277559 Integrated Use of Geographic Informational System and MIXED-Integer Linear Programming for Indentifying Optimal Agricultural Areas for Sewage Sludge Amendment: A Case Study of Catalonia

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Pavel Vaskan, Chemical engineering, University Rovira i Virgilii, Tarragona, Spain

INTEGRATED USE OF GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATIONAL SYSTEM AND MIXED-INTEGER LINEAR PROGRAMMING FOR INDENTIFYING OPTIMAL AGRICULTURAL AREAS FOR SEWAGE SLUDGE AMENDMENT: A CASE STUDY OF CATALONIA

P. Vaskan[1], A. Passuello[2], G. Guillén-Gosálbez[3], M. Schuhmacher[4], L. Jiménez[5]

Departament d'Enginyeria Química (EQ), Escola Tècnica Superior d'Enginyeria Química (ETSEQ), Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV), Campus Sescelades, Avinguda Països Catalans, 26, 43007 Tarragona, Spain

Abstract

Deciding the best agricultural soils for sewage sludge amendment is not a trivial task. Several environmental aspects, such as groundwater contamination by nitrates, open waters and soil protection, as well as human exposure to the contaminants present in the sludge matrix must be considered along with economic aspects, making this task quite challenging. This is because the management of this residue concerns different stakeholders, with different views of the problem and conflicting interests. In addition, they may find that their interests are not reached, fact that leads to a low acceptance of the practice.

Reaching a final solution satisfying all the decision-makers involved is indeed very challenging. Systematic tools based on multi-objective mathematical programming are well suited to tackle this type of problems, as they allow generating and assessing a large number of potential solutions. The final goal is to calculate a set of Pareto optimal alternatives, that is, a set of solutions with the property that it is impossible to improve them in one of the objectives without necessarily worsening at least another criterion.

In this work, we study the use of multi-objective optimization for identifying the best geographical areas for sewage sludge (SS) amendment in terms of economic and environmental criteria. Our approach integrates geographic informational systems (GIS) and multi-objective mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) within a unified framework that allows exploring in a rigorous and systematic manner a large number of alternatives for sewage sludge amendment from which the best ones (according to the decision-makers' preferences) are finally identified.

The capabilities of our approach were tested through its application to a case study based on Catalonia. Given a certain amount of sludge to be treated and a set of available agricultural areas. Numerical results show that it is possible to improve the environmental performance of the final solution by compromising the associated cost. Our methodology is intended to assist decision-makers in such a challenging task.



[1]  pavel.vaskan@urv.cat

[2] ana.passuelo@urv.cat

[3] gonzalo.guillen@urv.cat

[4] laureano.jimenez@urv.cat

[5] laureano.jimenez@urv.cat


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See more of this Session: Poster Session: Sustainability and Sustainable Biorefineries
See more of this Group/Topical: Sustainable Engineering Forum