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Life cycle assessment and cost-benefit analysis of nature-based solutions for contaminated land remediation: A mini-review

Alshehri, Khaled, Gao, Zhenghui, Harbottle, Michael ORCID:, Sapsford, Devin ORCID: and Cleall, Peter ORCID: 2023. Life cycle assessment and cost-benefit analysis of nature-based solutions for contaminated land remediation: A mini-review. Heliyon 9 (10) , e20632. 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e20632

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Nature-based solutions (NbS) have gained significant attention as a promising approach for remediating contaminated lands, offering multiple ecosystem services (ESs) benefits beyond pollution mitigation. However, the quantitative sustainability assessment of NbS remediation systems, particularly with regard to post-remediation impacts, remains limited. This mini-review aims to address the existing gaps in the assessment of NbS remediation systems by evaluating the limitations of life cycle assessment (LCA) and cost-benefit analysis (CBA) methodologies. A systematic literature search was conducted resulting in the review of 44 relevant studies published between 2006 and 2023. The review highlights an increasing trend in the coverage in the sustainability assessment literature of NbS remediation systems. Phytoextraction was identified as the main NbS mechanism employed in 65 % of the reviewed works, targeting contaminants such as heavy metals and hydrocarbons. However, the post-remediation aspects, including impacts on ESs and the end-of-life management of NbS biomass, were often neglected in the assessments with only a subset of studies partially exploring such aspects. The findings underscore the need for a comprehensive and integrated approach to assess the sustainability of NbS remediation systems, including the incorporation of economic factors, site-specific considerations, and post-remediation impacts. Addressing these gaps will enhance the understanding of NbS effectiveness and facilitate informed decision-making for contaminated land remediation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2405-8440
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 December 2023
Date of Acceptance: 3 October 2023
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2023 10:00

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