Contemporary Carwash Wastewater Recycling Technologies: A Systematic Literature Review

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Agyen, K. G
Monney, I
Antwi-Agyei, P.
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World Environment
Faced with dwindling freshwater resources globally, many industries, including the carwash industry, have turned to wastewater recycling technologies. But the performance of these technologies, their environmental impacts, and economic viability have not been extensively examined. This systematic review examined the treatment efficiencies of modern carwash wastewater recycling technologies, their cost implications, and their by-products. The study drew on an extensive literature search spanning the last decade and found 34 research articles suitable. The results showed combined treatment methods as the most typical approach adopted for treating carwash wastewater. Combined technologies incorporating membrane filtration process almost completely remove COD (99%) and turbidity (99%), but flux reduction and membrane fouling present significant problems. Other technologies employing chemical or electrochemical coagulation produce sludge containing hydroxide and oxyhydroxide ions. But this sludge is mainly landfilled. The highest capital and annual operational costs for the technologies assessed are about US$10,000 and US$3000, respectively. The payback period ranged between 5 and 140 months and saves up to 5000m3 of freshwater annually, translating into savings of about US$20,000 yearly. This study generally observed an extensive focus on the treatment efficiencies of CWW recycling technologies to the neglect of their economic viability and environmental impact. Areas for further studies are discussed in the paper.
Agyen, K. G., Monney, I., & Antwi-Agyei, P. (2021). Contemporary Carwash Wastewater Recycling Technologies: A Systematic Literature Review. World Environment, 11(2), 83-98.