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Cost-benefit analysis of copper recovery in remediation projects: A case study from Sweden

Yevheniya Volchko (Institutionen för bygg- och miljöteknik, Geologi och geoteknik) ; Jenny Norrman (Institutionen för bygg- och miljöteknik, Geologi och geoteknik) ; Lars Rosén (Institutionen för bygg- och miljöteknik, Geologi och geoteknik) ; Karin Karlfeldt Fedje (Institutionen för bygg- och miljöteknik, Vatten Miljö Teknik)
Science of the Total Environment (0048-9697). Vol. 605 (2017), p. 300-314.
[Artikel, refereegranskad vetenskaplig]

Contamination resulting from past industrial activity is a problem throughout the world and many sites are severely contaminated by metals. Advances in research in recent years have resulted in the development of technologies for recovering metal from metal-rich materials within the framework of remediation projects. Using cost-benefit analysis (CBA), and explicitly taking uncertainties into account, this paper evaluates the potential social profitability of copper recovery as part of four remediation alternatives at a Swedish site. One alternative involves delivery of copper-rich ash to a metal production company for refining. The other three alternatives involve metal leaching from materials and sale of the resulting metal sludge for its further processing at a metal production company using metallurgical methods. All the alternatives are evaluated relative to the conventional excavation and disposal method. Metal recovery from the ash, metal sludge sale, and disposal of the contaminated soil and the ash residue at the local landfill site, was found to be the best remediation alternative. However, given the present conditions, its economic potential is low relative to the conventional excavation and disposal method but higher than direct disposal of the copper-rich ash for refining. Volatile copper prices, the high cost of processing equipment, the highly uncertain cost of the metal leaching and washing process, coupled with the substantial project risks, contribute most to the uncertainties in the CBA results for the alternatives involving metal leaching prior to refining. However, investment in processing equipment within the framework of a long-term investment project, production of safe, reusable soil residue, and higher copper prices on the metal market, can make metal recovery technology socially profitable.

Nyckelord: Cost-benefit analysis, Uncertainty analysis, Optimization Metal recycling, Metal recovery, Remediation Contaminated sites

Denna post skapades 2017-09-20.
CPL Pubid: 251992


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Institutioner (Chalmers)

Institutionen för bygg- och miljöteknik, Geologi och geoteknik (2005-2017)
Institutionen för bygg- och miljöteknik, Vatten Miljö Teknik (2005-2017)


Geovetenskap och miljövetenskap

Chalmers infrastruktur