Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

LCA Related Publications

7 Probabilistic Life Cycle Assessment of the Nano Membrane Toilet

Authors: M. Collins, A. Anastasopoulou, A. Kolios, T. Somorin, A. Sowale, Y. Jiang, B. Fidalgo, A. Parker, L. Williams, E. J. McAdam, S. Tyrrel

Abstract:

Developing countries are nowadays confronted with great challenges related to domestic sanitation services in view of the imminent water scarcity. Contemporary sanitation technologies established in these countries are likely to pose health risks unless waste management standards are followed properly. This paper provides a solution to sustainable sanitation with the development of an innovative toilet system, called Nano Membrane Toilet (NMT), which has been developed by Cranfield University and sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The particular technology converts human faeces into energy through gasification and provides treated wastewater from urine through membrane filtration. In order to evaluate the environmental profile of the NMT system, a deterministic life cycle assessment (LCA) has been conducted in SimaPro software employing the Ecoinvent v3.3 database. The particular study has determined the most contributory factors to the environmental footprint of the NMT system. However, as sensitivity analysis has identified certain critical operating parameters for the robustness of the LCA results, adopting a stochastic approach to the Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) will comprehensively capture the input data uncertainty and enhance the credibility of the LCA outcome. For that purpose, Monte Carlo simulations, in combination with an artificial neural network (ANN) model, have been conducted for the input parameters of raw material, produced electricity, NOX emissions, amount of ash and transportation of fertilizer. The given analysis has provided the distribution and the confidence intervals of the selected impact categories and, in turn, more credible conclusions are drawn on the respective LCIA (Life Cycle Impact Assessment) profile of NMT system. Last but not least, the specific study will also yield essential insights into the methodological framework that can be adopted in the environmental impact assessment of other complex engineering systems subject to a high level of input data uncertainty.

Keywords: Artificial Neural Network, Monte Carlo simulations, LCA, sanitation systems, stochastic uncertainty analysis, nano membrane toilet

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6 Long-Term Economic-Ecological Assessment of Optimal Local Heat-Generating Technologies for the German Unrefurbished Residential Building Stock on the Quarter Level

Authors: M. A. Spielmann, L. Schebek

Abstract:

In order to reach the long-term national climate goals of the German government for the building sector, substantial energetic measures have to be executed. Historically, those measures were primarily energetic efficiency measures at the buildings’ shells. Advanced technologies for the on-site generation of heat (or other types of energy) often are not feasible at this small spatial scale of a single building. Therefore, the present approach uses the spatially larger dimension of a quarter. The main focus of the present paper is the long-term economic-ecological assessment of available decentralized heat-generating (CHP power plants and electrical heat pumps) technologies at the quarter level for the German unrefurbished residential buildings. Three distinct terms have to be described methodologically: i) Quarter approach, ii) Economic assessment, iii) Ecological assessment. The quarter approach is used to enable synergies and scaling effects over a single-building. For the present study, generic quarters that are differentiated according to significant parameters concerning their heat demand are used. The core differentiation of those quarters is made by the construction time period of the buildings. The economic assessment as the second crucial parameter is executed with the following structure: Full costs are quantized for each technology combination and quarter. The investment costs are analyzed on an annual basis and are modeled with the acquisition of debt. Annuity loans are assumed. Consequently, for each generic quarter, an optimal technology combination for decentralized heat generation is provided in each year of the temporal boundaries (2016-2050). The ecological assessment elaborates for each technology combination and each quarter a Life Cycle assessment. The measured impact category hereby is GWP 100. The technology combinations for heat production can be therefore compared against each other concerning their long-term climatic impacts. Core results of the approach can be differentiated to an economic and ecological dimension. With an annual resolution, the investment and running costs of different energetic technology combinations are quantified. For each quarter an optimal technology combination for local heat supply and/or energetic refurbishment of the buildings within the quarter is provided. Coherently to the economic assessment, the climatic impacts of the technology combinations are quantized and compared against each other.

Keywords: Heat, LCA, systemic approach, building sector, quarter level

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5 LCA/CFD Studies of Artisanal Brick Manufacture in Mexico

Authors: H. A. Lopez-Aguilar, E. A. Huerta-Reynoso, J. A. Gomez, J. A. Duarte-Moller, A. Perez-Hernandez

Abstract:

Environmental performance of artisanal brick manufacture was studied by Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) methodology and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis in Mexico. The main objective of this paper is to evaluate the environmental impact during artisanal brick manufacture. LCA cradle-to-gate approach was complemented with CFD analysis to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The lifecycle includes the stages of extraction, baking and transportation to the gate. The functional unit of this study was the production of a single brick in Chihuahua, Mexico and the impact categories studied were carcinogens, respiratory organics and inorganics, climate change radiation, ozone layer depletion, ecotoxicity, acidification/ eutrophication, land use, mineral use and fossil fuels. Laboratory techniques for fuel characterization, gas measurements in situ, and AP42 emission factors were employed in order to calculate gas emissions for inventory data. The results revealed that the categories with greater impacts are ecotoxicity and carcinogens. The CFD analysis is helpful in predicting the thermal diffusion and contaminants from a defined source. LCA-CFD synergy complemented the EIA and allowed us to identify the problem of thermal efficiency within the system.

Keywords: CFD, LCA, brick, artisanal

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4 A Strategic Sustainability Analysis of Electric Vehicles in EU Today and Towards 2050

Authors: Sven Borén, Henrik Ny

Abstract:

Ambitions within the EU for moving towards sustainable transport include major emission reductions for fossil fuel road vehicles, especially for buses, trucks, and cars. The electric driveline seems to be an attractive solution for such development. This study first applied the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development to compare sustainability effects of today’s fossil fuel vehicles with electric vehicles that have batteries or hydrogen fuel cells. The study then addressed a scenario were electric vehicles might be in majority in Europe by 2050. The methodology called Strategic Lifecycle Assessment was first used, were each life cycle phase was assessed for violations against sustainability principles. This indicates where further analysis could be done in order to quantify the magnitude of each violation, and later to create alternative strategies and actions that lead towards sustainability. A Life Cycle Assessment of combustion engine cars, plug-in hybrid cars, battery electric cars and hydrogen fuel cell cars was then conducted to compare and quantify environmental impacts. The authors found major violations of sustainability principles like use of fossil fuels, which contribute to the increase of emission related impacts such as climate change, acidification, eutrophication, ozone depletion, and particulate matters. Other violations were found, such as use of scarce materials for batteries and fuel cells, and also for most life cycle phases for all vehicles when using fossil fuel vehicles for mining, production and transport. Still, the studied current battery and hydrogen fuel cell cars have less severe violations than fossil fuel cars. The life cycle assessment revealed that fossil fuel cars have overall considerably higher environmental impacts compared to electric cars as long as the latter are powered by renewable electricity. By 2050, there will likely be even more sustainable alternatives than the studied electric vehicles when the EU electricity mix mainly should stem from renewable sources, batteries should be recycled, fuel cells should be a mature technology for use in vehicles (containing no scarce materials), and electric drivelines should have replaced combustion engines in other sectors. An uncertainty for fuel cells in 2050 is whether the production of hydrogen will have had time to switch to renewable resources. If so, that would contribute even more to a sustainable development. Except for being adopted in the GreenCharge roadmap, the authors suggest that the results can contribute to planning in the upcoming decades for a sustainable increase of EVs in Europe, and potentially serve as an inspiration for other smaller or larger regions. Further studies could map the environmental effects in LCA further, and include other road vehicles to get a more precise perception of how much they could affect sustainable development.

Keywords: Electric Vehicles, Sustainability, Strategic, Fuel Cell, LCA

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3 Life Cycle Assessment of Expressway Passenger Transport Service: A Case Study of Thailand

Authors: Watchara Surawong, Cheema Soralumn

Abstract:

This research work is concerned with the life cycle assessment (LCA) of an expressway, as well as its infrastructure, in Thailand. The life cycle of an expressway encompasses the raw material acquisition phase, the construction phase, the use or service phase, the rehabilitation phase, and finally the demolition and disposal phase. The LCA in this research was carried out using CML baseline 2000 and in accordance with the ISO 14040 standard. A functional unit refers to transportation of one person over one kilometer of a 3-lane expressway with a 50-year lifetime. This research has revealed that the construction phase produced the largest proportion of the environmental impact (81.46%), followed by the service, rehabilitation, demolition and disposal phases and transportation at 11.97%, 3.72% 0.33% and 2.52%, respectively. For the expressway under study, the total carbon footprint over its lifetime is equivalent to 245,639 tons CO2-eq per 1 kilometer functional unit, with the phases of construction, service, rehabilitation, demolition and disposal and transportation contributing 153,690; 73,773; 3693, 755 and 13,728 tons CO2-eq, respectively. The findings could be adopted as a benchmark against which the environmental impacts of future similar projects can be measured.

Keywords: Environmental Impact Assessment, LCA, Life cycle assessment, Expressway passenger transport service, Carbon footprint, Eco-friendly expressway

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2 Life Cycle Assessment of Precast Concrete Units

Authors: Ya Hong Dong, Conrad T.C. Wong, S. Thomas Ng, James M.W. Wong

Abstract:

Precast concrete has been widely adopted in public housing construction of Hong Kong since the mid-1980s. While pre-casting is considered an environmental friendly solution, there is lack of study to investigate the life cycle performance of precast concrete units. This study aims to bridge the knowledge gap by providing a comprehensive life cycle assessment (LCA) study for two precast elements namely façade and bathroom. The results show that raw material is the most significant contributor of environmental impact accounting for about 90% to the total impact. Furthermore, human health is more affected by the production of precast concrete than the ecosystems.

Keywords: Environment, Green, LCA, precast, LCIA

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1 The Impact Factors of the Environmental Pollution and Workers Health in Printing Industry

Authors: Kiurski J., Adamović S., Marić B., Djaković V., Oros I., Krstić J.

Abstract:

This paper presents the study of parameters affecting the environment protection in the printing industry. The paper has also compared LCA studies performed within the printing industry in order to identify common practices, limitations, areas for improvement, and opportunities for standardization. This comparison is focused on the data sources and methodologies used in the printing pollutants register. The presented concepts, methodology and results represent the contribution to the sustainable development management. Furthermore, the paper analyzes the result of the quantitative identification of hazardous substances emitted in printing industry of Novi Sad.

Keywords: LCA, printing industry, register, parameters of pollution

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