Industrial wastewater treatment is gaining significance in literature due to stricter environmental policies and increased environmental awareness. The selection of the wastewater configuration encompasses both the treatment as well as several decisions around wastewater collection and disposal pertaining industrial decision-making sphere. However, so far in the wastewater literature, research has mostly discussed either technical features of wastewater technologies, or wastewater policy issues at broader level, without focusing on the industrial decision-making issues and driving factors leading to the selection of a specific configuration. Starting from a literature review, the present study provides an innovative framework of the possible options for wastewater system configuration, as well as major adoption factors by industrial decision-makers. The factors have been classified according to 7 categories, namely: influent-related, technological, economic/financial, internal socio-cultural, external socio-cultural, regulation, site characteristics. The framework, validated with acknowledgeable experts, policy makers and firms, has been preliminarily applied to Italian and Australian food firms. Our investigation reveals that the framework was able to include all relevant problems faced by industries in the selection of a treatment system configuration; besides, the relative importance of factors has been assessed: legal requirements emerge as the most critical factors, followed by volume and discharge fee, the latter particularly interesting for policy makers purposes, since it may guide the decision-making process. Further, the wastewater volume seems to play a key role in our exploratory investigation, with smaller firms preferring a complete off-site treatment to reduce the complexity, whilst larger firms preferring instead more partial or complete on-site treatment configurations for compliance costs reduction. In conclusion, we have provided policy and managerial implications stemming from the study as well as sketched interesting future research avenues.

What factors affect the selection of industrial wastewater treatment configuration?

Negri M.;Cagno E.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Industrial wastewater treatment is gaining significance in literature due to stricter environmental policies and increased environmental awareness. The selection of the wastewater configuration encompasses both the treatment as well as several decisions around wastewater collection and disposal pertaining industrial decision-making sphere. However, so far in the wastewater literature, research has mostly discussed either technical features of wastewater technologies, or wastewater policy issues at broader level, without focusing on the industrial decision-making issues and driving factors leading to the selection of a specific configuration. Starting from a literature review, the present study provides an innovative framework of the possible options for wastewater system configuration, as well as major adoption factors by industrial decision-makers. The factors have been classified according to 7 categories, namely: influent-related, technological, economic/financial, internal socio-cultural, external socio-cultural, regulation, site characteristics. The framework, validated with acknowledgeable experts, policy makers and firms, has been preliminarily applied to Italian and Australian food firms. Our investigation reveals that the framework was able to include all relevant problems faced by industries in the selection of a treatment system configuration; besides, the relative importance of factors has been assessed: legal requirements emerge as the most critical factors, followed by volume and discharge fee, the latter particularly interesting for policy makers purposes, since it may guide the decision-making process. Further, the wastewater volume seems to play a key role in our exploratory investigation, with smaller firms preferring a complete off-site treatment to reduce the complexity, whilst larger firms preferring instead more partial or complete on-site treatment configurations for compliance costs reduction. In conclusion, we have provided policy and managerial implications stemming from the study as well as sketched interesting future research avenues.
Adoption factors
Empirical evidence from food sector
Framework
Industrial wastewater treatment
Treatment system configuration
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1165172
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 0
  • Scopus 8
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 8
social impact