Sustainability assessment of groundwater remediation technologies based on multi-criteria decision making method

Da An, Beidou Xi, Jingzheng Ren, Yue Wang, Xiaoping Jia, Chang He, Zhiwei Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


� 2016 Elsevier B.V. Sustainability assessment of the technologies for groundwater remediation is of vital importance for helping the decision-makers to select the most sustainable technology among multiple alternatives. This paper aims at developing an innovative methodology for sustainability assessment of the technologies for groundwater remediation. A total of eight criteria have been used for sustainability assessment of the technologies for groundwater remediation in this study, and they are capital cost, detection and analysis costs, and operation and maintenance costs in economic aspects, effect of secondary pollution environmental aspect, effectiveness for water quality improvement and time for remediation in technological aspect, the effect on public health in social aspect, and policy support belonging to political aspect. The relative priorities of the alternative technologies with respect to each criterion were scored by Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), and it was also employed to calculate the weights of the criteria. After determining the decision-making matrix,ELECTRE was employed to rank the alternatives according to their sustainability performances. An illustrative case has been studied by the proposed method, monitored natural attenuation (MNA) has been recognized as the most sustainable technology for groundwater remediation, followed by pump-treat (P&T) technology, permeable reactive barriers (PRB) and air sparing (AS). Finally, Sensitivity analysis was also carried out to test the robustness of the results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-46
Number of pages11
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Analytic hierarchy process
  • Groundwater remediation technology
  • Multi-criteria decision making
  • Sustainability assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Economics and Econometrics

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