. Even after the
primary and secondary treatment, disease-causing organisms may
remain in the treated wastewater. To disinfect and kill harmful
organisms, the wastewater spends a minimum of 15e20 min in
chlorine-contact tanks mixing with sodium hypochlorite, the same
chemical found in common household bleach. The treated wastewater, or efuent, is then released into the local river. Inuent and
efuent conditions for the plant are given in Table 1.
The sludge produced by primary and secondary treatment is
approximately 99% water and must be concentrated to enable its
further processing. Thickening tanks allow the sludge to collect,
settle and separate from the water for up to 24 h. After thickening,
the sludge is further treated to produce biogas and also to make it
safer for the environment. Sludge digestion in the plant achieved by
anaerobic high-rate digestion process. Reactors for anaerobic
digestion consist of closed tanks with airtight covers. The sludge in
the reactors is mechanically mixed to ensure better contact between
the organics and the microorganisms, and the units are heated to
increase the metabolic rate of the microorganisms, thus speeding up
the digestion process. In the plant, controlled digestion is performed
in mesophilic (30e40  C) temperature conditions. Optimum heating
temperature in reactors is around 35  C. The activated sludge loading
rate to the reactors is 800e1200 tones per day with the density of
35e55 g/l and the total volume of reactors is 32,000 m3. At the end of
the anaerobic sludge digestion process, 10,000e18,000 m3 biogas is
generated daily which means approximately 60% of the organic
fraction is converted to gaseous end product (CH4) after a 30-day
period. Biogas can be utilized for the production of heat, cogeneration of electricity and heat or for upgrading to natural gas or fuel gas.
The composition of biogas produced through anaerobic digestion
reactors in the plant is given in Table 2.
Digested sludge from anaerobic reactors is pumped to a dewatering facility to reduce the liquid volume of sludge by about 80%.
This result biosolid is called as sludge cake, a more manageable
product, which includes approximately 22% solid material and then
it is used as a fertilizer material in agricultural applications.
3. Thermoeconomic analysis
The effectiveness of costs in the design or operation of an energy
system increases when the real causes and sources of costs are well
understood. A thermoeconomic analysis identies these sources
and helps to reduce the product costs in energy systems. Further,
thermoeconomic provides an objective cost allocation to more than
one product of the same process. Although the primary contribution
of a thermoeconomic analysis of an energy system comes through
a second-law based exergy analysis (exergoeconomics), many
conclusions obtained by a thermoeconomic analysis may also be
obtained through a conventional rst-law based energy analysis
combined with economic analysis. The advantage of exergoeconomics is that it can provide an exergy based methodology to
evaluate the cost of inefciencies or the costs of individual process
streams, including intermediate and nal products. In addition,

426

A. Abusoglu et al. / Renewable Energy 48 (2012) 424e435

P2

10

Air
3
4

5
AB1

P1

6
M

Existing municipal sewage

Grit and grease removal


tanks

Coarse and fine


screens

Primary settling tanks


Air
12

Primary treatment process

18

11

AB2

P4
13

Treated wastewater to
a local river

19

14

15

16

17

26

P7

Aeration tanks

24

23

28
29

30

33

27'

27

Sludge
thickening tanks

Secondary sludge storage


tank
Thickening and flotation process

42

Biogas To BEPC
40

C1

ADRHE

To BEPC 48

P8

20

22

39

38

P9

51

P6

Sludge pits
Sludge flotation tanks

Sludge
mixing tank

P5
21

25

P3

Secondary settling Secondary treatment process


tanks
24'

41
C2

45

44

C3

46

Booster

Primary
Anaerobic
Digesters

Secondary
Anaerobic
Digester

34

32
31

43

35

P10

36

37

Anaerobic digestion process

Sewage Line
Sludge Line
Biogas Line
Air Line

Biogas
storage
tank

Digested de-watered sludge


Sludge
dewatering

ADRHE : Anaerobic Digester Re-circulation Heat Exchanger


BEPC : Biogas Engine Power Cogeneration
AB : Air Blower
M : Electrical Motor
P : Pump
C : Compressor

Fig. 1. Flow schematic of GASKI wastewater treatment plant.

A. Abusoglu et al. / Renewable Energy 48 (2012) 424e435


Table 1
Inuent and efuent conditions for GASKI WWTPb.

427

jCH
sewage 13:6  COD

Parameter

Sewage inlet (Inuent)

Sewage exit (efuent)

pH
TDSa (mg/l)
BOD5 (mg/l)
COD (mg/l)

7.80
373.10
372.40
661.32

7.80
16.41
22.01
64.37

TDS: Total Dissolved Solids; BOD: Biological Oxygen Demand; COD: Chemical
Oxygen Demand.
b
These values are obtained from GASKI WWTP management, which were
available in GASKI WWTP Activity Assessment Report, 2010, a legal document
prepared by the plant management.

exergoeconomics replaces an expensive search for cost reduction


with an objective, well-informed, and systematic search in which all
of the components are properly identied and evaluated.
Since 1990s, there have been numerous published papers all
around the world on exergoeconomic cost analysis, application and
optimization of thermal systems. Most of them have been published since mid-90s due to the improved structural formalism of
the exergoeconomic methodologies [14]. Among these methodologies, specic exergy costing (SPECO) method introduced by Lazzaretto and Tsatsaronis [15] has been largely and successfully used
and applied to energy intensive systems by the researchers in the
eld of thermoeconomics [14]. In the SPECO approach, fuels and
products are dened systematically by registering exergy additions
to and removals from each material and energy stream [15]. The
records of cost additions to and removals from the same stream in
conjunction with the application last-in-rst-out (LIFO) [16,17]
principle are then used to calculate local average costs.
In this study, stream exergy costing approach is used for thermoeconomic analysis of the existing municipal WWTP. This approach
involves the divisions of the presented systems into their subcomponents. Cost evaluation of each stream is carried out sequentially in
two steps. In the rst step, a detailed energy and exergy analysis is
followed by an economic analysis conducted at each component level.
In the second step, cost of each stream is calculated using the SPECO
method which is one of the algebraic cost accounting methods [14]. In
the SPECO method, cost balance equations for each plant component
are used to get distinct average unit cost for each exergy stream. Since
there are more unknown unit costs of exergy streams than cost
balance equations, auxiliary equations are developed according to the
presented systems constraints.

3.1. Energy and exergy analyses


The main energy and exergy relations are presented in more
detail elsewhere [18]. The specic chemical exergy of the sewage at
the reference state is related to its chemical oxygen demand (COD)
value and may be obtained from [19]

(1)

Following Szargut et al. [20] the specic chemical exergy of


a technical fuel such as sludge containing a very small amount of
ash may be expressed as,

CH
jCH
sludge LHVsludge hevap zwater b jsulfur


CH
 LHVsulfur zsulfur jCH
ash zash jwater zwater

(2)

where LHVsludge and LHVsulfur are the lower heating values of sludge
and sulfur respectively; hevap is the enthalpy of water vaporization;
zwater, zsulfur, zash are the mass fractions of water, sulfur and ash
CH
CH
respectively; jCH
sulfur , jash , and jwater are the specic chemical
exergies of sulfur, ash, and water respectively. Here b is a variable
ratio which gives the atomic ratios in a mixture and does not
depend on environmental parameters. It can be obtained for the
sludge with the oxygen to carbon (O/C) ratio of less than 0.5 by the
relation [20],

bsludge 1:0437 0:0140

H
O
N
0:0968 0:0467
C
C
C

(3)

where H, C, O and N are the percentage values of hydrogen, carbon,


oxygen and nitrogen in the sludge, respectively. The specic
chemical exergy of the biogas in the reference state must be
adjusted relative to its mole fractions, yf,mixt,, of the mixture. Then,
the chemical exergy of the biogas mixture at the reference state
becomes [21],

jCH
biogas

yf ;mixt jCH
f;mixt Rf;mixt T0

yf ;mixt lnyf;mixt

(4)

where jCH
f ;mixt is the specic chemical exergy of any component in
the biogas mixture at the reference state, T0 is the reference state
temperature, and Rf,mixt is the gas constant of biogas mixture. The
overall exergetic efciency of GASKI WWTP is dened according to
the digested sludge output use at the end of the treatment process.
In the actual case, at the end of the digestion process, sludge is
dewatered and used for land applications such as agricultural
application. Thus this sludge is not considered as a useful plant
output in exergetic point of view. In this case, the only useful
outputs of GASKI WWTP are considered as the treated wastewater
and biogas. Thus, the exergetic efciency of GASKI WWTP may be
dened as


 

_ treatedwastewater jTtreatedwastewater m
_ biogas jTbiogas
m
GASK_I


T
WWTP
_ GASK_I
_ sewage jTsewage W
m
1

WWTP

Table 2
The produced biogas composition in GASKI WWTPa.
Content

Volumetric values (%)

CH4
CO2
N2
H2
O2
H2S
LHV (kJ/kg)
HHV (kJ/kg)

60
35
1.5
0.3
0.5
0.25e0.30
17,892
21,250

a
These values are obtained from GASKI WWTP management,
which were available in GASKI WWTP Activity Assessment
Report, 2010, a legal document prepared by the plant
management.

(5)
_ sewage , m
_ treated wastewater , m
_ sludge and m
_ biogas are the mass
where m
ow rates of sewage, treated wastewater, sludge and biogas at the
given state, respectively; jTsewage , jTtreated wastewater , jTsludge and
jTbiogas are the total (physical and chemical) specic exergies of the
sewage, treated wastewater, sludge and biogas at the given state,
respectively. However, instead of the elimination of this digested
sludge in a land application, it may be utilized as a valuable
secondary fuel source for off-site applications such as a cement
facility or to recover energy from combustion gases of sludge
incineration. Then it would become one of the useful product
outputs of the treatment system. In this second case, the exergetic
efciency of GASKI WWTP may be dened as,

428

A. Abusoglu et al. / Renewable Energy 48 (2012) 424e435

Accordingly, for the WWTP, the cost balance can be formulated


for the overall system operating at steady state as,

3.2. Economic relations


The principal costs of a WWTP are the capital investment cost
and operating and maintenance cost. The economic analysis carried
out in this study is a simplication of the total revenue requirement
approach [17]. In this approach, the total capital investment (TCI),
based on the capital recovery factor (CRF), in a plant can be given by
the sum of all the purchased equipment costs (PEC). The total
capital investment in a plant is given as,


2 GASK_I
WWTP

X

C_ P;total


WWTP

C_ P;treatedwastewater C_ P;biogas C_ P;sludge



X CI
OM

Z_ total Z_ total
WWTP

(14)

where C_ P;treated wastewater , C_ P;biogas and C_ P;sludge are the cost rates of
exiting product exergy streams of wastewater treatment plant.
Equation (13) simply states that the total cost of the exiting product

 
 

_ treated wastewater jTtreated wastewater m
_ biogas jTbiogas m
_ sludge jTsludge
m


_ T GASK_I
_ sewage jTsewage W
m

(6)

WWTP

TCI a

PECk

(7)

where a is a capacity coefcient which can be obtained from


literature for either new or expansion systems. For an existing
wastewater treatment plant, it may be taken as 4.16 [17]. The
investment cost rate for each component in a plant is described as,
CI
Z_ k PECk $CRF=s

(8)



CRF i1 in = 1 in 1

(9)

where i is the interest rate and s is the total annual operating hours
of the plant. The annual operation and maintenance (OM) cost rate
for each component in a plant is given by,
OM
Z_ k gCRF$PECk =s

(10)

where g is the xed maintenance factor. Thus, total cost rate


associated with the investment (capital) and OM expenses,
excluding fuel cost, for each component of a WWTP is,
total
total
C_ k;WWTP Z_ k;WWTP

X

CI
OM
Z_ k Z_ k

WWTP

PECk $CRF1 g=sWWTP

(11)

3.3. Exergetic cost balance relations and auxiliary equations


The exergy cost of a mass or energy stream is the amount of
exergy required to produce it. For the WWTP, the exergy cost of the
treated water is the exergy provided by power supply to treat the
wastewater discharged to a local river by the treatment plant. The
unit exergy cost of a mass or energy stream represents the amount
of exergy required to obtain a unit of exergy of the product stream
_
_
[17]. If Ex
k and C k represent the exergy rate of the k-th product
stream and its exergy cost, respectively, the unit specic exergy cost
is written as,

ck

C_ k
_Ex
k

(12)

Exergy transfers by the entering and exiting streams of matter


and by power and heat transfer rates may be written respectively as,





_
_ c m
_
_ e je ; C_ w
C_ i ci Ex
i
i _ i ji ; C e ce Exe ce m
_ C_ q cq Ex
_ q
cw W;

(13)

exergy streams equals the total expenditure to obtain them: the


cost of the entering exergy streams plus the capital and other costs
[17]. Due to the total number of exergy streams exiting the
component being considered, we have equal number of unknowns
and only one equation; the cost balance. Thus, we need to formulate sufcient number of auxiliary equations. This is accomplished
with the aid of the F and P principles of the SPECO approach [15].
The F principle states that the specic cost (cost per exergy unit)
associated with this removal of exergy from a fuel stream must be
equal to the average specic cost at which the removed exergy was
supplied to the same stream in upstream components. The P
principle states that each exergy unit is supplied to any stream
associated with the product at the same average cost. Since each
exiting exergy stream is associated either with fuel or with the
product, the total number of exiting streams (n) is equal to the sum
of the number of exiting exergy streams associated with the fuel
denition of a component (nF) and the number of exiting streams
included in the product denition (nP). Thus, the F and P principles together provide the required (n  1) auxiliary equations [15].
In a wastewater treatment process, there is a different behavior
of the specic exergy for sewage stream (chemical exergy decrease)
and for sludge stream (chemical exergy increase). Since the
chemical exergy of sewage decreases while its chemical oxygen
demand (COD) value is reduced through treatment processes, it
becomes one of the major treatment process requirements. This
decrease, which is accompanied by an excessive amount of operation costs, leads to an increase in the cost level. The decrease in
exergy rates of sewage through treatment processes in subcomponents may liken to fuel combustion, thus auxiliary costing
equations for sewage treatment subcomponents can be written
according to the F principle. On the other hand, the chemical exergy
of sludge stream increases through sludge thickening process and
the rate of exergy increase through processes in the sludge treatment subcomponents may cause a remarkable increase in cost
level. However, the handling cost of sludge must be considered not
only in sludge processing for elimination but also in biogas
production which is the primary fuel for the cogeneration system in
the facility. Thus, auxiliary costing equations for sludge treatment
process and biogas production can be obtained according to the P
and F principles, respectively. In this study, the exergoeconomic
cost balance equations and corresponding auxiliary equations are
obtained separately for each subcomponent of the WWTP and is
listed in Table 3.
The monetary loss associated with the exergy destruction of
a system component may be interpreted as [17],

A. Abusoglu et al. / Renewable Energy 48 (2012) 424e435

429

Table 3
Exergetic cost rate balances and corresponding auxiliary equations for each subsystem of GASKI WWTP. State numbers refer to Fig. 1. (ADRHE: Anaerobic digestion recirculation
heat exchanger).
Component

Exergetic cost rate balance equations

Auxiliary equations

Air blower
AB-1
Coarse and ne screens

_ ce W
_
_
_
_
c3 Ex
3
AB1 Z AB1 c4 Ex4 c5 Ex5

Grit and grease removal tanks


Pump-P1
Primary settling tanks

_ c5 Ex
_ 5 ce W
_
_
_
c2 Ex
2
GGRT Z GGRT c8 Ex8
_
_
_
_
ce W
P1 Z P1 c7 Ex7  c6 Ex6
_ ce W
_
_
_
_
_
c8 Ex
8
PST Z PST c9 Ex9 c11 Ex11 c18 Ex18

Pump-P2
Air blower AB-2
Aeration tanks

_
_
_
_
ce W
P2 Z P2 c10 Ex10  c9 Ex9
_
_
_
_
c12 Ex
12 ce W AB2 Z AB2 c13 Ex13
_
_
_
_
_
_
c11 Ex
11 c13 Ex13 ce W AT Z AT c14 Ex14 c20 Ex20

Secondary settling tanks

_
_
_
_
_
c14 Ex
14 ce W SST Z SST c15 Ex15 c16 Ex16

Pump-P3
Pump-P4
Pump-P5
Pump-P6
Sludge otation tanks

_
ce W
P3
_ P4
ce W
_ P5
ce W
_
ce W
P6
_
c Ex

Pump-P7
Sludge thickening tanks

_ P7 Z_ P7 c Ex
_
_
ce W
26
26  c25 Ex25
_
_
_
_
c19 Ex
19 ce W STT Z STT c27 Ex27

Pump-P8
Sludge mixing tanks
Pump-P9
Pump-P10
ADRHE
Primary sludge digestion tanks (Sludge line)
Biogas compressor C-1
Primary sludge digestion tanks (Biogas line)
Secondary sludge digestion tank (Sludge line)
Biogas compressor C-2
Secondary sludge digestion tank (Biogas line)
Sludge de-watering

_
_
_
_
ce W
P8 Z P8 c28 Ex28  c27 Ex27
_
_
_
_
_
c26 Ex
26 c28 Ex28 ce W SMT Z SMT c29 Ex29
_
_
_
_
ce W
P9 Z P9 c30 Ex30  c29 Ex29
_
_
_
_
ce W
P10 Z P10 c32 Ex32  c31 Ex31
_
_
_
_
_
c32 Ex
32 c51 Ex51 Z ADRHE c33 Ex33 c48 Ex48
_
_
_
_
_
c30 Ex
30 c33 Ex33 Z PAD c31 Ex31 c34 Ex34
_
_
_
_
ce W
C1 Z C1 c39 Ex39  c38 Ex38
_
_
_
c39 Ex
39 Z PAD c42 Ex42
_
_
_
c34 Ex
34 Z SAD c35 Ex35
_
_
_
_
ce W
C2 Z C2 c41 Ex41  c40 Ex40
_
_
_
c41 Ex
41 Z SAD c43 Ex43
_
_ DW Z_ DW c Ex
_
_
c Ex
ce W
c Ex

Booster C-3

_
_
_
_
c45 Ex
45 ce W C3 Z C3 c46 Ex46

c3 0; c4 c5
_
Ex
3 0
c1 0
_
W
CFS 4:42 kW
_
W
GGRT 59:6 kW
c6 c2
c9 c11 c18
_
W
PST 1:11 kW
None
_
c12 0; Ex
12 0
c14 c20
_
W
AT 57 kW
c15 c16
_
W SST 6:6 kW
None
None
None
c22 c21
c24 c240
_
W
SFT1 6:97 kW
c25 c24
c27 c270
_
W
STT 4:5 kW
None
_
W
SMT 11:0 kW
None
c31 c30
c48 c51 c15
None
c38 c34
None
None
c40 c35
None
_ DW 160 kW
W
c37 0
c45 c44
c44 c42 c43 =2:4

_
C_ D;k cF;k Ex
D;k

_ c Ex
_ ce W
_
_
_
c1 Ex
1
4
4
CFS Z CFS c2 Ex2

23

35

_
_
c17 Ex
17  c16 Ex16
_ 19  c18 Ex
_ 18
c19 Ex
_
_
c21 Ex
21  c20 Ex20
_
_
P6 c23 Ex23  c22 Ex22
_
_
_
_
ce W
SFT Z SFT c24 Ex24 c240 Ex240

Z_ P3
Z_ P4
Z_ P5
Z_

23

35

(15)

where the unit cost of fuel, cF,k of the kth component is considered
as independent of the exergy destruction. In evaluating the
performance of a component, we want to know the relative impact
of total investment costs and monetary loss of each component.
This is provided by the exergoeconomic factor, fk dened for the kth
component as,

fk

Z_ k
_Z c Ex
_
k
F;k
D;k

(16)

4. Results and discussion


4.1. Energy and exergy analyses and assessment of GASKI WWTP
The GASKI WWTP is divided into subcomponents as shown
schematically in Fig. 1. The actual operational temperature, pressure, and mass ow rate data and certain energy and exergy evaluations of the plant according to the nomenclature shown in Fig. 1
are presented in Table 4.
The chemical oxygen demand (COD) value of the sewage at the
inlet of the primary treatment process is determined to be
661.32 mg/l (see Table 1). The specic chemical exergy of the

36

36

37

37

sewage at the inlet of wastewater treatment system is calculated


using Eq. (1) as 9.0 kJ/kg. Since the total mass ow rate of sewage
input to GASKI WWTP is 2566.23 kg/s, the total exergy rate of
sewage at the WWTP inlet is found to be 23,096 kW. The COD value
of the treated water at the exit of the secondary treatment process
is reduced to 64.37 mg/l (see Table 1). Then the specic chemical
exergy of the treated water at the exit of wastewater treatment
plant is calculated as 0.875 kJ/kg. Since the total mass ow rate of
the treated water is 2000.0 kg/s, the total exergy rate of treated
wastewater in the plant exit is found to be 1894 kW.
The dry matter content of the primary sludge is nearly 2.0% at
the exit of the primary treatment process. The activated sludge
processed through the secondary treatment process is sent to the
aeration tanks installed in the otation and thickening system for
further treatment to precipitate the biogas production. At the exit
of the secondary treatment process, the activated sludge has a dry
matter content of 0.5% [22] and its specic chemical exergy
becomes 66.87 kJ/kg based on the specic exergy value of the dry
sludge, which is obtained as 14,727 kJ/kg by Eq. (2) and the data
given in Table 5 [23]. The lower heating value (LHV) of the digested
dry sludge is obtained to be 12,000 kJ/kg [24].
In GASKI WWTP, dissolved-air otation technique is used for
sludge thickening process. At the exit state of otation and thickening process, the mass ow rate of the sludge is reduced to
12.06 kg/s while the dry matter content of the activated sludge
increases up to 5.0% [22], which make the total exergy rate of the
sludge at this state to be 8070 kW. After digestion process, sludge is

430

A. Abusoglu et al. / Renewable Energy 48 (2012) 424e435

Table 4
GASKI WWTP data, thermodynamic properties, energy and exergy values in the plant with respect to state points in Fig. 1.
State

0
00
00
00
00
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
240
25
26
27
270
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46

Fluid

Air
Water
Sewage
Sludge
Biogas
Sewage
Sewage
Air
Air
Air
Sewage
Sewage
Sewage
Sewage
Sewage
Sewage
Air
Air
Sewage
Treated Water
Sludge
Sludge
Sludge
Sludge
Sludge
Sludge
Sludge
Sludge
Sludge
Water
Sludge
Sludge
Sludge
Water
Sludge
Sludge
Sludge
Sludge
Sludge
Sludge
Sludge
Sludge
Sludge
Water
Biogas
Biogas
Biogas
Biogas
Biogas
Biogas
Biogas
Biogas
Biogas

Pressure
P (bar)

Temperature
T ( C)

Mass ow
_ (kg/s)
rate m

Enthalpy
h (kJ/kg)

Entropy
s (kJ/kg C)

1.00
1.00
1.00
1.00
1.00
1.00
1.10
1.00
1.79
1.79
1.17
2.17
1.15
1.17
8.37
1.18
1.00
2.28
1.71
1.71
1.10
2.33
1.17
3.48
1.71
3.74
1.10
13.77
1.10
1.10
1.10
8.20
1.10
1.10
10.90
1.10
6.00
1.10
2.80
2.80
1.10
1.05
1.10
1.10
1.032
1.30
1.032
1.30
1.032
1.032
1.032
1.032
1.10

25.00
25.00
25.00
25.00
25.00
25.00
25.50
25.00
90.00
90.00
25.60
25.60
25.60
25.30
25.40
25.70
25.00
130.00
25.30
25.30
25.30
25.32
25.20
25.22
25.30
25.30
25.05
25.10
25.05
25.05
25.05
25.10
25.05
25.05
25.12
25.00
25.05
30.00
30.00
37.00
35.00
32.00
27.00
27.00
35.00
57.00
35.00
57.00
35.00
35.00
35.00
35.00
42.00

e
e
e
e
e
2566.23
2550.0
0.68
0.34
0.34
133.30
133.30
2480.0
4.00
4.00
2274.0
11.49
11.49
2100.0
2000.0
50.00
50.00
200.0
200.0
220.0
220.0
186.96
186.96
25.00
20.00
15.08
15.08
18.09
25.00
18.09
12.06
12.06
36.00
36.00
36.00
12.06
12.06
2.48
9.58
0.318
0.318
0.106
0.106
0.159
0.053
0.212
0.129
0.129

298.40
104.20
104.20
104.20
4650.0
104.20
106.30
298.40
363.90
363.90
106.70
106.90
106.70
105.50
106.40
107.20
298.40
404.30
105.50
105.50
105.50
105.70
105.10
105.40
105.50
105.80
104.40
105.90
104.40
104.40
104.40
105.30
104.40
104.40
105.6
104.40
104.90
125.10
125.40
154.60
146.10
133.50
112.60
112.60
4628.0
4577.0
4628.0
4577.0
4628.0
4628.0
4628.0
4628.0
4612.0

5.6990
0.3648
0.3648
0.3648
11.620
0.3648
0.3718
5.6990
5.7300
5.7300
0.3732
0.3733
0.3732
0.3690
0.3698
0.3746
5.6990
5.7760
0.3690
0.3690
0.3690
0.3693
0.3637
0.3678
0.3690
0.3692
0.3655
0.3663
0.3655
0.3655
0.3655
0.3656
0.3655
0.3655
0.3662
0.3655
0.3654
0.4344
0.4346
0.5299
0.5029
0.4619
0.3928
0.3928
11.670
11.71
11.67
11.71
11.67
11.67
11.67
11.67
11.69

then sent to the de-watering facility for increasing the dry matter
content of it to 22.0%. The mass ow rate of the digested sludge is
reduced to 2.48 kg/s at the de-watering facility exit and the total
exergy rate of the sludge cake is obtained as 7296.4 kW. This sludge
cake is not used for any useful purpose for possible on-site or offsite applications, and thus is considered as waste and not taken
into account for actual exergy analysis and assessment of anaerobic
digestion process. In this case, the only useful output of anaerobic
digestion is the biogas. Biogas production strongly depends upon
the type of the sludge and the operating conditions of the anaerobic
digesters. For each 1 m3 biogas produced in GASKI WWTP, 68.26 kg
of sludge with the dry matter content of 5.0% is digested (or
degraded). Due to the mesophilic sludge digestion process in the
anaerobic reactors, biogas is produced with the composition of
which is listed in Table 2. The lower heating value of the produced

Specic
energy e (kJ/kg)
0.000
0.000
e
e
e
0.000
2.101
0.000
65.430
65.430
2.526
2.659
2.524
1.271
2.234
2.945
0.000
105.90
1.321
1.321
1.271
1.462
0.852
1.150
1.321
1.591
0.218
1.708
0.218
0.218
0.218
1.084
0.218
0.218
1.418
0.0093
0.672
20.920
21.150
50.360
41.840
29.290
8.375
8.375
22.530
73.110
22.530
73.110
22.530
22.530
22.530
22.530
38.460

Total specic
exergy jtotal
(kJ/kg)
0.000
0.000
e
e
e
9.000
9.012
0.000
56.010
56.010
9.020
9.120
9.018
9.018
9.740
5.022
0.000
85.70
3.072
0.947
5.018
5.134
5.017
5.249
66.942
67.146
66.880
68.150
668.660
5.050
668.660
669.372
668.660
5.050
669.643
668.660
669.151
668.834
669.005
669.815
936.807
936.454
2942.098
0.913
31,372.67
31,411.64
31,372.67
31,411.64
31,372.67
31,372.67
31,372.67
31,372.67
31,383.21

Energy
rate E_ (kW)
0.00
0.00
e
e
e
0.00
5357.55
0.000
22.25
22.25
336.72
354.44
6259.50
5.08
8.93
6693.93
0.00
1216.79
2774.10
2642.0
63.53
73.08
170.40
229.90
290.62
350.02
40.76
319.33
20.84
19.92
3.29
16.35
3.94
39.66
25.65
0.11
8.10
753.12
761.40
1812.96
504.59
353.2
20.35
80.24
7.16
23.25
2.39
7.75
3.58
1.19
4.78
2.91
4.96

Total exergy
_
rate Ex
(kW)
total

0.00
0.00
e
e
e
23,096.07
22,980.60
0.000
19.04
19.04
1202.37
1215.70
22,364.64
36.07
38.96
11,420.03
0.00
984.69
6451.2
1894.0
250.90
256.70
1003.40
1049.80
14,727.24
14,772.12
12,503.88
12,741.32
16,716.50
101.00
10,083.39
10,094.13
12,096.06
126.25
12,113.84
8064.04
8069.96
24,078.02
24,084.18
24,113.34
11,297.89
11,293.64
7296.40
8.75
9976.51
9988.90
3325.50
3329.63
4988.25
1662.75
6651.0
4047.07
4048.43

biogas is 21.47 MJ/Nm3 (17,892 kJ/kg). The specic chemical exergy


of the biogas in this composition is calculated to be 31,168 kJ/kg by
using Eq. (4). Then the total exergy rate of the biogas produced with
a mass ow rate of 0.212 kg/s is obtained as 6651.0 kW.
Table 5
The digested dry sludge composition in a municipal wastewater
treatment plant [23].
Content

Volumetric values (%)

Carbon (C)
Hydrogen (H)
Oxygen (O)
Nitrogen (N)
Sulfur (S)
Ash
Other

50.0
2.5
12.5
1.1
0.4
10.0
23.5

A. Abusoglu et al. / Renewable Energy 48 (2012) 424e435

In dening the exergy ow through the subsystems, fuel and


product terms must be identied for each subsystem. The product
represents the desired result produced by the component (i.e.
subsystem) whereas the fuel represents the resources expended to
generate this product. Both the product and the fuel are expressed
_ F
in terms of exergy, and denitions of the exergies of the fuels Ex
_ P for the components of the
and the exergies of products Ex
subsystem should be provided. In Table 6, energy and exergy
analyses results of the WWTP are given.
We note the followings from these results:
 The exergetic efciency of the GASKI WWTP may be dened
due to the sludge output use at the end of the wastewater
treatment and biogas production processes. In the actual case,
the de-watered digested sludge output is used as a land
fertilizer. Thus, it is considered as waste and the actual exergetic efciency of the WWTP using Eq. (5) is obtained as 34.0%.
The remaining 66.0% of the total exergy input to WWTP is
destroyed. This corresponds to 16,634 kW, which is the total
exergy destruction in the WWTP (see Fig. 2). In the ideal case,
the de-watered digested sludge would be used as a secondary
energy source for off-site applications. In this case, the sludge
output from the WWTP could be seen as a by-product and the
exergetic efciency of the overall plant would become by using
Eq. (6) as 78.8%. The usage of digested sludge output as
a secondary valuable energy source clearly increases the
exergetic efciency of the overall WWTP.
 The exergetic efciencies of the air blowers are determined to
be 85.5% and 80.9%. The average exergetic efciencies of pumps
are determined to be somewhat higher than 75.0%. These
values may be viewed as the indication of satisfactory exergetic
performance for these components.
 The most exergy destructive component of WWTP is anaerobic
digester recirculation heat exchanger (17.42%). Exergy
destruction in this heat exchange unit is mainly due to the high

431

average temperature difference between the two unmixed


uid streams.
 The total power consumption for treatment processes in GASKI
WWTP is 2083 kW. 52% of this power demand is supplied from
national grid. The remaining 48% is supplied by the biogas
engine powered cogeneration plant which has a total power
output of 1000 kW.
 The most exergy destructive sub-system in the WWTP is
secondary treatment system (14.83%). This is mostly due to the
highly complex and irreversible characteristics of the
secondary treatment process. The exergetic efciencies of the
primary treatment system, thickening and otation system and
anaerobic digestion process are found to be 53.47%, 51.30% and
79.74%, respectively. The high exergetic efciency obtained for
the anaerobic digestion process depends on high processing
capacity of anaerobic reactors in which a sufciently large
bacterial mass is retained.

4.2. Thermoeconomic analysis and assessment of GASKI WWTP


The economic data including the rst capital investments and the
other expenditures of GASKI WWTP are obtained from the plant
management. The operating and maintenance (OM) costs are
obtained by considering WWTPs entire economic life (i.e., 25 years
from January 1999 to December 2024). These costs are escalated by
using average nominal escalation rate, which is 5% in US dollars. (The
currency used in this paper is US$ and it is used as $ sign in this paper.)
The average capacity factor (s) for the entire WWTP is 91.7% which
means that the system operates at full load 8030 h out of the total
available 8760 h per year. The purchased equipment costs, the hourly
levelized costs of the capital investment, the OM costs, and the total
costs of the components of the WWTP plant are given in Table 7.
The total capital investment of GASKI WWTP was 56.0 million
US dollars, with the breakdown costs listed in Table 7. The exergy

Table 6
Energetic and exergetic analyses results for GASKI WWTP. State numbers refer to Fig. 1 (ADRHE: Anaerobic digestion recirculation heat exchanger).
Component
Air blowers
AB-1
AB-2
Pumps
P1
P2
P3
P4
P5
P6
P7
P8
P9
P10
Compressors
C1
C2
Booster
C3
ADRHE
Water Line
Sludge Line
Primary Treatment System
Secondary Treatment System
Thickening and Flotation System
Anaerobic Digestion Process
WWTP
a
b

Values obtained by using Eqs. (5).


Values obtained by using Eqs. (6).

States

Q_ (kW)

_ (kW)
W

_ F (kW)
Ex

_ P (kW)
Ex

_ D (kW)
Ex

(%)

3-4-5
12-13

e
e

44.54
1216.79

44.54
1216.79

38.08
984.69

6.46
232.1

85.50
80.93

6e7
9e10
16e17
18e19
20e21
22e23
25e26
27e28
29e30
31e32

e
e

e
e
e
e

17.72
3.85
9.55
59.50
59.40
278.57
13.06
21.71
8.00
8.28

17.72
3.85
9.55
59.50
59.40
278.57
13.06
21.71
8.00
8.28

13.33
2.89
5.80
46.40
44.88
237.44
10.74
17.78
5.92
6.16

4.39
0.96
3.75
13.10
14.52
41.13
2.32
3.93
2.08
2.12

75.23
75.06
60.73
77.98
75.56
85.24
82.24
82.90
74.00
74.40

38e39
40e41

e
e

16.09
5.36

16.09
5.36

12.39
4.13

3.70
1.23

77.00
77.05

45e46

2.05

2.05

1.36

0.69

66.34

48e51
32e33
e
e
e
e
e

1066
1051.7
e
e
e
e
e

167.4

29.16

138.24

17.42

23,236.27
12,769.37
16,172.70
8778.14
25,179.07a
25,179.07b

12,423.43
1894.0
8297.21
7000.0
8545.0a
19,838.64b

10,812.84
10,875.37
7875.49
1778.14
16,634.07a
5340.43b

53.47
14.83
51.30
79.74
34.0a
78.79b

e
e

e
e
191.83
1349.34
350.78
191.78
2083.0

432

A. Abusoglu et al. / Renewable Energy 48 (2012) 424e435

Fig. 2. The rate of exergy destructions of the actual WWTP as compared to the sum of sewage exergy and power supply inputs. Treated wastewater exergy and biogas exergy
outputs are also shown.

ow rates, cost ow rates and the unit exergy costs associated with
the main streams (sewage, sludge and biogas) and components
according to the nomenclature shown in Fig. 1 of the GASKI WWTP
are given in Table 8. These results are obtained by solving the linear
algebraic equations developed and listed in Table 3.
The exergetic cost parameters of the WWTP subcomponents are
given in Table 9. In this table, unit exergetic cost of fuel and products are obtained using the stream values listed in Table 8 and
operation and maintenance cost rates are obtained from Table 7.

We note the followings from the exergoeconomic results of this


wastewater treatment plant as listed in Table 8 and Table 9:
 Since wastewater treatment is one of the infrastructural sewere
services supplied by a local government, the exergetic cost rate
and the specic unit exergetic cost of the sewage entering the
WWTP are taken as zero. The corresponding values of these
costs for the treated wastewater exit are 62.05 $/h and
3.804 /m3. The total amount of treated wastewater per day in

Table 7
The cost rates associated with rst capital investment and OM costs for the subcomponents of the GASKI WWTP.
Component

PEC (  103 $)

CI
Z_ k ($/h)

OM
Z_ k ($/h)

TOTAL
Z_ k
($/h)

Coarse and ne screens


Grit and grease removal tanks
Primary sedimentation tanks
Aeration tanks
Secondary sedimentation tanks
Sludge thickening tanks
Sludge otation tanks
Sludge mixing tank
Primary anaerobic sludge digestion tanks
Secondary anaerobic sludge digestion tank
Sludge de-watering unit
Air blower -AB1
Air blower -AB2
Pump-P1
Pump-P2
Pump-P3
Pump-P4
Pump-P5
Pump-P6
Pump-P7
Pump-P8
Pump-P9
Pump-P10
Sludge heat exchanger- ADRHE
Biogas compressors-C1
Biogas compressor-C2
Booster-C3
Other plant equipment
TOTAL PURCHASED- EQUIPMENT COSTS (PEC)
Purchased-equipment installation
Piping
Instrumentation and controls
Electrical equipment and materials
TOTAL ONSITE COSTS
Total off-site costs
TOTAL DIRECT COSTS (DC)
TOTAL INDIRECT COSTS (IC)
FIXED CAPITAL INVESTMENT
Other outlays
TOTAL CAPITAL INVESTMENT

1200
2000
4000
6000
4000
4000
4000
1000
4500
1500
1000
21.0
450.0
15.12
2.760
1380
20.50
23.31
15.68
7.60
1.80
4.80
1.02
225
750
250
250
551
37,169.740
3360
2000
1548
2000
46,077.7
3000
49,077.7
3500
52,577.7
3422.3
56,000.0

3.97
6.61
13.23
19.84
13.23
13.23
13.23
3.31
14.90
4.96
3.31
0.07
1.49
0.05
0.009
4.56
0.068
0.08
0.052
0.03
0.006
0.016
0.0034
0.744
2.480
0.827
0.827
1.822
122.89
e
e
e
e
e
e
e
e
e
e
e

0.04
0.70
1.32
2.00
1.32
1.32
1.32
0.03
0.15
0.05
0.03
0.0014
0.03
0.001
0.0002
0.09
0.0014
0.0016
0.001
0.005
0.0001
0.0032
0.0007
0.015
0.05
0.017
0.017
0.018
1.843
e
e
e
e
e
e
e
e
e
e
e

4.01
7.31
14.55
21.84
14.55
14.55
14.55
3.34
15.05
5.01
3.34
0.071
1.52
0.051
0.009
4.65
0.069
0.082
0.053
0.035
0.006
0.017
0.004
0.758
2.53
0.844
0.844
1.84
124.73
e
e
e
e
e
e
e
e
e
e
e

A. Abusoglu et al. / Renewable Energy 48 (2012) 424e435


Table 8
Exergy ow rates, cost ow rates and the unit exergy costs associated with the main
streams and components of the GASKI WWTP. States are referred to Fig. 1.
C_ ($/h)

State

_ (kW)
Ex

Sewage inlet
Treated wastewater exit
Sludge exit
(Primary treatment system)
Sludge exit
(Secondary treatment system)
Sludge exit (Flotation unit)
Sludge exit (Thickening unit)
Sludge exit (Primary anaerobic
digestion)
Sludge exit (Secondary anaerobic
digestion and de-watering unit)
Biogas exit (Primary and secondary
anaerobic digestion)
Component
AB-1
AB-2
Electric Motors
_
W
P1
_
W
P2
_
W P3
_
W
P4
_ P5
W
_
W
P6
_ P7
W
_
W P8
_
W
P9
_
W

23,096.07
1894.0
1003.40

0.00
3.804
0.341

0.00
62.047
2.947

14,727.24

0.991

125.655

16,716.50
12,096.06
11,297.89

0.277
0.198
0.790

152.572
20.599
76.905

11,293.64

1.907

81.903

6651.0

13.478

175.985

_ (kW)
Ex
44.54
1216.79
319.27
17.72
3.85
9.55
59.50
59.40
278.57
13.06
21.71
8.0
8.28
16.09
5.36
2.05

c ($/GJ)
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0

C_ ($/h)
4.329
118.272
31.033
1.722
0.374
0.928
5.783
5.774
27.077
1.269
2.110
0.778
0.805
1.564
0.521
0.199

P10

C-1
C-2
C-3

c (/m3)

the WWTP is 172,800 m3. This corresponds to the total treated


wastewater cost of 6573.31 $ per day. The treated wastewater
cost mainly includes the operation costs of the wastewater
treatment processes.
 The exergetic cost rate and the specic unit exergetic cost of the
activated sludge with a dry matter content of 0.5% at the exit of
secondary treatment system are 125.65 $/h and 0.991 /m3,
respectively. The corresponding costs for sludge at the thickening unit are 20.6 $/h and 0.198 /m3, respectively. This

433

decrease is mainly due to the increased specic chemical


exergy of the sludge at the end of the otation and thickening
processes. Note that, at the end of the thickening process,
activated sludge has a dry matter content of 5.0%.
 The dry matter content of the sludge increases to 8.0% through
the anaerobic digestion process and the specic unit exergetic
cost of the digested sludge at the exit of primary anaerobic
digestion unit is 0.790 /m3. The corresponding value of the
digested sludge at the exit of secondary digestion unit is
1.907 /m3. The increase of unit cost in the primary digestion
process is due to the high retention time which causes the
maximum contact between the incoming activated sludge and
the bacteria to increase the methane content in the produced
biogas. The specic unit exergetic cost of the digested sludge at
the exit of the secondary anaerobic digestion process is more
than double the cost of the primary digestion. This is because,
in addition to high retention time of sludge in reactor, the
power consumption for the de-watering process in WWTP
after secondary anaerobic digestion process is about 81 kW per
ton dry matter content of the digested sludge. The exergetic
cost rates of digested sludge at the exits of primary and
secondary anaerobic digestion units are obtained as 76.91 $/h
and 81.90 $/h, respectively.
 The daily biogas production of the GASKI WWTP is 18,300 m3.
As stated, for each 1 m3 biogas produced in the plant, 68.26 kg
of sludge with the dry matter content of 8.0% is digested in
anaerobic reactors. The average exergetic cost rate and the
average specic unit exergetic cost of the biogas at the exit of
anaerobic digestion reactors are 175.9 $/h and 13.48 /m3,
respectively. The daily biogas production cost in GASKI WWTP
is obtained as $2057.3. In the plant, this biogas is used as the
fuel for gas engine powered cogeneration facility, which
produces 24,000 kW net electricity output per day.
 The exergetic cost rates for the air-blower 2 (AB-2), electric
motors and pump-6 (P6) are 118.27 $/h, 31.03 $/h and 27.07 $/h,
respectively. These costs are the highest exergy cost rates
among the other plant components since the exergy ow rates
of these components are notably high and all exergy available
at the exit of these components is supplied by mechanical
power which is the most expensive fuel in the plant. The
exergoeconomic factor of the AB-2 is 0.13%, which is relatively

Table 9
The unit exergetic costs of fuels and products, cost rate of exergy destruction, operation and maintenance cost rate, and exergoeconomic factor for the GASKI WWTP
components. (ADRHE: Anaerobic digestion recirculation heat exchanger).
Component

cf,k ($/GJ)

cp,k ($/GJ)

_ D (kW)
Ex

C_ D ($/h)

OM
Z_ k ($/h)

f (%)

Air blower-1
Air blower-2
Pump-P1
Pump-P2
Pump-P3
Pump-P4
Pump-P5
Pump-P6
Pump-P7
Pump-P8
Pump-P9
Pump-P10
Biogas compressor-C1
Biogas compressor-C2
Booster-C3
ADRHE
Primary treatment system
Secondary treatment system
Thickening and otation system
Anaerobic digestion process

27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0
9.10
27.0
27.0
27.0
27.0

32.11
33.81
34.82
36.81
30.14
36.00
33.15
32.04
28.19
34.16
42.21
42.03
39.32
35.31
42.71
51.79
27.82
34.33
28.85
34.35

6.46
232.1
4.39
0.96
3.75
13.10
14.52
41.13
2.32
3.93
2.08
2.12
3.70
1.23
0.69
138.24
10,812.84
10,875.37
7875.49
1778.14

0.63
22.56
0.43
0.09
0.36
1.27
1.41
4.00
0.23
0.38
0.20
0.21
0.36
0.12
0.07
13.44
1051.0
1057.1
765.5
172.8

0.0014
0.03
0.001
0.0002
0.09
0.0014
0.0016
0.001
0.005
0.0001
0.0032
0.0007
0.05
0.017
0.017
0.015
2.064
3.442
2.679
0.33

0.22
0.13
0.23
0.22
20.0
0.11
0.11
0.02
2.13
0.03
1.57
0.33
12.20
12.41
19.50
0.11
0.20
0.32
0.35
0.19

434

A. Abusoglu et al. / Renewable Energy 48 (2012) 424e435

low as compared with other components in the plant (see


Table 9). This value depends on the dominant effect of the
operation cost rate in the exergoeconomic factor denition
given by Eq. (16).
The specic exergetic fuel and product costs for the anaerobic
digestion reactor heat exchanger (ADRHE) unit are 9.1 $/h and
51.8 $/h, respectively. Note that ADRHE has the lowest exergetic
efciency of the WWTP (17.42%). This difference between inlet
and exit cost streams clearly indicates that the unit exergetic
product cost is inversely proportional to the exergetic efciency. Because of the low mass ow rate of hot water as
compared to digested sludge in the ADRHE unit, exergetic
destruction cost rate involve high weighing factor in the
denominator of exergoeconomic factor relation. Cost effectiveness for this unit can be achieved by reducing both exergy
destruction and operation cost.
Pump-3 (P3) has the highest exergoeconomic factor (20.0%)
among other pumps. It is due to high value of the operation and
maintenance costs of this component compared with the
exergetic destruction cost rate. On the other hand, pump-6 (P6)
has the lowest exergoeconomic factor (0.02%) in the plant since
the exergy destruction cost rate of this component is the
highest among the other plant components.
The exergoeconomic factor for biogas compressors (C1 and C2)
and booster (C3) are 12.4% and 19.5%, respectively. Thermoeconomic improvement of these units can be achieved by
a decrease of the total effect of the operation and destruction
cost rates.
Exergy destruction cost rates of the primary and secondary
treatment systems are found to be 1051 $/h and 1057 $/h,
respectively. These are the highest exergy destruction cost
rates among other sub-systems. On the other hand, anaerobic
digestion process has the lowest exergy destruction cost rate
(172.8 $/h). This is mainly due to the highly efcient process
occurs in the digestion units.

In Fig. 3, variation of exergoeconomic factors for subcomponents


of WWTP with respect to corresponding cost rate of exergy
destructions is given.

Fig. 3. Variation of exergoeconomic factors for the subcomponents of WWTP with


respect to corresponding cost rate of exergy destructions.

5. Conclusions
The developed thermoeconomic analysis procedure and
formulations based on SPECO method are applied to an existing
municipal wastewater treatment plant using actual operational
plant data. The results provide important information for identication of the sites with greater exergy destructions and consequently greater potential for improvements. Thermoeconomic
analysis helps allocate the costs to the plants main streams
(sewage, sludge and biogas) and subcomponents. Following
conclusions can be drawn based on the thermoeconomic analysis
and results obtained:
 GASKI WWTP treats nearly 222,000 m3 per day (2566 kg/s) of
domestic wastewater. After primary and secondary treatment
systems, the treated wastewater, or efuent, is then released
into the local river with the mass ow rate of 2000 kg/s.
 Due to the sludge stabilization processes through otation
and thickening systems, the dry matter content of the sludge
increases to 5.0%. This digested sludge is then sent to the dewatering facility for increasing the dry matter content to
22.0%.
 For each 1 m3 biogas produced in GASKI WWTP, 68.26 kg of
sludge with the dry matter content of 5.0% is digested. The total
exergy rate of the biogas produced with a mass ow rate of
0.212 kg/s is obtained as 6653 kW.
 The exergetic efciency of the GASKI WWTP is obtained as
34.0%. The remaining 66.0% of the total exergy input to WWTP
is destroyed. This corresponds to 16,634 kW, which is the total
exergy destruction in the WWTP.
 The exergetic cost rate and the specic unit exergetic cost of the
sewage entering the WWTP are taken as zero. The corresponding costs are 62.05 $/h and 3.804 /m3 for the treated
water at the exit of WWTP; 81.90 $/h and 1.907 /m3 for
digested sludge at the exit of secondary anaerobic digestion
reactor and de-watering unit; and 175.9 $/h and 13.48 /m3 for
the biogas produced at the exit of primary and secondary
anaerobic digestion reactors, respectively.
 All mechanically driven components in the plant use the
most expensive fuel in the plant, electricity. The total
power consumption for treatment processes in GASKI
WWTP is 2083 kW. 52.0% of this power demand is supplied
from the national grid. The remaining 48.0% is supplied by
the biogas engine powered cogeneration plant which has
a total power output of 1000 kWh. The unit specic exergetic fuel cost (of electricity) for the plant components is
27 $/GJ.
 The exergetic cost rates for the air-blower 2 (AB-2), electric
motors, and pump-6 (P6) are 118.27 $/h, 31.03 $/h and 27.07 $/
h, respectively. These costs are the highest exergy cost rates
among the other plant components.
 The specic exergetic fuel and product costs for the anaerobic
digestion reactor heat exchanger (ADRHE) unit are 9.1 $/h and
51.8 $/h, respectively. This difference is mainly due to the fact
that it has the lowest exergetic efciency among all plant
components. It has also one of the lowest exergoeconomic
factors in the plant.
 The booster (C3), biogas compressors (C1 and C2) and pump-3
(P3) have the highest exergoeconomic factors among all other
plant components. This is mainly due to the high owning and
operating costs of these components.
In general, better exergetic performance and cost effectiveness can be achieved by reducing exergy destruction
through better operation conditions as well as by reducing

A. Abusoglu et al. / Renewable Energy 48 (2012) 424e435

operational and exergy destruction costs through all WWTP


subcomponents.
Acknowledgment
This study is sponsored by The Scientic and Technological
Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) under the project 110M053.
This support is greatly appreciated. The authors also thank to the
plant management and engineers of GASKI WWTP for supplying
plant data and their cooperation throughout this study.
Nomenclature
_
Ex
_ D
Ex
_ F
Ex
_ P
Ex
h
_
m
Q_ cv
s
T
T0
_
W
c
C_
T
Z_
CL
Z_
OM
Z_

Rf,mixt
f

exergy rate (kW)


rate of exergy destruction (kW)
exergy rate of fuel (kW)
exergy rate of product (kW)
enthalpy (kJ/kg)
mass ow rate (kg/s)
rate of heat transfer (kW)
entropy (kJ/kg K)
temperature (K)
environment temperature (K)
power (kW)
cost per unit of exergy ($/GJ)
cost rate associated with exergy ($/h)
cost rate associated with the sum of capital investment
and OM ($/h)
cost rate associated with capital investment ($/h)
cost rate associated with operation and maintenance
(OM) ($/h)
gas constant of biogas mixture
exergoeconomic factor

Abbreviations
WWTP wastewater treatment plant
CRF
capital recovery factor
PEC
purchased equipment cost
OM
operating and maintenance costs
SPECO Specic exergy costing method
Greek Letters
estimated expansion coefcient for operation
improvement

exergetic efciency
j
specic ow exergy (kJ/kg)
b
variable atomic ratio
s
total annual operating hours of system at full load (h)
g
maintenance factor

435

Subscripts
k
any component
F
fuel
P
product
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