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Sustainable Environmental Engineering by Mika Sillanpää, Walter Z. Tang

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10Recovery

No material is wasted in a functioning ecosystem.

10.1 Principle 7

The degree of recovering water, energy, nutrient, and materials from wastewater (WW) reflects the sustainable level in EEIS design. In theory, almost all the wastewater (WW) could be recovered to reusable water because contaminants in WW is less than 0.1% by weight. However, not all the water could be recovered because water used in economy tend to dissipate within the economic system due to the second law of thermodynamics. In addition, energy resources are usually not recyclable. Energy would deteriorate to lower grade energy in addition to dissipation in the environments. Indeed, entropy would put a limit in designing recovery processes of EEIS. This irreversible energy degradation rate depends upon not only the ratio between the intensities of output and input flows but also the energy quality. Therefore, the ultimate decision whether to recover ...

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