Title
Groundwater remediation and the cost effectiveness of phytoremediation
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Applied Economics
Faculty of Sciences. Bioscience Engineering
Publication type
article
Publication
Boca Raton, Fla ,
Subject
Economics
Source (journal)
International journal of phytoremediation. - Boca Raton, Fla
Volume/pages
14(2012) :9 , p. 861-877
ISSN
1522-6514
ISI
000304914700004
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Abstract
In 1999, phytoremediation was applied at the site of a Belgian car factory to contain two BTEX plumes. This case study evaluates the cost effectiveness of phytoremediation compared to other remediation options, applying a tailored approach for economic evaluation. Generally, when phytoremediation is addressed as being cost effective, the cost effectiveness is only determined on an average basis. This study however, demonstrates that an incremental analysis may provide a more nuanced conclusion. When the cost effectiveness is calculated on an average basis, in this particular case, the no containment strategy (natural attenuation) has the lowest cost per unit mass removed and hence, should be preferred. However, when the cost effectiveness is determined incrementally, no containment should only be preferred if the value of removing an extra gram of contaminant mass is lower than 320. Otherwise, a permeable reactive barrier should be adopted. A similar analysis is provided for the effect determined on the basis of remediation time. Phytoremediation is preferred compared to no containment if reaching the objective one year earlier is worth 7 000.
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