Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 54

Life Cycle Assessment Related Abstracts

54 Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of High Barrier Polymer Packaging for Selecting Resource Efficient and Environmentally Low-Impact Materials

Authors: D. Kliaugaitė, J. K, Staniškis


In this study tree types of multilayer gas barrier plastic packaging films were compared using life cycle assessment as a tool for resource efficient and environmentally low-impact materials selection. The first type of multilayer packaging film (PET-AlOx/LDPE) consists of polyethylene terephthalate with barrier layer AlOx (PET-AlOx) and low density polyethylene (LDPE). The second type of polymer film (PET/PE-EVOH-PE) is made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and co-extrusion film PE-EVOH-PE as barrier layer. And the third one type of multilayer packaging film (PET-PVOH/LDPE) is formed from polyethylene terephthalate with barrier layer PVOH (PET-PVOH) and low density polyethylene (LDPE). All of analyzed packaging has significant impact to resource depletion, because of raw materials extraction and energy use and production of different kind of plastics. Nevertheless the impact generated during life cycle of functional unit of II type of packaging (PET/PE-EVOH-PE) was about 25% lower than impact generated by I type (PET-AlOx/LDPE) and III type (PET-PVOH/LDPE) of packaging. Result revealed that the contribution of different gas barrier type to the overall environmental problem of packaging is not significant. The impact are mostly generated by using energy and materials during raw material extraction and production of different plastic materials as plastic polymers material as PE, LDPE and PET, but not gas barrier materials as AlOx, PVOH and EVOH. The LCA results could be useful in different decision-making processes, for selecting resource efficient and environmentally low-impact materials.

Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment, Resource Efficiency, polymer packaging, materials extraction, polyethylene terephthalate

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53 A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Aluminum Production Process

Authors: Alaa Al Hawari, Mohammad Khader, Wael El Hasan, Mahmoud Alijla, Ammar Manawi, Abdelbaki Benamour


The production of aluminium alloys and ingots -starting from the processing of alumina to aluminium, and the final cast product- was studied using a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach. The studied aluminium supply chain consisted of a carbon plant, a reduction plant, a casting plant, and a power plant. In the LCA model, the environmental loads of the different plants for the production of 1 ton of aluminium metal were investigated. The impact of the aluminium production was assessed in eight impact categories. The results showed that for all of the impact categories the power plant had the highest impact only in the cases of Human Toxicity Potential (HTP) the reduction plant had the highest impact and in the Marine Aquatic Eco-Toxicity Potential (MAETP) the carbon plant had the highest impact. Furthermore, the impact of the carbon plant and the reduction plant combined was almost the same as the impact of the power plant in the case of the Acidification Potential (AP). The carbon plant had a positive impact on the environment when it comes to the Eutrophication Potential (EP) due to the production of clean water in the process. The natural gas based power plant used in the case study had 8.4 times less negative impact on the environment when compared to the heavy fuel based power plant and 10.7 times less negative impact when compared to the hard coal based power plant.

Keywords: Supply Chain, Life Cycle Assessment, Ecological Impacts, aluminium production

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52 Life Cycle Assessment Comparison between Methanol and Ethanol Feedstock for the Biodiesel from Soybean Oil

Authors: Pawit Tangviroon, Apichit Svang-Ariyaskul


As the limited availability of petroleum-based fuel has been a major concern, biodiesel is one of the most attractive alternative fuels because it is renewable and it also has advantages over the conventional petroleum-base diesel. At Present, productions of biodiesel generally perform by transesterification of vegetable oils with low molecular weight alcohol, mainly methanol, using chemical catalysts. Methanol is petrochemical product that makes biodiesel producing from methanol to be not pure renewable energy source. Therefore, ethanol as a product produced by fermentation processes. It appears as a potential feed stock that makes biodiesel to be pure renewable alternative fuel. The research is conducted based on two biodiesel production processes by reacting soybean oils with methanol and ethanol. Life cycle assessment was carried out in order to evaluate the environmental impacts and to identify the process alternative. Nine mid-point impact categories are investigated. The results indicate that better performance on Abiotic Depletion Potential (ADP) and Acidification Potential (AP) are observed in biodiesel production from methanol when compared with biodiesel production from ethanol due to less energy consumption during the production processes. Except for ADP and AP, using methanol as feed stock does not show any advantages over biodiesel from ethanol. The single score method is also included in this study in order to identify the best option between two processes of biodiesel production. The global normalization and weighting factor based on eco-taxes are used and it shows that producing biodiesel form ethanol has less environmental load compare to biodiesel from methanol.

Keywords: Biodiesel, Life Cycle Assessment, methanol, Ethanol, soybean oil

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51 LCA and Multi-Criteria Analysis of Fly Ash Concrete Pavements

Authors: Marcela Ondova, Adriana Estokova


Rapid industrialization results in increased use of natural resources bring along serious ecological and environmental imbalance due to the dumping of industrial wastes. Principles of sustainable construction have to be accepted with regard to the consumption of natural resources and the production of harmful emissions. Cement is a great importance raw material in the building industry and today is its large amount used in the construction of concrete pavements. Concerning raw materials cost and producing CO2 emission the replacing of cement in concrete mixtures with more sustainable materials is necessary. To reduce this environmental impact people all over the world are looking for a solution. Over a period of last ten years, the image of fly ash has completely been changed from a polluting waste to resource material and it can solve the major problems of cement use. Fly ash concretes are proposed as a potential approach for achieving substantial reductions in cement. It is known that it improves the workability of concrete, extends the life cycle of concrete roads, and reduces energy use and greenhouse gas as well as amount of coal combustion products that must be disposed in landfills. Life cycle assessment also proved that a concrete pavement with fly ash cement replacement is considerably more environmentally friendly compared to standard concrete roads. In addition, fly ash is cheap raw material, and the costs saving are guaranteed. The strength properties, resistance to a frost or de-icing salts, which are important characteristics in the construction of concrete pavements, have reached the required standards as well. In terms of human health it can´t be stated that a concrete cover with fly ash could be dangerous compared with a cover without fly ash. Final Multi-criteria analysis also pointed that a concrete with fly ash is a clearly proper solution.

Keywords: Waste, fly ash, Life Cycle Assessment, Concrete Pavements

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50 Environmental Potentials within the Production of Asphalt Mixtures

Authors: Florian Gschösser, Walter Purrer


The paper shows examples for the (environmental) optimization of production processes for asphalt mixtures applied for typical road pavements in Austria and Switzerland. The conducted “from-cradle-to-gate” LCA firstly analyzes the production one cubic meter of asphalt and secondly all material production processes for exemplary highway pavements applied in Austria and Switzerland. It is shown that environmental impacts can be reduced by the application of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and by the optimization of specific production characteristics, e.g. the reduction of the initial moisture of the mineral aggregate and the reduction of the mixing temperature by the application of low-viscosity and foam bitumen. The results of the LCA study demonstrate reduction potentials per cubic meter asphalt of up to 57 % (Global Warming Potential–GWP) and 77 % (Ozone depletion–ODP). The analysis per square meter of asphalt pavement determined environmental potentials of up to 40 % (GWP) and 56 % (ODP).

Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment, asphalt mixtures, environmental potentials, material production

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49 Large Scale Production of Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) from Waste Water: A Study of Techno-Economics, Energy Use, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Authors: Cora Fernandez Dacosta, John A. Posada, Andrea Ramirez


The biodegradable family of polymers polyhydroxyalkanoates are interesting substitutes for convectional fossil-based plastics. However, the manufacturing and environmental impacts associated with their production via intracellular bacterial fermentation are strongly dependent on the raw material used and on energy consumption during the extraction process, limiting their potential for commercialization. Industrial wastewater is studied in this paper as a promising alternative feedstock for waste valorization. Based on results from laboratory and pilot-scale experiments, a conceptual process design, techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessment are developed for the large-scale production of the most common type of polyhydroxyalkanoate, polyhydroxbutyrate. Intracellular polyhydroxybutyrate is obtained via fermentation of microbial community present in industrial wastewater and the downstream processing is based on chemical digestion with surfactant and hypochlorite. The economic potential and environmental performance results help identifying bottlenecks and best opportunities to scale-up the process prior to industrial implementation. The outcome of this research indicates that the fermentation of wastewater towards PHB presents advantages compared to traditional PHAs production from sugars because the null environmental burdens and financial costs of the raw material in the bioplastic production process. Nevertheless, process optimization is still required to compete with the petrochemicals counterparts.

Keywords: Circular economy, Life Cycle Assessment, Waste Valorization, polyhydroxyalkanoates

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48 Measuring Ecological Footprint: Life Cycle Assessment Approach

Authors: Binita Shah, Seema Unnikrishnan


In the recent time, an increasing interest in the analysis and efforts to reduce the environmental impacts generated by man-made activities has been seen widely being discussed and implemented by the society. The industrial processes are expressing their concern and showing keen interest in redesigning and amending the operation process leading to better environmental performance by upgrading technologies and adjusting the financial inputs. There are various tools available for the assessment of process and production of goods on the environment. Most methods look at a particular impact on the ecosystem. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is one of the most widely accepted and scientifically founded methodologies to assess the overall environmental impacts of products and processes. This paper looks at the tools used in India for environmental impact assessment.

Keywords: Ecological Footprint, Life Cycle Assessment, India, measuring sustainability

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47 Application of Life Cycle Assessment “LCA” Approach for a Sustainable Building Design under Specific Climate Conditions

Authors: Djeffal Asma, Zemmouri Noureddine


In order for building designer to be able to balance environmental concerns with other performance requirements, they need clear and concise information. For certain decisions during the design process, qualitative guidance, such as design checklists or guidelines information may not be sufficient for evaluating the environmental benefits between different building materials, products and designs. In this case, quantitative information, such as that generated through a life cycle assessment, provides the most value. LCA provides a systematic approach to evaluating the environmental impacts of a product or system over its entire life. In the case of buildings life cycle includes the extraction of raw materials, manufacturing, transporting and installing building components or products, operating and maintaining the building. By integrating LCA into building design process, designers can evaluate the life cycle impacts of building design, materials, components and systems and choose the combinations that reduce the building life cycle environmental impact. This article attempts to give an overview of the integration of LCA methodology in the context of building design, and focuses on the use of this methodology for environmental considerations concerning process design and optimization. A multiple case study was conducted in order to assess the benefits of the LCA as a decision making aid tool during the first stages of the building design under specific climate conditions of the North East region of Algeria. It is clear that the LCA methodology can help to assess and reduce the impact of a building design and components on the environment even if the process implementation is rather long and complicated and lacks of global approach including human factors. It is also demonstrated that using LCA as a multi objective optimization of building process will certainly facilitates the improvement in design and decision making for both new design and retrofit projects.

Keywords: Sustainability, Buildings, Life Cycle Assessment, Environmental Impacts, elementary schools

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46 Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of an Extensive Green Roof with a Traditional Gravel-Asphalted Roof: An Application for the Lebanese Context

Authors: Makram El Bachawati, Rima Manneh, Thomas Dandres, Carla Nassab, Henri El Zakhem, Rafik Belarbi


A vegetative roof, also called a garden roof, is a "roofing system that endorses the growth of plants on a rooftop". Garden roofs serve several purposes for a building, such as embellishing the roofing system, enhancing the water management, and reducing the energy consumption and heat island effects. Lebanon is a Middle East country that lacks the use of a sustainable energy system. It imports 98% of its non-renewable energy from neighboring countries and suffers flooding during heavy rains. The objective of this paper is to determine if the implementation of vegetative roofs is effectively better than the traditional roofs for the Lebanese context. A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is performed in order to compare an existing extensive green roof to a traditional gravel-asphalted roof. The life cycle inventory (LCI) was established and modeled using the SimaPro 8.0 software, while the environmental impacts were classified using the IMPACT 2002+ methodology. Results indicated that, for the existing extensive green roof, the waterproofing membrane and the growing medium were the highest contributors to the potential environmental impacts. When comparing the vegetative to the traditional roof, results showed that, for all impact categories, the extensive green roof had the less environmental impacts.

Keywords: Environmental Impact, Life Cycle Assessment, Green roofs, vegatative roof

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45 Characteristics and Feature Analysis of PCF Labeling among Construction Materials

Authors: Sung-mo Seo, Chang-u Chae


The Product Carbon Footprint Labeling has been run for more than four years by the Ministry of Environment and there are number of products labeled by KEITI, as for declaring products with their carbon emission during life cycle stages. There are several categories for certifying products by the characteristics of usage. Building products which are applied to a building as combined components. In this paper, current status of PCF labeling has been compared with LCI DB for data composition. By this comparative analysis, we suggest carbon labeling development.

Keywords: Building materials, Life Cycle Assessment, carbon labeling, LCI DB

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44 A Life Cycle Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Traditional and Climate-smart Farming: A Case of Dhanusha District, Nepal

Authors: Arun Dhakal, Geoff Cockfield


This paper examines the emission potential of different farming practices that the farmers have adopted in Dhanusha District of Nepal and scope of these practices in climate change mitigation. Which practice is more climate-smarter is the question that this aims to address through a life cycle assessment (LCA) of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The LCA was performed to assess if there is difference in emission potential of broadly two farming systems (agroforestry–based and traditional agriculture) but specifically four farming systems. The required data for this was collected through household survey of randomly selected households of 200. The sources of emissions across the farming systems were paddy cultivation, livestock, chemical fertilizer, fossil fuels and biomass (fuel-wood and crop residue) burning. However, the amount of emission from these sources varied with farming system adopted. Emissions from biomass burning appeared to be the highest while the source ‘fossil fuel’ caused the lowest emission in all systems. The emissions decreased gradually from agriculture towards the highly integrated agroforestry-based farming system (HIS), indicating that integrating trees into farming system not only sequester more carbon but also help in reducing emissions from the system. The annual emissions for HIS, Medium integrated agroforestry-based farming system (MIS), LIS (less integrated agroforestry-based farming system and subsistence agricultural system (SAS) were 6.67 t ha-1, 8.62 t ha-1, 10.75 t ha-1 and 17.85 t ha-1 respectively. In one agroforestry cycle, the HIS, MIS and LIS released 64%, 52% and 40% less GHG emission than that of SAS. Within agroforestry-based farming systems, the HIS produced 25% and 50% less emissions than those of MIS and LIS respectively. Our finding suggests that a tree-based farming system is more climate-smarter than a traditional farming. If other two benefits (carbon sequestered within the farm and in the natural forest because of agroforestry) are to be considered, a considerable amount of emissions is reduced from a climate-smart farming. Some policy intervention is required to motivate farmers towards adopting such climate-friendly farming practices in developing countries.

Keywords: Climate Change, Greenhouse gas, Farming systems, Life Cycle Assessment, Nepal

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43 Life Cycle Assessment as a Decision Making for Window Performance Comparison in Green Building Design

Authors: Ghada Elshafei, Abdelazim Negm


Life cycle assessment is a technique to assess the environmental aspects and potential impacts associated with a product, process, or service, by compiling an inventory of relevant energy and material inputs and environmental releases; evaluating the potential environmental impacts associated with identified inputs and releases; and interpreting the results to help you make a more informed decision. In this paper, the life cycle assessment of aluminum and beech wood as two commonly used materials in Egypt for window frames are heading, highlighting their benefits and weaknesses. Window frames of the two materials have been assessed on the basis of their production, energy consumption and environmental impacts. It has been found that the climate change of the windows made of aluminum and beech wood window, for a reference window (1.2m × 1.2m), are 81.7 mPt and - 52.5 mPt impacts respectively. Among the most important results are: fossil fuel consumption, potential contributions to the green building effect and quantities of solid waste tend to be minor for wood products compared to aluminum products; incineration of wood products can cause higher impacts of acidification and eutrophication than aluminum, whereas thermal energy can be recovered.

Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment, life cycle analysis, Green Building, aluminum window, beech wood window, SimaPro software, window frame

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42 Life Cycle Assessment of Residential Buildings: A Case Study in Canada

Authors: Venkatesh Kumar, Kasun Hewage, Rehan Sadiq


Residential buildings consume significant amounts of energy and produce a large amount of emissions and waste. However, there is a substantial potential for energy savings in this sector which needs to be evaluated over the life cycle of residential buildings. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology has been employed to study the primary energy uses and associated environmental impacts of different phases (i.e., product, construction, use, end of life, and beyond building life) for residential buildings. Four different alternatives of residential buildings in Vancouver (BC, Canada) with a 50-year lifespan have been evaluated, including High Rise Apartment (HRA), Low Rise Apartment (LRA), Single family Attached House (SAH), and Single family Detached House (SDH). Life cycle performance of the buildings is evaluated for embodied energy, embodied environmental impacts, operational energy, operational environmental impacts, total life-cycle energy, and total life cycle environmental impacts. Estimation of operational energy and LCA are performed using DesignBuilder software and Athena Impact estimator software respectively. The study results revealed that over the life span of the buildings, the relationship between the energy use and the environmental impacts are identical. LRA is found to be the best alternative in terms of embodied energy use and embodied environmental impacts; while, HRA showed the best life-cycle performance in terms of minimum energy use and environmental impacts. Sensitivity analysis has also been carried out to study the influence of building service lifespan over 50, 75, and 100 years on the relative significance of embodied energy and total life cycle energy. The life-cycle energy requirements for SDH is found to be a significant component among the four types of residential buildings. The overall disclose that the primary operations of these buildings accounts for 90% of the total life cycle energy which far outweighs minor differences in embodied effects between the buildings.

Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment, Residential Buildings, Environmental Impacts, building simulation, life cycle energy analysis

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41 Case Study of Mechanised Shea Butter Production in South-Western Nigeria Using the LCA Approach from Gate-to-Gate

Authors: Temitayo Abayomi Ewemoje, Oluwamayowa Oluwafemi Oluwaniyi


Agriculture and food processing, industry are among the largest industrial sectors that uses large amount of energy. Thus, a larger amount of gases from their fuel combustion technologies is being released into the environment. The choice of input energy supply not only directly having affects the environment, but also poses a threat to human health. The study was therefore designed to assess each unit production processes in order to identify hotspots using life cycle assessments (LCA) approach in South-western Nigeria. Data such as machine power rating, operation duration, inputs and outputs of shea butter materials for unit processes obtained at site were used to modelled Life Cycle Impact Analysis on GaBi6 (Holistic Balancing) software. Four scenarios were drawn for the impact assessments. Material sourcing from Kaiama, Scenarios 1, 3 and Minna Scenarios 2, 4 but different heat supply sources (Liquefied Petroleum Gas ‘LPG’ Scenarios 1, 2 and 10.8 kW Diesel Heater, scenarios 3, 4). Modelling of shea butter production on GaBi6 was for 1kg functional unit of shea butter produced and the Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and other Environmental Impacts (TRACI) midpoint assessment was tool used to was analyse the life cycle inventories of the four scenarios. Eight categories in all four Scenarios were observed out of which three impact categories; Global Warming Potential (GWP) (0.613, 0.751, 0.661, 0.799) kg CO2¬-Equiv., Acidification Potential (AP) (0.112, 0.132, 0.129, 0.149) kg H+ moles-Equiv., and Smog (0.044, 0.059, 0.049, 0.063) kg O3-Equiv., categories had the greater impacts on the environment in Scenarios 1-4 respectively. Impacts from transportation activities was also seen to contribute more to these environmental impact categories due to large volume of petrol combusted leading to releases of gases such as CO2, CH4, N2O, SO2, and NOx into the environment during the transportation of raw shea kernel purchased. The ratio of transportation distance from Minna and Kaiama to production site was approximately 3.5. Shea butter unit processes with greater impacts in all categories was the packaging, milling and with the churning processes in ascending order of magnitude was identified as hotspots that may require attention. From the 1kg shea butter functional unit, it was inferred that locating production site at the shortest travelling distance to raw material sourcing and combustion of LPG for heating would reduce all the impact categories assessed on the environment.

Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment, GaBi6, shea butter production, TRACI

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40 Life Cycle Assessment to Study the Acidification and Eutrophication Impacts of Sweet Cherry Production

Authors: G. Bravo, D. Lopez, A. Iriarte


Several organizations and governments have created a demand for information about the environmental impacts of agricultural products. Today, the export oriented fruit sector in Chile is being challenged to quantify and reduce their environmental impacts. Chile is the largest southern hemisphere producer and exporter of sweet cherry fruit. Chilean sweet cherry production reached a volume of 80,000 tons in 2012. The main destination market for the Chilean cherry in 2012 was Asia (including Hong Kong and China), taking in 69% of exported volume. Another important market was the United States with 16% participation, followed by Latin America (7%) and Europe (6%). Concerning geographical distribution, the Chilean conventional cherry production is focused in the center-south area, between the regions of Maule and O’Higgins; both regions represent 81% of the planted surface. The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is widely accepted as one of the major methodologies for assessing environmental impacts of products or services. The LCA identifies the material, energy, material, and waste flows of a product or service, and their impact on the environment. There are scant studies that examine the impacts of sweet cherry cultivation, such as acidification and eutrophication. Within this context, the main objective of this study is to evaluate, using the LCA, the acidification and eutrophication impacts of sweet cherry production in Chile. The additional objective is to identify the agricultural inputs that contributed significantly to the impacts of this fruit. The system under study included all the life cycle stages from the cradle to the farm gate (harvested sweet cherry). The data of sweet cherry production correspond to nationwide representative practices and are based on technical-economic studies and field information obtained in several face-to-face interviews. The study takes into account the following agricultural inputs: fertilizers, pesticides, diesel consumption for agricultural operations, machinery and electricity for irrigation. The results indicated that the mineral fertilizers are the most important contributors to the acidification and eutrophication impacts of the sheet cherry cultivation. Improvement options are suggested for the hotspot in order to reduce the environmental impacts. The results allow planning and promoting low impacts procedures across fruit companies, as well as policymakers, and other stakeholders on the subject. In this context, this study is one of the first assessments of the environmental impacts of sweet cherry production. New field data or evaluation of other life cycle stages could further improve the knowledge on the impacts of this fruit. This study may contribute to environmental information in other countries where there is similar agricultural production for sweet cherry.

Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment, Eutrophication, acidification, sweet cherry production

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39 Life Cycle Assessment: Drinking Glass Systems

Authors: Devina Jain


The choice between single-use drinking glasses and reusable glasses is of major concern to our lifestyles, and hence, the environment. This study is aimed at comparing three systems - a disposable paper cup, a disposable cup and a reusable stainless steel cup or glass - with respect to their effect on the environment to find out which one is more advantageous for reducing the impact on the environment. Life Cycle Assessment was conducted using modeling software, Umberto NXT Universal (Version 7.1). For the purpose of this study, the cradle to grave approach was considered. Results showed that cleaning is of a very strong influence on the environmental burden by these drinking systems, with a contribution of up to 90 to 100%. Thus, the burden is determined by the way in which the utensils are washed, and how much water is consumed. It maybe seems like a small, insignificant daily practice. In the short term, it would seem that paper and plastic cups are a better idea, since they are easy to acquire and do not need to be stored, but in the long run, we can say that steel cups will have less of an environmental impact. However, if the frequency of use and the number of glasses employed per use are of significance to decide the appropriateness of the usage, it is better to use disposable cups and glasses.

Keywords: Plastic, Life Cycle Assessment, stainless steel, paper, disposable glass, reusable glass

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38 Combination of Modelling and Environmental Life Cycle Assessment Approach for Demand Driven Biogas Production

Authors: Juan A. Arzate, Funda C. Ertem, M. Nicolas Cruz-Bournazou, Peter Neubauer, Stefan Junne


— One of the biggest challenges the world faces today is global warming that is caused by greenhouse gases (GHGs) coming from the combustion of fossil fuels for energy generation. In order to mitigate climate change, the European Union has committed to reducing GHG emissions to 80–95% below the level of the 1990s by the year 2050. Renewable technologies are vital to diminish energy-related GHG emissions. Since water and biomass are limited resources, the largest contributions to renewable energy (RE) systems will have to come from wind and solar power. Nevertheless, high proportions of fluctuating RE will present a number of challenges, especially regarding the need to balance the variable energy demand with the weather dependent fluctuation of energy supply. Therefore, biogas plants in this content would play an important role, since they are easily adaptable. Feedstock availability varies locally or seasonally; however there is a lack of knowledge in how biogas plants should be operated in a stable manner by local feedstock. This problem may be prevented through suitable control strategies. Such strategies require the development of convenient mathematical models, which fairly describe the main processes. Modelling allows us to predict the system behavior of biogas plants when different feedstocks are used with different loading rates. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a technique for analyzing several sides from evolution of a product till its disposal in an environmental point of view. It is highly recommend to use as a decision making tool. In order to achieve suitable strategies, the combination of a flexible energy generation provided by biogas plants, a secure production process and the maximization of the environmental benefits can be obtained by the combination of process modelling and LCA approaches. For this reason, this study focuses on the biogas plant which flexibly generates required energy from the co-digestion of maize, grass and cattle manure, while emitting the lowest amount of GHG´s. To achieve this goal AMOCO model was combined with LCA. The program was structured in Matlab to simulate any biogas process based on the AMOCO model and combined with the equations necessary to obtain climate change, acidification and eutrophication potentials of the whole production system based on ReCiPe midpoint v.1.06 methodology. Developed simulation was optimized based on real data from operating biogas plants and existing literature research. The results prove that AMOCO model can successfully imitate the system behavior of biogas plants and the necessary time required for the process to adapt in order to generate demanded energy from available feedstock. Combination with LCA approach provided opportunity to keep the resulting emissions from operation at the lowest possible level. This would allow for a prediction of the process, when the feedstock utilization supports the establishment of closed material circles within a smart bio-production grid – under the constraint of minimal drawbacks for the environment and maximal sustainability.

Keywords: Modelling, Life Cycle Assessment, GHG emissions, AMOCO model

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37 Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Roofing System for Abu Dhabi

Authors: Iyasu Eibedingil


The construction industry is one of the major factors responsible for causing a negative impact on the environment. It has the largest share in the use of natural resources including land use, material extraction, and greenhouse gases emissions. For this reason, it is imperative to reduce its environmental impact through the construction of sustainable buildings with less impact. These days, it is possible to measure the environmental impact by using different tools such as the life cycle assessment (LCA) approach. Given this premise, this study explored the environmental impact of two types of roofing systems through comparative life cycle assessment approach. The tiles were analyzed to select the most environmentally friendly roofing system for the villa at Khalifa City A, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. These products are available in various forms; however, in this study concrete roof tiles and clay roof tiles were considered. The results showed that concrete roof tiles have lower environmental impact. In all scenarios considered, manufacturing the roof tiles locally, using recovered fuels for firing clay tiles, and using renewable energy (electricity from PV plant) showed that the concrete roof tiles were found to be excellent in terms of its embodied carbon, embodied the energy and various other environmental performance indicators.

Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment, Sensitivity Analysis, clay roof tile, concrete roof tile

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36 Environmental Performance of Different Lab Scale Chromium Removal Processes

Authors: Chiao-Cheng Huang, Pei-Te Chiueh, Ya-Hsuan Liou


Chromium-contaminated wastewater from electroplating industrial activity has been a long-standing environmental issue, as it can degrade surface water quality and is harmful to soil ecosystems. The traditional method of treating chromium-contaminated wastewater has been to use chemical coagulation processes. However, this method consumes large amounts of chemicals such as sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide, and sodium bicarbonate in order to remove chromium. However, a series of new methods for treating chromium-containing wastewater have been developed. This study aimed to compare the environmental impact of four different lab scale chromium removal processes: 1.) chemical coagulation process (the most common and traditional method), in which sodium metabisulfite was used as reductant, 2.) electrochemical process using two steel sheets as electrodes, 3.) reduction by iron-copper bimetallic powder, and 4.) photocatalysis process by TiO2. Each process was run in the lab, and was able to achieve 100% removal of chromium in solution. Then a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study was conducted based on the experimental data obtained from four different case studies to identify the environmentally preferable alternative to treat chromium wastewater. The model used for calculating the environmental impact was TRACi, and the system scope includes the production phase and use phase of chemicals and electricity consumed by the chromium removal processes, as well as the final disposal of chromium containing sludge. The functional unit chosen in this study was the removal of 1 mg of chromium. Solution volume of each case study was adjusted to 1 L in advance and the chemicals and energy consumed were proportionally adjusted. The emissions and resources consumed were identified and characterized into 15 categories of midpoint impacts. The impact assessment results show that the human ecotoxicity category accounts for 55 % of environmental impact in Case 1, which can be attributed to the sulfuric acid used for pH adjustment. In Case 2, production of steel sheet electrodes is an energy-intensive process, thus contributed to 20 % of environmental impact. In Case 3, sodium bicarbonate is used as an anti-corrosion additive, which results mainly in 1.02E-05 Comparative Toxicity Unit (CTU) in the human toxicity category and 0.54E-05 (CTU) in acidification of air. In Case 4, electricity consumption for power supply of UV lamp gives 5.25E-05 (CTU) in human toxicity category, 1.15E-05 (kg Neq) in eutrophication. In conclusion, Case 3 and Case 4 have higher environmental impacts than Case 1 and Case 2, which can be attributed mostly to higher energy and chemical consumption, leading to high impacts in the global warming and ecotoxicity categories.

Keywords: wastewater, Life Cycle Assessment, Chromium, lab scale

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35 Design and Development of On-Line, On-Site, In-Situ Induction Motor Performance Analyser

Authors: G. S. Ayyappan, Srinivas Kota, Jaffer R. C. Sheriff, C. Prakash Chandra Joshua


In the present scenario of energy crises, energy conservation in the electrical machines is very important in the industries. In order to conserve energy, one needs to monitor the performance of an induction motor on-site and in-situ. The instruments available for this purpose are very meager and very expensive. This paper deals with the design and development of induction motor performance analyser on-line, on-site, and in-situ. The system measures only few electrical input parameters like input voltage, line current, power factor, frequency, powers, and motor shaft speed. These measured data are coupled to name plate details and compute the operating efficiency of induction motor. This system employs the method of computing motor losses with the help of equivalent circuit parameters. The equivalent circuit parameters of the concerned motor are estimated using the developed algorithm at any load conditions and stored in the system memory. The developed instrument is a reliable, accurate, compact, rugged, and cost-effective one. This portable instrument could be used as a handy tool to study the performance of both slip ring and cage induction motors. During the analysis, the data can be stored in SD Memory card and one can perform various analyses like load vs. efficiency, torque vs. speed characteristics, etc. With the help of the developed instrument, one can operate the motor around its Best Operating Point (BOP). Continuous monitoring of the motor efficiency could lead to Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of motors. LCA helps in taking decisions on motor replacement or retaining or refurbishment.

Keywords: Energy Conservation, Life Cycle Assessment, equivalent circuit parameters, induction motor efficiency, motor performance analysis

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34 A Consumption-Based Hybrid Life Cycle Assessment of Carbon Footprints in California: High Footprints in Small Urban Households

Authors: Jukka Heinonen


Higher density reduces distances, private car dependency and thus reduces greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). As a result, increased density has been given a central role among urban development targets. However, it is not just travel behavior that changes along with density. Rather, the consumption patterns, or overall lifestyles, change along with changing urban structure, particularly with changing housing types and consumption opportunities. Furthermore, elevated consumption of services, more frequent flying and less intra-household sharing have been shown to potentially outweigh the gains from reduced driving in more dense urban settlements. In this study, the geography of carbon footprints (CFs) in California is analyzed paying close attention to the household size differences and the resulting economies-of-scale advantages and disadvantages. A hybrid life cycle assessment (LCA) framework is employed together with consumer expenditure data to assess the CFs. According to the study, small urban households have the highest CFs in California. Their transport related emissions are significantly lower than those of the residents of less urbanized areas, but higher emissions from other consumption categories, together with the low degree of sharing of goods, overweigh the gains. Two functional units, per capita and per household, are used to analyze the CFs and to demonstrate the importance of household size. The lifestyle impacts visible through the consumption data are also discussed. The study suggests that there are still significant gaps in our understanding of the premises of low-carbon human settlements.

Keywords: Carbon Footprint, Life Cycle Assessment, consumption, Lifestyle, household size, economies-of-scale

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33 Quantifying Product Impacts on Biodiversity: The Product Biodiversity Footprint

Authors: Leveque Benjamin, Rabaud Suzanne, Anest Hugo, Catalan Caroline, Neveux Guillaume


Human products consumption is one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss. However, few pertinent ecological indicators regarding product life cycle impact on species and ecosystems have been built. Life cycle assessment (LCA) methodologies are well under way to conceive standardized methods to assess this impact, by taking already partially into account three of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment pressures (land use, pollutions, climate change). Coupling LCA and ecological data and methods is an emerging challenge to develop a product biodiversity footprint. This approach was tested on three case studies from food processing, textile, and cosmetic industries. It allowed first to improve the environmental relevance of the Potential Disappeared Fraction of species, end-point indicator typically used in life cycle analysis methods, and second to introduce new indicators on overexploitation and invasive species. This type of footprint is a major step in helping companies to identify their impacts on biodiversity and to propose potential improvements.

Keywords: Biodiversity, products, Life Cycle Assessment, Companies, footprint

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32 Li-Ion Batteries vs. Synthetic Natural Gas: A Life Cycle Analysis Study on Sustainable Mobility

Authors: Guido Lorenzi, Massimo Santarelli, Carlos Augusto Santos Silva


The growth of non-dispatchable renewable energy sources in the European electricity generation mix is promoting the research of technically feasible and cost-effective solutions to make use of the excess energy, produced when the demand is low. The increasing intermittent renewable capacity is becoming a challenge to face especially in Europe, where some countries have shares of wind and solar on the total electricity produced in 2015 higher than 20%, with Denmark around 40%. However, other consumption sectors (mainly transportation) are still considerably relying on fossil fuels, with a slow transition to other forms of energy. Among the opportunities for different mobility concepts, electric (EV) and biofuel-powered vehicles (BPV) are the options that currently appear more promising. The EVs are targeting mainly the light duty users because of their zero (Full electric) or reduced (Hybrid) local emissions, while the BPVs encourage the use of alternative resources with the same technologies (thermal engines) used so far. The batteries which are applied to EVs are based on ions of Lithium because of their overall good performance in energy density, safety, cost and temperature performance. Biofuels, instead, can be various and the major difference is in their physical state (liquid or gaseous). In this study gaseous biofuels are considered and, more specifically, Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) produced through a process of Power-to-Gas consisting in an electrochemical upgrade (with Solid Oxide Electrolyzers) of biogas with CO2 recycling. The latter process combines a first stage of electrolysis, where syngas is produced, and a second stage of methanation in which the product gas is turned into methane and then made available for consumption. A techno-economic comparison between the two alternatives is possible, but it does not capture all the different aspects involved in the two routes for the promotion of a more sustainable mobility. For this reason, a more comprehensive methodology, i.e. Life Cycle Assessment, is adopted to describe the environmental implications of using excess electricity (directly or indirectly) for new vehicle fleets. The functional unit of the study is 1 km and the two options are compared in terms of overall CO2 emissions, both considering Cradle to Gate and Cradle to Grave boundaries. Showing how production and disposal of materials affect the environmental performance of the analyzed routes is useful to broaden the perspective on the impacts that different technologies produce, in addition to what is emitted during the operational life. In particular, this applies to batteries for which the decommissioning phase has a larger impact on the environmental balance compared to electrolyzers. The lower (more than one order of magnitude) energy density of Li-ion batteries compared to SNG implies that for the same amount of energy used, more material resources are needed to obtain the same effect. The comparison is performed in an energy system that simulates the Western European one, in order to assess which of the two solutions is more suitable to lead the de-fossilization of the transport sector with the least resource depletion and the mildest consequences for the ecosystem.

Keywords: Electric Vehicles, Life Cycle Assessment, Electrical Energy Storage, Power-to-Gas

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31 Life Cycle Datasets for the Ornamental Stone Sector

Authors: Isabella Bianco, Gian Andrea Blengini


The environmental impact related to ornamental stones (such as marbles and granites) is largely debated. Starting from the industrial revolution, continuous improvements of machineries led to a higher exploitation of this natural resource and to a more international interaction between markets. As a consequence, the environmental impact of the extraction and processing of stones has increased. Nevertheless, if compared with other building materials, ornamental stones are generally more durable, natural, and recyclable. From the scientific point of view, studies on stone life cycle sustainability have been carried out, but these are often partial or not very significant because of the high percentage of approximations and assumptions in calculations. This is due to the lack, in life cycle databases (e.g. Ecoinvent, Thinkstep, and ELCD), of datasets about the specific technologies employed in the stone production chain. For example, databases do not contain information about diamond wires, chains or explosives, materials commonly used in quarries and transformation plants. The project presented in this paper aims to populate the life cycle databases with specific data of specific stone processes. To this goal, the methodology follows the standardized approach of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), according to the requirements of UNI 14040-14044 and to the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook guidelines of the European Commission. The study analyses the processes of the entire production chain (from-cradle-to-gate system boundaries), including the extraction of benches, the cutting of blocks into slabs/tiles and the surface finishing. Primary data have been collected in Italian quarries and transformation plants which use technologies representative of the current state-of-the-art. Since the technologies vary according to the hardness of the stone, the case studies comprehend both soft stones (marbles) and hard stones (gneiss). In particular, data about energy, materials and emissions were collected in marble basins of Carrara and in Beola and Serizzo basins located in the province of Verbano Cusio Ossola. Data were then elaborated through an appropriate software to build a life cycle model. The model was realized setting free parameters that allow an easy adaptation to specific productions. Through this model, the study aims to boost the direct participation of stone companies and encourage the use of LCA tool to assess and improve the stone sector environmental sustainability. At the same time, the realization of accurate Life Cycle Inventory data aims at making available, to researchers and stone experts, ILCD compliant datasets of the most significant processes and technologies related to the ornamental stone sector.

Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment, LCA datasets, ornamental stone, stone environmental impact

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30 Sustainable Material Selection for Buildings: Analytic Network Process Method and Life Cycle Assessment Approach

Authors: Samira Mahmoudkelayeh, Katayoun Taghizade, Mitra Pourvaziri, Elnaz Asadian


Over the recent decades, depletion of resources and environmental concerns made researchers and practitioners present sustainable approaches. Since construction process consumes a great deal of both renewable and non-renewable resources, it is of great significance regarding environmental impacts. Choosing sustainable construction materials is a remarkable strategy presented in many researches and has a significant effect on building’s environmental footprint. This paper represents an assessment framework for selecting best sustainable materials for exterior enclosure in the city of Tehran based on sustainability principles (eco-friendly, cost effective and socio-cultural viable solutions). To perform a comprehensive analysis of environmental impacts, life cycle assessment, a cradle to grave approach is used. A questionnaire survey of construction experts has been conducted to determine the relative importance of criteria. Analytic Network Process (ANP) is applied as a multi-criteria decision-making method to choose sustainable material which consider interdependencies of criteria and sub-criteria. Finally, it prioritizes and aggregates relevant criteria into ultimate assessed score.

Keywords: Building, Sustainable Materials, Life Cycle Assessment, analytic network process

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29 Using Life Cycle Assessment in Potable Water Treatment Plant: A Colombian Case Study

Authors: Oscar Orlando Ortiz Rodriguez, Raquel A. Villamizar-G, Alexander Araque


There is a total of 1027 municipal development plants in Colombia, 70% of municipalities had Potable Water Treatment Plants (PWTPs) in urban areas and 20% in rural areas. These PWTPs are typically supplied by surface waters (mainly rivers) and resort to gravity, pumping and/or mixed systems to get the water from the catchment point, where the first stage of the potable water process takes place. Subsequently, a series of conventional methods are applied, consisting in a more or less standardized sequence of physicochemical and, sometimes, biological treatment processes which vary depending on the quality of the water that enters the plant. These processes require energy and chemical supplies in order to guarantee an adequate product for human consumption. Therefore, in this paper, we applied the environmental methodology of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to evaluate the environmental loads of a potable water treatment plant (PWTP) located in northeastern Colombia following international guidelines of ISO 14040. The different stages of the potable water process, from the catchment point through pumping to the distribution network, were thoroughly assessed. The functional unit was defined as 1 m³ of water treated. The data were analyzed through the database Ecoinvent v.3.01, and modeled and processed in the software LCA-Data Manager. The results allowed determining that in the plant, the largest impact was caused by Clarifloc (82%), followed by Chlorine gas (13%) and power consumption (4%). In this context, the company involved in the sustainability of the potable water service should ideally reduce these environmental loads during the potable water process. A strategy could be the use of Clarifloc can be reduced by applying coadjuvants or other coagulant agents. Also, the preservation of the hydric source that supplies the treatment plant constitutes an important factor, since its deterioration confers unfavorable features to the water that is to be treated. By concluding, treatment processes and techniques, bioclimatic conditions and culturally driven consumption behavior vary from region to region. Furthermore, changes in treatment processes and techniques are likely to affect the environment during all stages of a plant’s operation cycle.

Keywords: Climate Change, Environmental Impact, Life Cycle Assessment, treated water

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28 Considering Uncertainties of Input Parameters on Energy, Environmental Impacts and Life Cycle Costing by Monte Carlo Simulation in the Decision Making Process

Authors: Johannes Gantner, Michael Held, Matthias Fischer


The refurbishment of the building stock in terms of energy supply and efficiency is one of the major challenges of the German turnaround in energy policy. As the building sector accounts for 40% of Germany’s total energy demand, additional insulation is key for energy efficient refurbished buildings. Nevertheless the energetic benefits often the environmental and economic performances of insulation materials are questioned. The methods Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as well as Life Cycle Costing (LCC) can form the standardized basis for answering this doubts and more and more become important for material producers due efforts such as Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) or Environmental Product Declarations (EPD). Due to increasing use of LCA and LCC information for decision support the robustness and resilience of the results become crucial especially for support of decision and policy makers. LCA and LCC results are based on respective models which depend on technical parameters like efficiencies, material and energy demand, product output, etc.. Nevertheless, the influence of parameter uncertainties on lifecycle results are usually not considered or just studied superficially. Anyhow the effect of parameter uncertainties cannot be neglected. Based on the example of an exterior wall the overall lifecycle results are varying by a magnitude of more than three. As a result simple best case worst case analyses used in practice are not sufficient. These analyses allow for a first rude view on the results but are not taking effects into account such as error propagation. Thereby LCA practitioners cannot provide further guidance for decision makers. Probabilistic analyses enable LCA practitioners to gain deeper understanding of the LCA and LCC results and provide a better decision support. Within this study, the environmental and economic impacts of an exterior wall system over its whole lifecycle are illustrated, and the effect of different uncertainty analysis on the interpretation in terms of resilience and robustness are shown. Hereby the approaches of error propagation and Monte Carlo Simulations are applied and combined with statistical methods in order to allow for a deeper understanding and interpretation. All in all this study emphasis the need for a deeper and more detailed probabilistic evaluation based on statistical methods. Just by this, misleading interpretations can be avoided, and the results can be used for resilient and robust decisions.

Keywords: Life Cycle Costing, Uncertainty, Life Cycle Assessment, Monte Carlo Simulation

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27 A Decision Making Tool for Selecting the Most Environmental Friendly Wastewater Treatment Plant for Small-Scale Communities

Authors: Mehmet Bulent Topkaya, Mustafa Yildirim


Wastewater treatment systems are designed and used to minimize adverse impacts of the wastewater on the environment before discharging. Various treatment options for wastewater treatment have been developed, and each of them has different performance characteristics and environmental impacts (e.g. material and land usage, energy consumption, greenhouse gas emission, water and soil emission) during construction, operation or maintenance phases. Assessing the environmental impacts during these phases are essential for the overall evaluation of the treatment systems. In this study, wastewater treatment options, such as vegetated land treatment, constructed wetland, rotating biological contactor, conventional activated sludge treatment, membrane bioreactor, extended aeration and stabilization pond are evaluated. The comparison of the environmental impacts is conducted under the assumption that the effluents will be discharged to sensitive and less sensitive areas respectively. The environmental impacts of each alternative are evaluated by life cycle assessment (LCA) approach. For this purpose, data related to energy usage, land requirement, raw material consumption, and released emissions from the life phases were collected with inventory studies based on field studies and literature. The environmental impacts were assessed by using SimaPro 7.1 LCA software. As the scale of the LCA results is global, an MS-Excel based decision support tool that includes the LCA result is developed in order to meet also the local demands. Using this tool, it is possible to assign weight factors on the LCA results according to local conditions by using Analytical Hierarchy Process and finally the most environmentally appropriate treatment option can be selected.

Keywords: wastewater treatment, Life Cycle Assessment, Decision Support System, analytical hierarchy process

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26 Management Options and Life Cycle Assessment of Municipal Solid Waste in Madinah, KSA

Authors: Abdelkader T. Ahmed, Ayed E. Alluqmani


The population growth in the KSA beside the increase in the urbanization level and standard of living improvement have resulted in the rapid growth of the country’s Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generation. Municipalities are managing the MSW system in the KSA by collecting and getting rid of it by dumping it in nearest open landfill sites. Solid waste management is one of the main critical issues considered worldwide due to its significant impact on the environment and the public health. In this study, municipal solid waste (MSW) generation, composition and collection of Madinah city, as one of largest cities in KSA, were examined to provide an overview of current state of MSW management, an analysis of existing problem in MSW management, and recommendations for improving the waste treatment and management system in this area. These recommendations would be not specific to Madinah region, but also would be applied to other cities in KSA or any other regions with similar features. The trend of waste generation showed that current waste generation would be increased as much as two to three folds in 2030. Approximately 25% of total generated waste is disposed to a sanitary landfill, while 75% is sent to normal dumpsites. This study also investigated the environmental impacts of MSW through the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of waste generations and related processes. LCA results revealed that among the seven scenarios, recycling and composting are the best scenario for the solid waste management in Madinah and similar regions.

Keywords: Waste Management, Life Cycle Assessment, municipal solid waste, waste recycling and land-filling

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25 Life Cycle Carbon Dioxide Emissions from the Construction Phase of Highway Sector in China

Authors: Yuanyuan Liu, Yuanqing Wang, Di Li


Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions mitigation from road construction activities is one of the potential pathways to deal with climate change due to its higher use of materials, machinery energy consumption, and high quantity of vehicle and equipment fuels for transportation and on-site construction activities. Aiming to assess the environmental impact of the road infrastructure construction activities and to identify hotspots of emissions sources, this study developed a life-cycle CO2 emissions assessment framework covering three stages of material production, to-site and on-site transportation under the guidance of the principle of LCA ISO14040. Then streamlined inventory analysis on sub-processes of each stage was conducted based on the budget files from cases of highway projects in China. The calculation results were normalized into functional unit represented as ton per km per lane. Then a comparison between the amount of emissions from each stage, and sub-process was made to identify the major contributor in the whole highway lifecycle. In addition, the calculating results were used to be compared with results in other countries for understanding the level of CO2 emissions associated with Chinese road infrastructure in the world. The results showed that materials production stage produces the most of the CO2 emissions (for more than 80%), and the production of cement and steel accounts for large quantities of carbon emissions. Life cycle CO2 emissions of fuel and electric energy associated with to-site and on-site transportation vehicle and equipment are a minor component of total life cycle CO2 emissions from highway project construction activities. Bridges and tunnels are dominant large carbon contributor compared to the road segments. The life cycle CO2 emissions of road segment in highway project in China are slightly higher than the estimation results of highways in European countries and USA, about 1500 ton per km per lane. In particularly, the life cycle CO2 emissions of road pavement in majority cities all over the world are about 500 ton per km per lane. However, there is obvious difference between the cities when the estimation on life cycle CO2 emissions of highway projects included bridge and tunnel. The findings of the study could offer decision makers a more comprehensive reference to understand the contribution of road infrastructure to climate change, especially understand the contribution from road infrastructure construction activities in China. In addition, the identified hotspots of emissions sources provide the insights of how to reduce road carbon emissions for development of sustainable transportation.

Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment, Highway, carbon dioxide emissions, construction activities

Procedia PDF Downloads 147