Environmentally Conscious Design of Chemical Processes



Prentice Hall PTR Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458

ISBN 0-13-061908-6


Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication


Allen, David T. Green engineering: environmentally conscious design of chemical processes I by David Allen and David Shonnard. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-13-061908-6 1. Environmental chemistry-Industrial applications. 2. Environmental management. I. Shonnard, David. II. Title. TP155.2.E58 A54 2002 660-dc21 2001034380

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These-product life-cycle stages arc illustrated in Figure 13.1 INTRODUCTION TO PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE CONCEPTS Products. Process designers must avoid contamination of the sites at which their processes are located. and emissions are associated with each step in the life cycle. chemical product designers must consider how their products will be recycled.1-1. Figure 13. For products.CHAPTER 13 Life-Cycle Concepts. Table 13. Allen 13. Traditionally. These increased responsibilities for products and processes throughout their life cycles have been recognized by a number of professional organizations. the life cycle begins when raw materials are extracted or harvested. The product is used. The life cycle begins with planning. Simply stated. Product Stewardship and Green Engineering by Kirsten Sinclair Rosselot and David T. design engineers must become stewards for their products and processes throughout their life cycles. research and development. As shown in the figure. illustrates the main elements of this process life cycle. services. along the horizontal axis. wastes. Processes also have a life cycle.1-1. then will be decommissioned and. energy is consumed and wastes and emissions are generated in all of these life cycle stages. A process will have an active lifetime. Raw materials then go through a number of manufacturing steps until the product is delivered to a customer.1-1 describes a Code of Product Stewardship developed by the Chemical Manufacturers' Association (now named the American Chemistry Council). Increasingly. 419 . product and process designers have been concerned primarily with product life-cycle stages from raw material extraction up to manufacturing. then disposed of or recycled. if necessary. and processes all have a life cycle. energy consumption. Again. remediation and restoration may occur. That focus is changing. along its vertical axis. The products and processes are then designed and constructed. They must consider how their customers use their products.

1-1 The Chemical Manufacturers' Stewardship Code. customers and the public. Everyone involved with the product has responsibilities to address society's interest in a healthy environment and in products that can be used safely. employees.. I I .Ole Q) e 0: ~ 0 0: :JO '0 (/) 0 (/) Q) tl 'i3 0) I:: Q) e a. This chapter provides an introduction to tools available for assessing the environmental performance of products and processes throughout their life cycle. safety and environmental protection an integral part of designing. 0 '0 e . lise.-.6 summarizes the main points of the chapter.. The scope of the Code covers all stages of a product's life. transported. raw material use. safety and environmental considerations a priority in our planning for all existing and new products and processes: • To develop and produce chemicals that can be manufactured. I of the Code promotes .. and all who use and handle products must follow safe and environmentally sound practices. transport or dispose of chemicals.4 presents more qualitative tools._ c .protecttve measures: • To promote the principles and practices of Responsible Care by sharing experiences and offering assistance to others who produce. Q) e> " W C I I I \ \ Table 13. manufacturing. :J o . • To extend knowledge by conducting or supporting research on the health.2 e "§ .-. and sometimes assess. recycling and disposing of our products. processes and waste materials.. "I • I " 'c \ \ -m iii Q) The purpose of the Product Stewardship Code of Management Practices is to make health...f2 .'" 13.5 describes a number of applications for these tools and Section 13. Association (American Chemistry Council) Product . Successful implementation is a shared responsibility. \ >. All employers are responsible for providing a safe workplace. Q) Q. The Code provides guidance as well as a means to measure continuous improvement in the practice of product stewardship. customers and business. a. Life-cycle studies range from highly detailed and quantitative assessments that characterize. marketing.2 Life-Cycle Assessment 421 I I I . • To counsel customers all the safe lise.2 LIFE-CYCLE ASSESSMENT e ~ seSBljd epilo-el!l o a.2 . Q.3 present quantitative tools used in product life cycle assessments (LeAs). I I . 16 \~:~ \ 0: ". safety and environmcntal effects of our products. to assessments that 420 . distributing. wastes.2 and 13. The Codc recognizes that each company must exercise independent judgment and discretion to successfully apply the Code to its products.w \ \ e "-I' I I Effective product and process stewardship requires designs that optimize performance throughout the entire life cycle..c c S :m (5 't:I U5 iii.. using. .~ :0 o Q) 8 Q) :2 Eo 'O'li) Q) :~~ Eo: Q) Q) 5:2 «! C • To make health.Q '§ Q) 9 c. Reftrliom/rip Implementation Principles: 10 1 I Gllhlillg Principles achievement of several of the Responsible Care Guiding .. information on chemical-related health or environmental hazards and to recommend. Section 13. Section 13. transportation and disposal of chemical products: • To report promptly to officials. ~ Q) .2 (/) (/) C 't:I c «! :J «! ~ . but similar concepts and tools could be applied to process life cycles. 13. handle. The primary focus is on product life cycles. O't:l e (Ij a: I . Sections 13. e OJ «! e >. the environmental impacts of energy use. used and disposed of sa fcly. and emissions over all life stages.

to fluoresce. what if the entire product life cycle were considered.2 Life-Cycle Assessment 423 qualitatively identify and prioritize the types of impacts that might occur over a life cycle. Product Stewardship and Green Engineering Chap. M. The importance of system boundaries can be illustrated by a simple example.collection for the study.. . When the bulbs reach the end of their useful life. ------------. In this step.2-1? In a comparison of the incandescent and fluorescent lighting systems. the use of an incandescent bulb can result In the release of more mercury to the atmosphere than the use of a fluorescent bulb. including temporal and spatial boundaries. the conclusion changes. Or is it? What if we changed our system boundary? Instead of just looking at product disposal. Fluorescent bulbs provide light by causing mercury. Consoli. however. As noted in the text.. In this section. and . a life-cycle assessment (LCA) is the most complete and detailed form of a life-cycle study. Since ~n Incandescent bulb requires more energy to operate. But what is a functional unit. Tbe motivation was the energy savings provided by fluorescent bulbs. The system boundaries are simply the limits placed on data. the mercury in the tubes might be released to the environment. A life-cycle assessment consists of four major steps. the product.2-1 The importance of system boundaries in liIe-cycle assessment is !lIustrated by the case of lighting systems. highly quantitative life-cycle assessments are described. ~ Landfill J Fuels Power Plants Electricity Incandescent Bulb : System Boundary 1---------------------------------------------------------I 1 I I 1 I 1 I Lighting Life-Cycle System . different levels of detail and effort are appropriate for the different ways the life-cycle information is used. Step 1: The first step in an LCA is to determine the scope and boundaries of the assessment.. however. the use of an incandescent bulb results in the release of more mercury to the atmosphere than the use of a fluorescent bulb. To begin. . Familiarity with the terminology of life-cycle assessment makes communication of results easier and aids in understanding the concepts presented later in this chapter.422 Life-Cycle Concepts. Mercury is a trace contaminant in c~al. more mercury can be released to the environment due to energy use than due to disposal of fluorescent bulbs. the burning of coal is the greatest contributor of Hg releases to the atmosphere. and what do we mean by system boundaries? Let's look first at the system boundaries.. a functional unit for that product is chosen. as shown in the second part of Figure 13. 13. in glass tubes. . 13 13. This environmental concern (mercury release during product disposal) is far less significant for inc candescent bulbs.1 Definitions and Methodology There is some variability in life-cycle assessment terminology.2-1.S. Over the lifetime of the bulbs.when coal IS burned to generate electricity.2.. as shown in the first part of Figure 13. are made. and choices regarding system boundaries. As shown in this chapter. et aJ. the steps involved in conducting detailed. Consider the problem of choosing between incandescent light bulbs and fluorescent lamps in lighting a room. Over the Hfe!ime of the bulbs. Like any product. ~ Landfill 1 I I 1 I I I I 1 I I 1 : I 1 I I Fuels Power Plants Electricity Fluorescent Bulb Fuels Power Plants Electricity --~~~~--~--~-~~----~-~--~~~~-~ ---------------------------~ Incandescent Bulb System Boundary Figure 13.. or service to be studied is defined. if the system boundary is selected to include electric power generation as well as disposal. Since an incandescent bulb requires more energy to operate. ~ Landfill M.S. Although mercury is a trace contaminant in coal. but the most widely accepted terminology has been codified by international groups convened by the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) (see. a fluorescent bulb is not completely environmentally benign. 1993). and a concern arose during the Green Lights program about the use of mercury in fluorescent bulbs. mercury might be released Into ~heenv~ronment. fluorescent bulbs contain m~rcury and I! these bulbs are sent directly to municipal solid waste landfills. the reasons for conducting the LCA are identified. more mercury can be released to the Fuels Power Plants Lighting Life-Cycle System Electricity Fluorescent Bulb . Thus. During the 1990s the US EPA began its Green Lights program. If a larger system IS consl~ered.w .Use of incandescent bulbs would result in a smaller amount of mercury in the municipal solid waste stream. 1 1 M. process. some mercury is released to the atmosphere.W.S. an analysis focusing on just municipal solid waste disposal would conclude that fl~oresc~nt bulbs release more mercury to the environment than incandescent bulbs. . for example. which promoted replacing incandescent bulbs with fluorescent lamps.w . the analysis changes..

1-1. it would not be appropnate to compare one paper sack to one plastic sack. some of these ancillary processes could be important contributors. As shown in the pro?lems at the end of this chapter. Because fewer grocenes are generally placed in plastic sacks than in paper sacks. some LeAs have assumed a functional equivalence of two plastic grocery sacks to one paper sack. As is shown later in this section. over its life cycle. Some of the values that are sought during the inventory process are objective quantities derived using tools such as material and energy balances. the simple issue of determining which bulb. Converting these inventory elements into an assessment of environmental performance requires that the emissions and material us~ be transformed int~ estimates of environmental impacts. On the other hand. but will have a much longer use lifetime that must be accounted for in performing the LCA. for specific issues. specific design modifications that could improve environmental performance might be suggested. wastes or emissions. Alternatively. Step 2: The s~cond step in a life-cycle assessment is to inventory the inputs. such as mercury release. we would ?ot need to consider these' issues if the impacts are negligible. . such as raw ma~er:als and energy. the choice of functional unit is not always straightforward and can have a profound impact on the results of a study. shown. In our simple example. As this simple example illustrates. Differing product lifetimes must also be evaluated carefully when using life-cycle studies to compare products. I ~ ~ I Raw-: Materials Use/Re-Use/Maintenance ~ I ~ Recycle I I I I I I I Waste Management L J System Boundary Figure 13.Distribution ~ ~ and Transportation -. take a moment to review the stages of a product life cycle. emissions.2 Life-Cycle Assessment 425 environment due to the burning of coal than due to the disposal of fluorescent bulbs. What is included in the srstem and what is left out is generally based on engineering judgement and a deSIre to capture any parts of the system that may account for 1% or more of the energy use. The first stage in a product life cycle. conceptually 111 FIgure 13. This topic will be discussed in detail in Section 13. and is often the most time consuming and data intensive portion of a life-cycle assessment.424 Life-Cycle Concepts. as shown along the horizontal axis of Figure 13. wastes. For example. Exam~les of life-cycle in:ent~ries and more detail concerning the structure of a life-cycle mventory are provided m the next section. energy use. Thus. the choice of system boundaries can influence the outcome of a life-cycle assessment. Thus. For example.2 Life-Cycle Inventories A life-cycle inventory is a set of data and material and energy flow calculations that quantifies the inputs and outputs of a product life cycle. Product Stewardship and Green Engineering Chap. but may ignore critical features of a system. for example.byproducts. other values are more subjective and depend on choices and assumptions made during the assessment.and plastic grocery sacks are to be compared in an LCA. Before describing in detail the data elements associated with a life-cycle inventory. compared to the Impacts associated with operations over the life of the equipme~t. This is because functional units are necessary for determining equivalence between the choices. This step is called an improvement analysis or an interpretation step. The choice of functional unit is especially important when life-cycle assessments are conducted to compare products. Another critical part of defining the scope of a life-cycle assessment is to specl~ the functional unit. and making the glass used in the bulbs we are analyzing?. is called a life-cycle inventory. When lifecycle assessments are conducted to compare products. This step is called a life-cycle impact assessment.2.2. and Formulation Outputs Water Effluents Airborne Emissions Solid Wastes Other Environmental Usable Products Releases ~ I I I I I I :-. ~hat occur and are used during the life cycle. is raw .2-2. if paper . 13 13.2-2 lile-cycle inventories account for material use. a cloth grocery sack may be a~le ~o hold only as many groceries as a plastic sack. if a single product were analyzed. On the other hand. such as products. should we also assess the impacts of mining the metals. I~ general. puts compiled in the inventory. ~tep 3: ~he output from a life-cycle inventory is an extensive compilation of specific materials used and emitted. and the outputs. . Instead the products should be ~ompared based on the volume of groceries they can carry. the third step in a life-cycle assessment ISto assess the environmental impacts of the inputs and out- ---------------------------~ Raw Material Acquisition I I I I I I I I I I I I I Life-Cycle Inventory . results in the release of more mercury depends strongly on how the boundaries of the system are chosen. and co-products over all of the stages of a product's life cycle. A narrowly defined system requires less data collection and analysis.3. raw material use. Processing. This step. and emIssJO~s. suggesting improvements whenever possible. wastes. 13. Step 4: The fourth step in a life-cycle assessment is to interpret the results of the impact assessment. in a practical sense it is impossible to quantify all impacts for a process or product system. Inputs Energy ----: Manufacturing. this step might consist of recommending the most environmentally desirable product..

these data are often aggregated over the life cycle and reported as aggregate quantities. . and mining of iron are. For example. over all of the stages of a life cycle. Some products. bauxite. the data collection effort can be substantial. Some of the entries may seem obscure. The next stage of the life-cycle stage is use.000 600 530_000 4. A second set of entries in the table describes non-fuel raw material use. such as automobiles. For example. Table 13. A final set of inventory elements are the wastes and emissions. where the materials it contains are used to make another product. for example. mg Chemical oxygen demand Biological oxygen demand Acid.400 20 <I 1.000 6.32 <0.01 9. crude oil extraction. MJ Total Fuel + Feedstock Raw Materials. some life cycle inventories do not report the release of carbon dioxide. products might be recycled to more basic materials. and ferromanganese. The product could be re-manufactured. In this stage. but only serve to point out the complex nature of product life cycles.900.000 1 Water emissions. These include iron are. might be made into another newspaper or might be shredded and used for animal bedding. mg 1 . water. or Table 13. Consider each element in the table. Input or Output Coal Oil Gas Hydroelectric Nuclear Other Total Coal Oil Gas Total Unit Average 0. sodium chloride. clay. solvents. and the building blocks of plastics. Tracking material flows.000 300 5. which is what happens when a ceramic cup is washed and reused instead of being thrown away. Crude oil is processed into fuels.1 0. the limestone use is due in part to acid gas scrubbing in various parts of the product life cycle. have negligible material and energy flows associated with the use of the product. 426 Life-Cycle Concepts. for example.2-1 shows a summary of an inventory of the inputs and outputs associated with the production of one kilogram of a relatively simple product: ethylene. A product might be reused. A newspaper.400 8. Finally. Recycling can occur in several ways. The main raw materials of ethylene production (oil and gas) are also fuels. where raw materials are processed into the basic materials of product manufacture. or solvents and pigments turned into paints. As shown in this table. mg 69 Iron ore Limestone Waler Bauxite Sodium chloride Clay Ferromanganese Dust Carbon monoxide Carbon dioxide Sulfur oxides Nitrogen oxides Hydrogen sulfide Hydrogen chloride Hydrocarbons at her organics Metals 200 100 1. The first set of data in the table are energy requirements. Some subjectivity is introduced here in deciding which materials to report. Felled trees are processed into lumber and paper.8 6. mg 10 20 7. MJ Life-Cycle Inventory Data for the Production of 1 kg of Ethylene (Boustead.2-1 Category Energy content fuels.01 31 29 60 1993). Thus.000 3. Examples of raw material acquisition are timber harvesting. paper and plastic may be made into cups.r . These are the hydrocarbon fuels and electric power sources used in extracting the raw materials for ethylene production and for running the ethylene manufacturing process (an energyintensive operation). After raw material acquisition is the material manufacture stage. generate significant emissions and wastes during use. Even for a simple product made from a single raw material in one Or two manufacturing steps.2 <0. The energy content of this feedstock for ethylene production is reported in units of energy rather than mass (a common practice among life-cycle study practitioners) so that it can be combined with the energy that was required in the production process. such as grocery sacks. is required for a comprehensive life-cycle inventory. 13 i 13. limestone. These materials move to the product manufacture stage where they are used to make the final product. Product Stewardship and Green Engineering Chap. Feedstock. a global warming gas.2 Life-Cycle Assessment 427 material acquisition. while other products. water use would include water used in oil field production as well as steam used in the ethylene cracker.000 Ail' emissions.000 400 Solid waste.12 0.94 l. as H+ Metals Chloride ions Dissolved organics Suspended solids Oil Phenol Dissolved solids Other nitrogen Industrial waste Mineral waste Slags and ash Nontoxic chemicals Toxic chemicals 200 40 60 300 50 20 200 200 1 500 10 1. The final life-cycle stage consists of disposal or recycling. through processes such as plastics depolymerization or automobile disassembly which yield commodity materials such as monomers and steel. steel turned into car bodies. The next set of data elements are referred to as feedstock energy.

Naphtha is produced in petroleum refineries. stoichiometry. Sometimes. asphalt. As shown in FIgure 13.2-3 Allocating (b) For a process with two inputs and two outputs among multiple products that are material use. from a. pr~ducts. gasoline. inputs and emissions are sometimes allocated based on the value of the products generated. the input and emissions attributed to each of the products can be allocated . for example the life-cycle inventory of a computer workstation performed by the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation (MCC 1993).I'Y 428 Life-Cycle Concepts. value of A and B. If a life-cycle inventory is being performed on one of the two products then. which produces beef and manure product streams. most of the inputs and emissions would be assigned to the manure (other.. in the pul~ making operation is commonly burned for energy recovery within the pulpmg operation. and emissions manufactured in the same processes can be difficult. . or some other metric jao _a_C_J-l Allocated Process for Production of A f--+ A ---4>l Allocated Process for Production of A A _b_C~1>I Allocated Process for Production of B ---+- B ---l>\ Allocated Process for Produotionof B B (a) For a process with one input and two outputs Figure 13. consider raising cattle. value of A and B. and the fraction of the refinery's crude oil use and emissions due to naphtha production must generally be assigned using an allocation procedure '. however. Table 13. Consider the example of a paper plant that debarks wood. The refinery produces a variety of products. the cattle rancher is in business to produce beef. if inputs and emissions to the cattle ranching were allocated based on the mass of the two products.2-1 in order to obtain an idea of the level of effort necessary to inventory the inputs and outputs. A complex product such as a computer would have a very complicated life-cycle f~amework. Yet. which have crude oil as their primary input. pe~roleu~ liquid referred to as naphtha. Computers are made up of many products (semiconductors. Data on emissions and crude oil usage are generally available for the refmery as a whole. In such cases. in some situations.. 1 based on the mass of A and B. Life-Cycle Assessment 429 the use of water. More subtle subjectivity can arise in defining exactly what is and what is not a waste. material a~counting methods. = (crude oil use for entire refinery! total mass of products produced by refinery) * mass of naphtha produced by refinery In most life-cycle inventories. energy use. Clearly. ' Other complexities in life-cycle inventories arise when processes have co. In the naphtha/refinery example. Take a moment to review the entries in Table 13. but a life-cycle inventory applying one type of matenal accounting would appear to predict larger quantities of solid waste that a life-cycle inventory that employed different material accounting practices. allocation based on mass is not appropriate. Life-cycle inputs and outputs for each of these sub-products would need to be inventoried in a life-cycle assessment of a computer (see.based on the mass of the co-products.On~ commonly use~ allocation procedure is based on mass of products. energy use. and allocation based on value might be more appropriate. stoichiometry. Part of the life cycle ~f e~hylene can be used as an example. the coproduct is a byproduct that would not be produced solely for its own merit. consider the allocation of inputs and outputs for the processes shown in Figure 13. Neglecting these inventory elements implies that they are not important.2-3. and the naphtha used to mak~ ethylene. Other life-cycle practitioners might regard the matenal as an mternal process stream. or some other metric ---------------------------- Original Process Allocation scheme (a. As a graphic example. the input and emissions must be allocated between the two products. The left-hand side of thi~ fi~ure sho~s a proc~ss where one input results in two products and one type of emission. Product Stewardship and Green Engineering Chap. not manure.2-1 provides life-cycle inventory data for a single material: ethylene. some of which require sophisticated manufacturing technologies.) that are themselves made from diverse materials.13 1 !13 2 . including gases. in part. casing. Ethylene is made. the crude oil usage and emissions might be assigned in the following way: crude oil use assigned to naphtha production I ---1>\ 01 C (Input) (Emissions) A (coproduct) (EmiSSion~ E (Input) F (Input) 1 lfEmissions) A (coproduct) B (coproduct) Process for Production of A and B I-B-(c-o-pr-o-du-c+t) Original Process Process for Production of A and B ---------------------------Allocation scheme (a + b) '" 1 based on the mass of A and B. less graphic examples could have been chosen. allocation of material use.2-3. Some life-cycle practitioners may count this material as a waste th~t is subs~quently used as a fuel. The wood that is not used. display. such as a pharmaceutical production process that creates a recyclable solvent by product). The environment does not recognize a difference between these two. other fuels. and emissions among co-products is based on mass. Clearly. + bi) . etc. To illustrate the concept of co-product allocation.

d on a life-cycle inventory that used nationally averaged emissions data for electnc power generation. Overall data quality issues.o. measured val~es or are based on engineering estimation methods. 1994).2-1.003 0. In performing a life-cycle inventory. Perhaps the most important uncertainty in life-cycle inventories. to assume that a garment made completely out of recycled PET required the use of no raw materials? Or. it is clear that the total amount of raw materials required for the combined milk bottle/garment system has been reduced by recycling the PET.0 E ~ ~ o 1. Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) in California (glmi) 0.L---L---'.018 Emissions of Electric Vehicles based on an average of power plants within air quality districts in California (g/mi) 0. for example. Sometimes these assumptions. Issues of co-product allocation can be complex.5 1.5 o L.. Another area of life-cycle inventories where subjective decisions are made is in allocation of inputs and outputs for products that are recycled or that are made from recycled goods. Why is there such a d~am~hc difference? The answer is related to data aggregation. If there are multiple inputs and some are converted solely into one co-product. products made from recycled materials as if they had no raw material requirements. The data shown in Table 13.2-2 wer~ b~sed on a life-cycle inventory that used emissions data for elect. The situation can become more complex when the number of inputs and emissions increases.2-4 indicates that an electnc ve. Since emissions from power generation 10 Southern California ale much lower than the average for the rest of the United States.191 0.024 0. such as whether data are direct.and par~i~ulate matter. Consider two examples of cases where data aggregation has impacted the findings of a life-cycle inventory. The right-hand side of Figure 13. Table 13._ EJ Best • ~ Figure 13. But. Emissions of gasoline-powered. Product Stewardship and Green Engineering Chap.2-2 indicate that driving an electric vehicle results in far less emission of reactive organic gases.2-2 and Figure 13. 13 Life-Cycle Assessment 431 Returning to the naphtha/refinery tion would be: crude oil use assigned to naphtha production example.hlcIe emits mor~ of certain pollutants (such as N02 and sulfur oxides) than a gas?hn_e-powered vehicle (based on EPA emission data). In contrast.out~ern California. The data reported 10 FIgure 13. if a life-cycle inventory were to be done on one of these products. how would the raw materials be allocated? Would it be appropriate. can have a significant effect on the inventory data. Data aggregation issues can be more subtle.319 1. Consider the example of a synthetic garment made out of the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recovered from recycled milk bottles.powered motor ve- CO N02 Comparison hicles.011 0.2-3 shows a process where multiple inputs result in multiple products. nitrogen oxides.0 'm 'E w 0.2-2 Comparison 01 Electric Vehicle and Gasoline Powered Vehicle Emissions Based on Electricity Generation within Southern California (Electric Power Research Institute.430 Lite-Cycle Concepts..004 = (crude oil use for entire refinery/ total value of products produced by refinery) * value of naphtha produced by refinery Emission type Reactive organic gases Nitrogen oxides Car bon monoxide Particulate matter Ii !. which do not appear explicitly in tables of results such as Table 13. (Graedel and Allenby. In contrast.2-4 o EPA model of gas-powered passenger vehicle o EPA data for 1990 4-cylinder gas engines 4-cylinder 1990 vehicle (GM Cavalier) Electric vehicle (Low Efficiency) Electric vehicle (High Efficiency) of air pollutant emissions for gasoline· and electrlclty. Properly allocating inputs in this situation requires great understanding of the process. and different life-cycle practitioners make different assumptions. and because a large 2. an alternative co-product alloca- Table 13. is due to the quality of date available on the processes being inventoried and the level of aggregation of the data.. even when single inputs exist. however.rIc ~ower generatlO~ 10 S. any allocation of those inputs to the other coproducts would be misleading. Some life-cycle practitioners treat. the data from Figure 13. carbon monoxide .089 0. 1995) . would it be more appropriate to assume that some fraction (say 50%) of the raw materials required to produce the milk bottles should be assigned to the life-cycle inventory of the garment? There are no correct answers to these questions.2-4 provide data summaries from two different life-cycle inventories that compared electric vehicles to gasoline-powered vehicles. the data reported in ~able 13. are fairly straightforward to Identify and deal with. A first example is provided by the comparison of electric vehicles to gasoline-powered vehicles in the Los Angeles area.2-4 were base. than driving an ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) an eq~lvale~t dIsta~ce. while others allocate a portion of the raw material requirements from the original product to the product made from recycled materials.

shown in Table . 1992). The data may be incomplet~ o~ uncertain. carbon dioxide. the studies lead to very different results. Carbon monoxi e emissions. while the 10% of the refineries with the lowest reported emissions and transfers released less than 0. tive greenhouse warming potentia!s (~ee ~hapter dioxide. These assumptions. Note that the classification and characterization steps are ~enerally based on scientific data or models. global warm~~g gases. They are: • Classification.3:'Z. In ~ontrast. where inputs and outputs determined during the inventory process are classified into environmental impact categories. and CFCs would be classified as global warming gases.3-1 Examples of Environmental Impact Categories. this section has described the basic elements of a life-cycle inventory. Nitrogen OXI. the rela- As a first step in life-cycle impact assessment. for example. but they present a different picture of the relative benefits of electric vehicles. quantifies i~pact for each inventory item by integrating the inventory amount with the po~entIJa~ t~ caus~ an impact. through the Toxic Release Inventory. 13. 13 13. l~pact categories might apply to very local phenomena (for exa~ple.1 Classification 13.3. throughout its life cycle. averaged 7 pounds per barrel of refinery capacity. so that a single index indicating environmental performance can be calculated. co-product allocation. For example. 13. and acid precipitation and acid dep~~ltJon precursors. inputs and outputs that . and other parameters. Table 13.3 Life-Cycle Impact Assessments 433 fraction of the total emissions associated with an electric vehicle are due to the power generation required to fuel the vehicle.. a pound of lead emitted to the atmosphere has a different environmental impact than a pound of iron emitted to surface waters. and as illustrated by a number of the problems at the end of the chapter.2 Characterization The second step of impact assessment. but the proces~ of classification and characterization is generally objective. data aggregation methods. would be classified as a smog precursor. where the potency of effect of the inputs and outputs on their environmental impact categories is determined. A second example of the importance of the level of data aggregation emphasizes the difference between well-operated and poorly operated facilities.3 LIFE-CYCLE IMPACT ASSESSMENTS Life-cycle inventories do not by themselves characterize the environmental performance of a product. She found that the total emissions and waste transfers reported by refineries. The process of producing life-cycle impact assessments is generally divided into three major steps (Fava.were the subject of the inventory are classified into environmental impact categones. while other Impac~ categones are global (for example. if the impact category IS g a a warming.. To develop an overall characterization of the environmental performance of a product or process. • Characterization. characterization. The 10% of the refineries with the highest reported emissions and waste transfers released more than 18 pounds per barrel. potency factor. In summary. as illustrated in the simple examples in the text. a life cycle inventory that used emissions data from a refinery with low emissions might lead to very different conclusions than a life cycle inventory based on data from a refinery that has high emissions.some. or service. requires that life-cycle inventory data be converted into estimates of environmental impact. and CFCs would be identified in this step. This is because overall quantities of wastes and emissions.3. Thus. Exam~les of environmental impact categories are given in Table 13. methane. smog precursors. and depends on the value SOCIety places on vanous environmental impact categories. on the other hand. Global warming Stratospheric ozone depletion Photochemical smog formation Human carcinogenicity Atmospheric acidification Aquatic toxicity Terrestrial toxicity Habitat destruction Depletion of nonrenewable resources Eutrophication .432 Life-Cycle Concepts.es emissions would be classified as photochemic~l. et al. 11) of methane. the valu~ tion step is inherently subjective. Simply stated. Product Stewardship and Green Engineering Chap.3 pounds per barrel. can have a significant impact on the findings of a life-cycle inventory. process. consider the list of arr emlsslo~lS lllvento~~e for a study that examined polyethylene. Note that . stratospheric ozone depletion a?d glo~al w~r~mg): _d As an example of classification. . aquatic t?XIClty to organisms found only in certain ecosystems~. It is prudent to define and explore these assumptions and uncertainties before arriving at conclusions based on life-cycle inventory data. Epstein (1995) tabulated the emissions and transfers of wastes associated with 166 refineries in the United States. system boundaries. In performing the inventory. i. carbon • Valuation where the relative importance of each en~ironmentallmpact category is assessed. It can be presumed that both studies are technically correct. 13. .3-1. for example.e. and raw material and energy requirements must be considered in conjunction with their potency of effect on the environment. a number of assumptions are made concerning functional units. Each of the three steps is discussed in more detail below.

and material use may be distributed all over the world since automotive components are manufactured all over the world and users may operate vehicles all over the world. Does it make sense to sum the emissions of (for example) carbon dioxide from activities all over the world over a period of more than a decade. the spatial location of the emissions may not be known and the temporal distribution of the emissions may be uncertain. and 0. for life-cycle assessment data. Product Stewardship and Green Engineering Chap.009 0. Is It correct to add the overall global-warming score to the overall human toxicity score to arrive at a single impact score? Solution: The global warming impact assessment score is 1.tYPIcal impact assessment scheme. while the release of phosphates might be the cause of eutroification in another area. 0. material use.009 kg.by ~otency factors to arrive at impact scores. Similarly. In Chapter 11. If carbon dioxide is assigned a characterization score of one for global warming. atmospheric acidification potential. impact scoring systems were applied to processes. Compounds that contribute to acid rain. Also calculate the total human toxicity score. Energy use.3 Life-Cycle Impact Assessments 435 Table 13. as would be done in a life-cycle impact assessment of an automobile? The answer to that question. depends on project boundaries. Some recent hfe-cycle Impac~ a~s~ssment methods have attempted to account for spatial and temporal vanab!ltty of P?tency factors. Remember that. Once these potency factors are established. and sulfur oXld~s were 1. In contrast. nitrogen oxides. For example. for example.tively (Boustead.78. may not be an environmental concern in areas where the hours/dav hours (acutcj-decades (chronic) years years hours (acUte )-dccades (chronic) years/decades decades/centuries years Example 13. Most life-cycle impact assessments continue to assume that m~entory data can be summed over the entire life cycle without accounting for spatial and temporal distributions. For this type of application. calculate the total global warming score for the polyethylene. in a life-cycle assessment for an automobile. Consider first the new issues that arise when impact scoring systems are applied to life-cycle data. It may be inappropriate to do the same summation for a type of impact that depends strongly on local conditions. Calculate the Impact scores for each compound and the overall score for each impact category. In Chapter 11. and sulfur dioxide have been assigned character. 1997).3-3. A summary of the concerns associated with. In general. The energy use. Assume that c~rb?n monoxide. but this remains a relatively underdeveloped area of hfe-cyc~e Impact assessment.0012 0. 0. Other weighting factors were presented for smog formation potential. It may be appropriate. nitrogen oxides. emissions. ~isted in Table 13. Table 13. Assume ~hat the other emissions have no global warming potential.3 kg.0009 soil is well-buffered and acid rain is not a problem. carbon monoxide. and 1. and other categories.434 Life-Cycle Concepts. material use. and emissions are summed over the life cycle and the weighting or potency factors are then applied to these summed inventory elements.lzahon scores of 0.2 for human toxicity. 13 13. Rather. the emphasis in this chapter is on the new issues that arise when applying these impact scoring methods to life-cycle data. these range from local to global in their spatial extent a~d .3-2 Selected Air Emissions from the Production of One Kilogram of Polyethylene kg emissions per kg of polyethylene Nitrogen oxides Sulfur dioxide Carbon monoxide 0. material use. that discussion is not repeated. and on the range of variation in impact scoring systems that have been employed around the world. res~ec. In this chapter.3 . . and emissions would also be distributed over a product lifetime that may last for more than a decade. 1993). Impact categories Global warming Stratospheric ozone depiction Photochemical smog formation Human carcinogenicity Atmospheric acidification Aquatic toxicity Terrestrial toxicity Habitat destruction Depletion of nonrenewable resources Eutrophication Spatial scale global global regional/local local continentalfregional regional local regional/local global region al/loca I Temporal scale decades/centuries decades then relative global warming potentials can be used to weight the relative impact of emissions of different global warming gases. while it would be incorrect t~ add th~ emissions of the four compounds together. The process of calculating impact scores was described in detail in Chapter 11. respectively. An inventory of the manufacture of a one kilogram of polyethylene showed tha~ air emissions of carbon dioxide.3-1 Impact assessment scores for the manufacture of polyethylene. for example. the rele~se of nitrates in one area might cause eutrification. Thesespatial and temporal charactenst~cs of Impacl~ should be compared to the spatial and temporal resolution of data collected In life-cycle studies (adapted from Owens.3-1. their impact scores can be co~bmed. the inventory values for inputs and outputs are combined with the potency factors to arrive at impact scores.012 kg.operate over time scales ranging from hours to decades. emissions are multiplied . 0. the location of the emissions can be specified and the time at which the emissions occur can be specified. spatial a?d temporal averagmg of emissions is given in Table 13. to sum worldwide emissions of global warming gases in a life-cycle study. relative global warming potentials were described.3 X 10:: 1. life-cycle impact assessments do not account for this spatial and temporal distribution of energy use. In a.0009 kg. of course.3-3 Impact Categories Frequently Considered in Life-Cycle Assessments. and the spatial scales and time scales over which the impact occurs.012. and emissions. energy use.

Score1 6 2 10 7 4 Dutch Terr. In Chapter 11.g the results of the characterization step so that the environmental impact categones of highest importance receive more attention than the impa~t categories of . while for carbon monoxide it is 0. Some commonly used potency factors (Swiss Federal Ministry for the Environment (BUWAL). 1996. 1MPCA: Pratt ct al. each emission is characterized based on the volume of air or water that would be required to dilute the emission to its legally acceptable limit.2 = 0. Also. Wright.011. each of the potency factor schemes would result in the same rank ordering of chemicals. Fava et al. Thus..012 * 0.009 * 0. . 2. There is no generally accepted method for aggregatmg values obtamed from . Minnesota Pollution May be based on human or animal effects. Instead.f 10 <I 10 9 14 15 11 13 14 . Compound Tetrachloroethylene Dichloromcthane Trichloroeth ylene 1.3 and the overall score for human toxicity is 8 8 6 o + 0. 2 6 8 10 . which was performed by Rosselot and Allen (1999).3. At times. Ideally. The methods are often based on different criteria. Guinee et aI..2-Dichlorocthanc PCBs Emlosulfan Carbon tertrachloride Vinyl chloride Ch lorobenzcne Benzyl chloride Hexachlorobutadiene 2. a number of schemes for weighting releases to the environment have been developed for reasons other than life-cycle assessment. the data show that the different potency schemes lead to different rank ordering of some of the compounds..012 And for sulfur dioxide it is 0. In these systems. Other potency factor systems are based on relative risk. Also note that ranking these compounds by mass of release (the order in which they are listed in the table) would give very different results than ranking them by potency of effect for any of the characterization schemes. 8-TCDD 8 13 = 0.2 = 0.. Compounds are listed in descending order of quantlty released. a single set of potency factors is presented.g. valuation. 1996). et at. 1996. Pratt et al. developed lite-cvcle assessment. I-Trichloroethane Chloroform 1. however.011 8 2 3 6 = 0. but disagree in their rankings of dichloromethane. 1997).1. As an example.. 1993.least concern. Why would different potency schemes lead to different results? The answer is simple. Product Stewardship and Green Engineering Chap. and hexachlorobutadiene. Another issue that arises in impact assessment is the choice of potency factors. Tox.2-dichloroethane.3 Ufe-Cycle Impact Assessments 437 The human toxicity score for carbon dioxide is zero.000011. This volume per unit mass or ~ole of emission is called the critical dilution volume and can vary across political boundaries. different life-cycle impact systems will lead to different results. are based on data from environmental regulations. and PCBs. 2Duteh: Guinee et al. In practice. some of them were developed in order to rank emissions. EPA Human Riskl Dutch Human Tox. there are numerous impact scoring systems available. 1993). ..i .4..3-4. 1.000011 + 0.. endosulfan. 8 6 2 7 10 4 6 7 1 2 5 11 3 9 Adding the global warming score for this set of compounds to the human toxicity score would be inappropriate.? Dutch Aquatic Tox? 5 EPA Eco. For example. 4 5 12 1 3 9 8 12 6 4 7 2 1 10 13 10 10 10 6 8 1 The overall score for this group of chemicals for global warming is 1. cons~sts of weightin. considers environmental fate and transport.78 * 1. 13 13. US EPA. if air quality regulations allowed 1 part per billion by volume of a compound in ambient air. Risk! 10 MPCA Tox. Table 13.7. 13. but establishing relative risks requires assumptions about the type of environment that the emissions are released to. These assumptions may differ in the various impact assessment schemes. while not all potency factors lead to identical results.3 Valuation The final step in life-cycle impact assessment.020. The results of the rankings are shown in Table 13.Diehlorophenol 2.0009 For nitrogen oxides it is 0. then one billion moles of air (22. Control for Agency system for ran1cing air pollutants. The potency schemes agree in their rankings of trichloroethylene. used to rank pollutants.3.g..0094 + 0. . Many of these characterization schemes have been developed by life-cycle researchers (e.. 1996. 8 13 3 13 3 14 15 II 9 3 13 14 12 15 8 13 11 3 15 8 specifically 12 5 IUS EPA: Waste Minimization Prioritization Tool.436 Life-Cycle Concepts.3-4 Rankings of 1993 Releases of Chlorinated Organic Compounds in the Great Lakes Basin for Several Potency Factor Schemes. consider an inventory of the releases of organochlorine compounds to the Great Lakes Basin. ignoring the concept of potency and considering only the mass of emissions may place too great an emphasis on relatively benign compounds that are emitted in large amounts. Note that not all of the characterization systems listed in the table were created for the purpose of conducting life-cycle impact assessments. 1997.4 billion liters of air at standard temperature and pressure) would be required to dilute one mole of the compound to the allowable standard.0094. Three different potency factor schemes for human and ecological toxicity impact categories were used to rank the inventory data. Postlethwaite and de Oude. and these can be adopted for life-cycle characterization (e.

. • Contribution: the significance of one kilogram of the emission of that substance in relation to the total effect. Raw Materials Cobalt Iron Rhodium 76 Air Emissions Load impact assessment Description Emissions are weighted based on legal limits and are aggregated within each environmental medium (air.05 ELU.09 1. 438 Life-Cycle Concepts.27 0. • Distribution: the extent of the affected area. Valuation based on willingness-to-pay surveys. Calculate the environmental load units due to air emissions from one kilogram of ethylene production. 0. and 0. Ecological scarcities Distance to target method Valuation schemes based on the "footprint" of the inputs and outputs have been suggested.3 0.. Characterization and valuation steps combined using a single weighting factor for each inventory clement. which combines characterization and valuation into single values.10 ELU/kg SO. Table 13. nitrogen oxides. Critical volumes Environmental and Ryding. land. The resource with the highest combined normalized value is the one that is being most adversely impacted.09 ELU/kg CO2 0.004 kg of carbon dioxide. Data from willingness-to-pay studies were used in developing the indices. environmental indices are multiplied by the appropriate quantity of raw materials used or emissions released to arrive at Environmental Load Units (ELUs). • Remediability: the relative cost to reduce the emission by one kilogram. The following example illustrates the use of the Environmental Priority Strategy (EPS) system. because the attributes chosen for inventorying.09 0. there is very h~tIe data of actual scenanos where people paid a premium based solely on environrnental preferability. Table 13. which can then be added together to arrive at an overall ELU for the subject of the life-cycle study. and environmental value judgements and priorities are built into the indices.~ " "~. In these schemes. Valuation based on flows of emissions and resources relative to the ability of the environment to assimilate the flows or the extent of resources available.006 kg. and aesthetics. Table 13.10 Solution: Total ELUs due to air emissions are 0..~-5.3-6 gives selected environmental weighting [actors from the EPS system. Environmental indices are assigned to compounds by considering six factors: • Scope: the general impression of the environmental impact. and added within resource category. it would be possible to arrive at a single value that represented the total fraction of the earth's resources required to buffer the inputs and outputs over the life cycle being studied. and most willingness-to-pay information is based on surveys. and other resources required to absorb the inputs and outputs are quantified. respectively (Boustead.3 Life-Cycle Impact Assessments 439 the evaluations of different impact categories to obtain a single environmental impact score. ecological health. so that stratospheric ozone depletion might receive a high rating and water usage might receive a low rating. H 0. carbon monoxide. or low to the impact categanes based on the extent and irreversibility of effect.3-5 Life-cycle Strategies for Valuing Life-cycle Impacts (Christiansen.3 Selected Environmental Indices from the Environmental Priority Strategies System In the EPS system.004 kg SO. the ELUs for these inputs would be added to the ELUs for the air emissions. and sulfur oxides. such as air emissions and energy usage. .0006 kg. H 0.0006 kg CO H 0.3-6 Selected Environmental Indices from the EPS System (in EnVIronmental Units Per Kilogram) (Steen and Ryding. 1992).800.000 Carbon monoxide Carbon dioxide Nitrogen oxides Sulfur oxides 0. Impact categories for this system include biodiversity. water. Valuation based on target values for emission flows set in the Dutch national environmental plan. human health.13 13.22 ELU/kg NO. Priority 1992) System (Steen Characterization and valuation steps combined using a single weighting factor for each inventory element (see example below).~\::~': - . Water Emissions 0. developed in Sweden..27 ELU/kg CO 0. . Note that with this system. Product Stewardship and Green Engineering Chap. Emissions are 0. Example 13. impacts are aggregated. Also. 1993). = 0. characterization would be conducted so that the air. In fact. approach 1997). soil). 0. medium. However. Note that if quantities of raw materials or water emissions were given. • Frequency or intensity: the regularity and intensity of the problem in the affected area. water.~.1 0.53 kg CO2 H 0. 0.22 Nitrogen Phosphorous 0. resources. on either a local or global basis.006 kg NO. Some of the approaches that have been employed are listed in Table 13. reflect the values of the practitioners and the organization funding the study. Some methods assign valuations of high.53 kg. Data on the public's willingness to pay for various environmental health cate~ories have also been used ~ndeveloping valuation schemes. the choice of . Valuation occurs implicitly in every life-cycle study. • Durability: the permanence of the effect. These quantities could then be normalized according to the amount of each resource available.

they can be used to identify where the most significant environmental issues occur. the time required to perform a comprehensive life-cycle inventory may be limiting. for example. Studies in between the two extremes will be called streamlined life-cycle assessments. the response of different species to the same dose of a compound is very different.4. Issues of temporal and spatial aggregation.3. For example. Finally. The next section describes methods for managing the uncertainties and effort required for life-cycle assessments.440 Life-Cycle Concepts. Even if sufficient resources are available. given the resources that are available. as described in this section arise. While there is no widely accepted procedure for aggregating impact scores across different impact categories. valuation adds an element of subjectivity into the analyses. throughout the entire product life cycle. Similarly. the more expensive and time-consuming the study will be. For example. 13. an analysis that includes an inventory of all inputs and outputs and all life-cycle stages (including an assessment of which ones are significant enough to be included in the inventory). 13. odor is not typically included as an impact category. valuation is not needed to determine which product is environmentally superior. many practitioners stop at the characterization step. might rely on the data presented in the previous section on ethylene and focus on extending the supply chain through the polymerization of ethylene into polyethylene.4 Interpretation of Life-Cycle Data and Practical Limits to Life-Cycle Assessments While the process of a life-cycle assessment might seem simple enough in principle. potency factors are not available for all compounds in all impact categories. 13 13. life-cycle data are subject to uncertainty for the reasons cited earlier in this section. A life-cycle assessment for polyethylene. and an improvement analysis will be called a life-cycle assessment and a study that falls to the left in the spectrum of complexity will be said to involve the use of life-cycle concepts. Streamlined life-cycle assessments are conducted in order to find the most important life-cycle stages or type of inputs and outputs for more detailed study. The importance of product stewardship and growing awareness of the importance of product and process life cycles. This rarely happens. Once these tools are described. even if the necessary time and resources are available.4 Streamlined Life-Cycle Assessments 441 impact categories to be evaluated in the classification and characterization steps implicitly includes valuation. aggregation within impact categories takes place widely. In performing the inventory. for example. If a life-cycle study was conducted to compare two products and the impact scores for each impact category were higher for one product than the other. This spectrum is illustrated in Figure 13. Because valuation is subjective. typically products being compared and design alternatives for a single product have some positive features and some less desirable features (recall the examples from Chapter 11). This is not to say that life-cycle assessments are without value. It would be impractical. Rather. system boundaries must be chosen so that completion of the inventory is possible. A study might build extensively on previously completed life-cycle assessments. Also. beginning with the use of life-cycle concepts and ending with complete life-cycle assessments. these assessments provide invaluable information for decision-making and product stewardship. to have a separate impact category for every biological species. meaning that any design choice typically means tradeoffs between categories of impacts. implicitly suggesting that it is of minimal importance relative to impacts such as ecotoxicity and human toxicity. however. Product Stewardship and Green Engineering Chap. The limitations of life-cycle inventories are then carried forward into the impact assessment stage of life-cycle studies. coupled with a growing frustration with the complexity and data intensity of traditional life-cycle assessments has led to a new type of product life-cycle evaluation.4-1. Then. data collected Figure 13. application and interpretation of life-cycle information will be examined. an impact assessment.4-1 Lile-cycle studies fall along a spectrum of difficulty and complexity. Life-Cycle Thinking Life-Cycle Assessment . They allow environmental issues to be evaluated strategically. The challenge is to take advantage of these valuable features of life-cycle assessments while bearing in mind the difficulties and uncertainties. In this chapter. There are many ways that a life-cycle assessment can be streamlined. despite the uncertainties involved.4 STREAMLINED LIFE-CYCLE ASSESSMENTS The use of life-cycle studies falls along a spectrum from a complete spatial and temporal assessment of all the inputs and outputs due to the entire life cycle (which may never be accomplished in practice. in practice it is subject to a number of practical limitations. and the impact assessment methodologies add their own uncertainties. . The further a study falls to the right on the spectrum. both because of a lack of information and because it would require a tremendous amount of effort and expense) to an informal consideration of the environmental stresses that occur over a product or process life cycle. Some impact assessment schemes have separate impact factors for aquatic and terrestrial life but within those broad categories. often referred to as a streamlined life-cycle assessment.1 Streamlined Data Gathering for Inventories and Characterization 13. Each alternative has an environmental footprint with unique characteristics.

Note that different SUbcomponents of the workstation (SO = semiconductor device.442 life-Cycle Concepts. The workstation components considered in the MCC study included the cathode ray tube (display). 1993) .. usually have environmental impacts that are dominated by raw material acquisition and materials manufacture and disposal. Qualitative approaches for streamlined life-cycle assessments have been developed by a number of researchers.. PWB/CA = printed wiring board and computer assembly. which in turn reflects resource scarcity and ease of manufacturing and is at least loosely tied to environmental importance. Energy use was dominated by the consumer use stage of the life cycle. medium. Hazardous waste generation was dominated by semiconductor manufacturing. but compared to the tens of tons of fuel required in the use stage of a typical car during its lifetime. instead of quantifying the number of units of energy required to produce a product. In contrast. DIS = display) dominate different inventory categories. Qualitative evaluations can be enormously helpful in reducing the time and resources necessary for providing life-cycle information. Energy use (which is sometimes relatively simple to find data for) or toxicity might also be considered. For example.Q (ij . A streamlined life-cycle assessment was able to identify. making an inventory of energy requirements less necessary than an inventory of gaseous. or low.. the use phase dominates for longlived products that require resources during use. semiconductors. There are other ways to decide whether a component or material should be included or omitted in a life-cycle study. such as semiconductor devices in computers.4. The study was used to guide research and technology development for the microcomputer industry. 100 80 60 40 20 0 SO SP PWB/CA Disc D Non-Hazardous tm Hazardous c: 0 :::J S: E Ol '0) 5: Subcomponent Figure 13. can have large environmental impacts relative to their weight (see Box 1).4-2. because some small components. For example. a selected set of inputs or outputs might be chosen for inventorying. lfi 5000 c .2 Qualitative Techniques for Inventories and Characterization lfi "0 One of the more common techniques employed in streamlined life-cycle studies involves conducting qualitative rather than quantitative analyses. However. the energy usage could be characterized as high. such as its economic value.9 <l> OJ ttl 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 80 SP PWB/CA Dis => . Results are summarized in Figure 13. Another possible shortcut to completing a life-cycle study would be to leave out life-cycle stages. water use. semiconductor manufacturing was identified as a significant factor in material use. Conducting II full life-cycle assessment on a product of this complexity would be extremely difficult. Environmental impact categories are sometimes neglected in streamlined life-cycle studies. SP = semiconductor packaging. because detailed inventory information is not necessary. (MCC. in a streamlined lifecycle assessment of electric vehicle batteries. and printed wiring boards. and waste generation in computer workstation life cycles. which workstation components were of primary concern. S: 0 Q) :::J 5: 1il ((j ~ 4000 Q) 2000 0 SD SP PWB/CA Dis Use 13. plastic housings. Product Stewardship and Green Engineering Chap. The omission can be based on whether the components or materials contribute significantly to the product's overall environmental impacts. product disposal was dominated by issues related to cathode ray tubes._ (/) 5: til Q) Subcomponent lfi "0 C 10. Other approaches for making life-cycle studies easier to accomplish include omission of product components or materials. energy usage during manufacture of a car may be high compared to manufacture of many products. such as single-use packaging. A streamlined life-cycle assessment for a workstation was performed by an industry team coordinated by the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation (MCC. 1993).4-2 Energy use. yet life-cycle data can prove extremely useful in identifying areas for environmental improvement. there is a risk of failing to assess different life-cycle stages and products in a comparable manner. material use. For example. Some products are known to have heavy impacts due to process wastes but require little energy. This could result in inadequate study results. Steele and Allen (1998) considered only the recycling and disposal life-cycle stages. for a variety of life-cycle inventory categories. and solid residues. For example. Somewhat surprisingly. 13 Box 1 A streamlined life-cycle study of a computer workstation in previous studies may indicate that certain impact categories or life-cycle inventory categories can be safely neglected without a meaningful effect on the results of the study. an evaluation of high for energy use during manufacture would be inappropriate. liquid. Short-lived products. A computer workstation is a complex product involving an enormous range of materials and components.000 ~ 8000 6 6000 >c w SO 8P PWB/CA Dis . Some practitioners routinely exclude any component that accounts for less than 1 % of the total product weight. Similarly.

After all the scores are assigned. By integrating the inventory amounts with the potential to cause an impact. such as sulphur hexaflouride. use of virgin materials is penalized. 199B). which relies on the use of expert evaluations of Table 13. For example. Scores developed by different individuals tend to fall within 15% of each other. they may be helpful in identifying whether aqueous or chlorinated organic solvents are environmentally preferable. Scores from a to 4 (with 4 indicating environmental preferability) are assigned to the life stages and inventory categories listed in Table 13. processes.4·1 Life Stages and Inventory Categories Evaluated in the Environmentally Responsible Product Assessment Matrix (Graedel. facilities. EPA.4-3. 1998).4 Streamlined Life-Cycle Assessments 445 Example 13. for a total of 25 assessments per product. Manufacturers can also evaluate substitutes or implement better management practices for particular problematic materials. Evaluations tend to be based on comparisons to a standard and focus on whether or not best practices are being fO!lowed. is 4 X 25.e. but not for comparing a process change that makes cleaning unnecessary compared to the use of aqueous or chlorinated solvents. disposal . Korea. The results of the Environmentally Responsible Product Assessment can be plotted on a chart such as the one shown in Figure 13.from raw materials acquisition through end-of-life. it is not as useful for comparing completely different means to fulfilling a need. Relative Impacts Impact Category Atmospheric Resources Impact Subcategory local air quality regional air quality global impacts surface water ground water energy consumption material/resource use landfill space occupational (multiple pathways) general public (multiple pathways) aesthetic (odor) . streamlined life-cycle analyses. by reducing or eliminating mercury use in LCDs or lead in CRTs) and to reduce energy consumption during LCD and CRT manufacturing. and human health/ecologicalimpacts (see table below). The study indicates numerous opportunities to improve both CRT and LCD designs (e. However. Japan. 1998). 1998). and infrastructures have also been developed at Bell Laboratories/Lucent Technologies (Graedel. which is used in LCD manufacturing and contributes to global warming. An example of such a system is the Environmentally Responsible Product Assessment. or 100. and Taiwan (U.. by combininglife-cycleassessment(LCA) and streamlined Cleaner Technologies Substitutes Assessment (CfSA) aproaches (US. . this scheme might be useful in improving already-designed products rather than a product that is in the early design phases. The material inventory was collected from display and component manufacturers and suppliers in the U.S.. and other information (Graedel. These guidelines and protocols are for the materials choice category of the premanufacture life-cycle stage. therefore. developed at Bell Laboratories/Lucent Technologies. so credit is given for using recycled materials. For example. in partnership with the electronics industry. Product Stewardship and Green Engineering Chap. The table shows that there are five life-cycle stages and five inventory categories to assess. and an environmentally damaging product would have points that fell towards the outside circumference. Parallel systems for assessing services. the scoring guidelines and protocols for just one of the 25 elements in the Environmentally Responsible Product Assessment matrix is given in Table 13.g. preliminary results indicate that when aggregating data for all life-cyclestages.material inputs/outputs) for all life-cyclestages. Streamlined life-cycle assessment methods could be devised to produce results with an absolute basis. natural resource use.4-2. 1995). Some life-cycle practitioners evaluate both the quantity of the inputs and outputs and their impacts in a single qualitative process. except aquatic toxicity. The maximum value for this overall score. they are added together to arrive at an overall score.4-1. A product that is relatively environmentally benign would have all the points of the chart clustered around the center. has evaluated the life-cycleenvironmental impacts of li~uid crystal display (LCD) and cathode ray tube (CRT) technologiesthat can be used ~ndesktop computer monitors. 13 13.444 Life-Cycle Concepts.4-1 Computer Display Projett: LCDs vs CRTs The U. CRTs have greater potential impacts for most categories. Therefore. water quality.S. recycling. Inventory Category/Li fe Stage Materials choice Energy use Solid residues Liquid residues Gaseous residues Premanufacture Product manufacture Product delivery Product use Refurbishment.S. EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) Computer Display Project. inputs and outputs could be assigned qualitative As presented in table above. functional units and allocation methods are not explicitly considered. EPA.. however. which is an indication of the uncertainty in the results. aquatic toxicity terrestrial toxicity CRT's Higher Higher Higher Higher Higher Higher Higher Higher Higher Higher Higher Lower Higher LCD's Lower Lower Lower Lower Lower Lower Lower Lower Lower Lower Lower Higher Lower Water Quality Natural Resource Use Human Health Impacts Ecological Impacts extensive checklists. As an example. surveys. In these qualitative. the impacts of the CRT and LCD technologies were assessed for the followingmajor impact categories: atmospheric resources.The LCA examined environmental impacts through the collection of inventory data (i.

13.446 Life-Cycle Concepts. streamlined study. quantitative lifecycle assessment is impossible at the time when it would be most useful. Streamlined life-cycle assessments and life-cycle concepts playa particularly important role in green engineering-more so than comprehensive life-cycle assessments. A good streamlined life-cycle assessment has a goal. Is the product des!gned to m. rubidium. 13 Streamlined life-Cycle Assessments 447 Tab~e13.4. in the design phase. and Guidance Figure 1~. However. The inventory scores could then be added to the potency scores to arrive at impact assessment scores. low could be assigned a score of one.inputs and outputs for rows and life-cycle stages for . facilities have not been built. n imony. and uranium.4-3 . There is a rule of thumb that 80% of the environmental costs of a product are determined at the design phase (Graedel. and none. Potency factor matrices with evaluations of high. Instead. Modifications made to the product at later stages can therefore have only modest effects. a score of three. . and a score of high if air emissions of a compound are believed to be greater than 0. 1998). gold.3 Pitfalls. just as a comprehensive life-cycle assessment does. ch. Many such streamlined assessments could be devised and it is beyond the scope of this chapter to review all of the methods that have appeared. 1998). Advantages.rommm. The target plot for the Environmentally Responsible Product Assessment matrix.column~ would be filled out with evaluations of high.001 kilogram. and high. r mm. For example. a score of two. For IlJustrative. Nevertheless. thorium. Numerical scores could then be assigned to the qualitative evaluations. This is because of the nature of the design cycle of a product or process. so a comprehensive. c~ ~ t.i?imize the use of scarce materials (as defined above)? Is the product designed to utilize recycled materials or components wherever possible? o 4 1. Also. In a streamlined life-cycle assessment. low. . an impact assessment. it is useful to keep in mind the features of a well-designed. The rows of these matrices would be types of inputs and outputs and the columns would be environmental impact categories. platinum. oron. palladl~m: rhodium. medium. the potency factor scores would need to be developed only once for each type of input and output. silver. or 3 inventor~ scores that co~respond to a specific functional unit and an absolute value. All of the relevant life stages are evaluated. consider the life-cycle inputs and outputs of one kilogra~ of glass. if only to say they are being omitted and why. packaging has not been determined. and an improvement analysis. and none for each of the inputs and outputs from the product inventory matrix could also be devised. One might assign a score of low to compounds whose air emissions are beheved to be greater than zero but less than 0. This is discussed further in the later sections on design of products and processes. mercury. While it might be difficult (or even impossible) to inventory the inputs and outputs of a life cycle to within one or two significant digits. Product Stewardship and Green Engineering Chap. iridium. less effort is required to arrive at estimates accurate to within an order of magnitude.1 kilogram. osmium. low. materials have not been selected. 2. This streamlined life-cycle assessment technique would require a large number of relatively simple evaluations. Each radial axis represents one of the 25 life-cycle stage/inventory category combinations from Table 13. (Scarce materials are defined as a ti be ylli b bI . 1998).001 kilogram and 0.4-2 Environmentall~ Responsible Product Matrix Scoring Guidelines for the Materials Choice Inventory Category DUringthe Premanufacture Life-Cycle Stage (Graedel. medium. For the case where materials are acquired from suppliers: A scarce material is used where a reasonable alternative is available.4-1 (Graedel.purposes. Score Condition For the case where supplier components/subsystems are used: No/little information is known about the chemical content in supplied products and components. medium. a score of medium if air emissions of a compound are believed to be between 0. and all of the relevant inventory categories are evaluated (again. preferable materials and processes can be identified through the use of an abbreviated life-cycle study early in the design cycle where it is most effective. Product Inventory matnces wi~h types of. Thus it is in the early design phase that life-cycle studies for improving the environmental performance of a product are most useful. evaluations for inventory categories and impact assessments may be qualitative instead of quantitative.. perhaps only to say why they are being omitted). an inventory.1 kilogram.) No virgm material is used in incoming components or materials. Complex products made from many separate components would be more amenable to this type of streamlined assessment because scores with an absolute basis could be weighted and summed over the components involved.

13 I 13. 199~). they have created skepticism over the value of life-cycle studies. and applying the most appropriate poJlution prevention or abatement techniques. Examples of ecolabels from around t~e world are given in Figure 13. and 3) providing information to the public about the resource characteristics a~ pr?ducts o~ materials (~yding. Product Stewardship and Green Engineering Chap. developing alternatives to maximize the recycling and reuse of materials and waste. as regulations tend to internalize what are currently external costs of doing business..5 Uses of Lifecycle Studies 449 13. 13. life-cycle studies have been applied in many ways in both the public and private sectors for uses such as developing.g.5. such as studies conducted in order to improve products. the most important goal of life-cycle studies is to minimize the magnitude of pollution (Ryding. By their nature. life-cycle studies include environmental impacts whose costs are external to business (e. and comparing products. habitat destruction) as well as internal (e..g. Some of the most visible of the applications of life-cycle studies are environmental or ecolabeling initiatives. This has diverted attention away from some of the less controversial applications.5-1. and reduction of Figure 13. Other goals include conserving non-renewable resources.2 Strategic Planning One of the most important uses for manufacturers of life-cycle studies is to provide guidance in long-term strategic planning concerning trends in product design and materials (Ryding. 13.5. there is alwaysroom for criticism of the assumptions that were made and the data that were gathered in the course of the study. ensuring that every effort is being made to conserve ecological systems.5 USES OF LIFE~CYCLE STUDIES According to a survey of organizations actively involved in life-cycle studies. Assessing these external costs is key to strategic environmental planning. especially in areas subject to a critical balance of supplies. and because of the open-ended nature of life-cycle studies. another study comparing plastic and paper cups.1 Product Comparison environmental impacts and risks posed by materials and proc~sses throughout ~he product life cycle. 2) evaluating resource effects associate~ :-Vlt~source ~eductlOn and alternative waste management techniques.448 r' I Life·Cycle Concepts. Policymakers report that the most important uses of life-cycle studies are 1) helping to develop long-term policy regarding overall material use.3 Public Sector Uses Life-cycle studies are also used in the public sector. 13. Because the results of these high-profile product comparison life-cycle studies have generated a great deal of controversy and debate. A life-cycle study comparing cloth and disposable diapering systems.5-1 Ecolabels from Around the World. . 1994). Product comparison studies are often sponsored by organizations that have a vested interest in the results. As discussed in this section.5. resource conservation. The most widely publicized life-cycle studies are those that have been conducted for the purpose of comparing products. Besides environmental labeling p~'~grams. the cost of waste generation). 1994). improving. and another one comparing polystyrene clamshells and paper wrappings for sandwiches are examples of studies that received a great deal of attention from the press (see problems at the end of the chapter). pubhc sec~or uses of life-cycle studies include making procurement decisions and developmg regulations. including energy.

1994). environmentally preferable by consumers and environmental advocacy groups.. the greatest potential for reducing the energy requirements over the life cycle consisted of switching to a cold water wash and line dry instead of a warm water wash and drying in a clothes dryer. Manufacturers have more potential for influencing the environmental impacts of products than any other "owners" of life-cycle stages. and systems that are major contributors to environmental impacts.31 . MJ 2.54 13.47 6. In another life-cycle study for product improvement of clothing. A summary of this case and other the uses of life-cycle studies in public policy initiatives has been assembled by Allen.5-1.c'. wastes. Such a switch would reduce the energy requirements of the use stage by 90%. Scott changed about 10% of its pulp supply base. Scott's first step was to require its pulp suppliers in Europe to provide detailed information about their emissions.~ . MJ 7. and if they did not choose to proceed. energy use. one of the greatest environmental improvements that could be made in a garment is to make it cold water washable. Another life-cycle study conducted for the purpose of product improvement (Franklin Associates. They found that there was considerable variation in performance among suppliers.05 8.83 s. Prior to this study. Table 13. This is because they can exert some influence over the environmental characteristics of the supplies they use.89 35. et a1. The majority of fuel required to make polyethylene is in the organic matter that instead of being burned for energy is converted to polyethylene. 1994). because manufacturing processes account for a large portion of the wastes generated in the United States. 13 " : [. Scott decided to use a life-cycle approach to environmental impacts as opposed to its traditional focus on environmental concerns only at plants that it owns when it found that the issues of major concern were not in the life-cycle stages directly controlled by the company. Thus. and energy consumption Product comparisons have received the most attention from the press. The concern was that tighter regulations may have made the costs of industrial laundering so expensive that a shift from cloth shop rags to disposable shop rags would occur.'. 13. and 2) to compare different options within a particular process with the objective of minimizing environmental impacts (Ryding. This study showed that in the case where next-day shipping is used. This inventory showed that the focus of efforts to reduce the life-cycle energy requirements of polyethylene are best spent on reducing the mass of polyethylene in products (i. the components of a computer workstation were assessed to reveal which were responsible for the majority of raw material usage. to make them as light as possible).. Would this be a benefit to the environment? Life-cycle concepts provide some insights.5.ar 0.53 0. MJ Fuel Type Electricity Oil Fuels Other Total Delivered Energy. Furthermore. Ltd.. This is illustrated by the efforts of Scott Paper Company in their procurement of pulp for paper products (Fava and Consoli. Scott no longer used them as a supplier.58 2. Product Stewardship and Green Engineering Chap. emissions. 1993) showed that the energy requirements of the use stage of a polyester blouse are 82% of the total energy requirements over the life cycle. manufacturers have some potential to influence the environmental characteristics of the companies from whom they purchase supplies.5-1 Average Gross Energy Required to Produce One Kilogram of Polyethylene (Boustead. transportation and distribution energy requirements can be 28% of manufacturing life-cycle energy requirements.17 Feedstock Energy. The poorest performing suppliers were shown the potential for improvement. the values in the column titled "Feedstock Energy" are about 75% of the total energy requirements. I· Uses of Lifecycle Studies 451 For example.35 Total Energy. 1996).. Choosing Suppliers As stated before.34 42. 450 Ufe-Cycle Concepts.00 32.76 33. manufacturers state that the most important uses of life-cycle studies are 1) to identify processes. the United States Environmental Protection Agency used lifecycle information when making a decision about regulation of industrial laundries whose effluent was a problem because of the oily shop rags they laundered. manufacturing processes. Scott ranked the environmental impact categories by consulting with opinion leaders.5 . As a result of this program. and that the suppliers that were ranked worst in one environmental impact category tended to be worst in other categories as well. and because manufacturers determine to some extent the use and disposal impacts of the products they make.1993). Transportation and distribution of products generally contribute negligibly to the energy requirements of a product and are frequently neglected in life-cycle studies. MJ 0. it was shown that the means of transportation used in delivering a garment to a customer can have a profound impact on the garment's life-cycle energy requirements (Hopkins et al. the garment manufacturcr was unaware that their choice of delivery mode could contribute significantly to the energy required over the life cycle of their products. ingredients. but in a survey. In yet another life-cycle study conducted for product improvement.59 66.60 85. In their impact assessment. This table shows the results of an inventory of the energy required to produce one kilogram of polyethylene.4 Product DeSign and Improvement Improving Existing Products The results of a life-cycle study conducted for the purpose of product improvement are shown in Table 13..e. and forestry practices. Scott publicized their efforts and its products were seen as. In fact. (1997). 13. Fuel Production and Energy.

and legal requirements have set the boundaries for the design of products.5. and the final product specifications phase. cost.s Life-cycle assessments have four steps.e studies require a great deal of time and effort. This is in spite of the fact that by weight. This tool identifies five inventory categones and seven environmental impact categories at two spatial scales (s~op level ~nd global). This example is typical of emerging trends in product design. . only one of the manufacturers made switches that contained cadmium. 1998). including product comparison. the lifecycle study revealed that the biggest environmental gains could be had by reducing the electricity consumed by the switch over its ten-year lifetime. strategic planning. environmental aspects are included with this core group of design criteria and life-cycle studies can be used to assess environmental performance. Generally. These impacts can only be fully understood by assessl~g the~ ove~ ~. Next IS an Ill~pact assessment. In the initial design phase. to reduce the overall energy usage of a computer workstation. Increasingly. 13 13. t~- .5 Process Design Industrial process changes should be given strategic thought because. in th~ matnx are assigned +1. 1 e~ cycle techniques have been adopted in industry and the public s~ctor to ~erve a va riety of purposes. Semiconductor manufacture was found to dominate hazardous waste generation and was also found to be a significant source of raw material usage. The life-cycle inventory showed that the cadmium contained in the contactor of the switch for both manufacturers was negligible compared to the cadmium used in plating operations during manufacture. This result is surprising because the electricity consumed is small per event and only becomes important when totaled over the life cycle. Note that not all life-cycle stages are explicitly identified III this scheme. use. ThIS matnx IS s~own in Table 13. the results obtained have uncertamty. Using Life-Cycle Concepts Table 13. the detailed drawings phase. Motorola intends to use this matrix in three succeedingly quantitative phases: the initial design concept phase. de endin on whether the alternative IS an Improvement. or. environmental labeling. In effect. and modifications made to the product at later stages may have only modest effects. Thus it is in the early design phase that life-cycle studies for improving the environmental performance of a product are most useful. Whl~e the life-cycle stages of a process are different from those of a pro~uct (as shown in Figure 13. Motorola has developed a matrix for streamlined life-cycle assessment that is intended in part to specifically address early design (Graedel. where the effects of the inputs and outputs are evaluated. the matrix elements can be fi1led out by asking a series of yes and no questions.fter how much care IS taken in preparing a study. no ma. but it is a moving target as markets. The matrix is shown in Table 13. in Early Product Design Phases Traditionally. roughly 80% of the environmental costs of a product are determined at the design phase. and scientific understanding of impacts change. efforts are best directed at reducing the energy consumed by the monitor.~ e cycle. Summary 453 (Box 1. 1998!.t~ey are ge.5-3. 1h h b Jacobs Engineering has developed a life-cycle matnx too . 1996).1-1). Also. or 1. However. process choices (including choices of feed materials for the pr~cess) a~e likely to have more impact over the life cycle of the process than production of t e equipment itself. SUMMARY Life-cycle studies are a uniquely useful tool for assessing the i~pact of human tivities. A ba~e cas~ process is determined and elements. Product Stewardship and Green Engineering Chap. The components studied included semiconductors. technologies. 1993).6.5-2 Motorola's life-Cycle Matrix (Graedel.t at ~s. The first is scopmg. One of the findings of the study was that the majority of energy usage over a workstation's life cycle Occurs during the use phase of the display monitor. 1998).nerally in place for decades and retrofits tend to be expensive and difficult. comprehensive hfe-cycl.5-2. MCC. The s~con~ step IS an inventory of the inputs and outputs of each life-cycle stage. Another life-cycle study was conducted by a light switch maker in Europe as a result of a competitor gaining market share by claiming to manufacture a cadmium-free switch (Besnainou and Coulon. An overal1 score is computed by adding the yes answers. Purl Sourcing Manufacturing Transportation Usc End of Life Impact Sustainability Human health Resource Energy Eco health use use 13.0.ategones are the same. Therefore.452 Life-Cycle Concepts. een applied to processes (as opposed to products) (Graedel. but neither switch was truly "cadmium-free. and changes in that score show progress in the product's environmental characteristics. Even for simple products. equivalent. printed wiring boards and computer assemblies. Optimizing environmental performance from the beginning of the design process has the possibility of the largest gains. the types of inputs and outputs and impact c. ~ors~ tha? fhe ba:e case. d . and product design and improvement. performance. as stated earlier. and display monitors." Also. cultural requirements. from raw material acquisition to manufacture. where boun ?ne are determined and strategies for data collection are chosen. ~he f~nal step is an improvement analysis. semiconductor packaging. semiconductors are a very small portion of a workstation. There are five life-cycle stages and three impact assessment categories (one of which is divided into two subcategories) in the matrix. . a~d final disposal.

McGraw"Hill. a) Fluorescent bulbs vs. F.. Brussels. (1997). Davis. F . Washington. Besnainou.4.' Quay. 0- . Franklin.J. "Ecoprofilcs of the European Plastics Industry.!!l ~ c « c c U til a.. and numerous other products... 0 . May 1993.i .A. A. November.4. Boustead. New York. Boustead. Parrish. Just a Cut? Final Report from the SETAC"EUROPE LCA Screening and Streamlining Working Group. ed.. Buropean Centre for Plastics in the Environment. Steele and Allen..... DT. purchasing identical mar" ket baskets of goods and packaging the goods using both paper and plastic. Brussels..§ Ol Q) Q) l ." Environmental Defense Fund. Disposable diapers c) 12"ounce aluminum cans vs. A. Life-cycle assessments have been performed comparing the environmental impacts of beverage delivery systems.L. grocery sacks.. 1. 1997.. and Karuba.455 References Yet. D.. ." SETAC... Jensen. I.~ 1. 13.9! ~ .. For a product of your own choosing. Florida. Vigon... Equivalency could be established by going to grocery stores. Pensacola. Consoli. J. Reports 1.. "Guidelines for Life Cycle Assessment A Code of Practice. R. For example. Epstein. 1993. S. 16"ounce glass beverage containers 2. (1992)... G. ~ 16 . keeping in mind the typ~s of pFoducts or processes that the frameworks are designed for. Coulon. D. Tables 13." SETAC Press. Fan" J." PWMI.. and estimate that equivalency factor. Environmental concerns that are identified ear1y in product or process development can be most effectively and economically resolved and life "cycle studies can be used as tools to aid in decision-making. QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION Q) <Ii C/l C/l Q) 2 n. Studies of this type have concluded that 2 plastic sacks are equivalent to one paper sack. lighting systems. Pensacola.S. Bakshani. J. determining a functional unit is a critical part of per" forming the comparison.0 . life-cycle studies remain useful. 1998).. "OJ . Perri" man.~ 16 $ c :l " V 8 I'<j ~ E ~ I'<j . develop a matrix which could be used in performing a streamlined life-cycle assessment (see... Consoli.C. A Curran. D. bO « ~ ~ W '- ·5 u Ol S . L. describe how an equivalency between products could be established using the functional unit.'! 454 .. and.5·2 and 13.1..T. if the goal were to compare paper and plastic grocery sacks. 'c 'm c w C/l . ~ M ~ . K. for example. Allen.. 1996. B . "Public Policy Applications of Life Cycle Assessment." in Environmental Life-Cycle Assessment. Seguin. Postlethwaite.. Greetham. Compare and can" trast the features of the tables.>. suggest a functional unit. M. "Ranking Refineries. K. D. editors. and Rosselot. ed..5-3 each present frameworks for performing streamlined or semi-quantitative analyses of impacts throughout a life cycle.c 0 0 til -. 127 pp..A.." American Institute of Chemical Engineers. N. B. "Simplifying LCA. 155pp. REFERENCES Allen. Christiansen. and Warren.. For each of the product comparisons listed below. R.." SETAC. N. FL.N.) . Allen. "Homework and Design Problems for Engineer· ing Curricula. In all of these studies. "Life-Cycle Assessment: A System Analysis. 1995. de Oude. New York. Incandescent bulbs b) Cloth vs. W. J. the functional unit would be providing packaging for a given market basket of groceries.£ .. R.

Curran. whether their purchases should be placed in unbl~ache~ paper grocery sacks o~ 1ll eth lene rocery sacks.. and Sas. "LCA Impact Assessment of Toxic Releases. New Jersey.d f a er sack. T. 2 plastic sacks are ~qUlvalentto one paper sack. United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). Waste Minimization Prioritization Tool. M. 1998. and Allenby. S. "Chlorinated Organic Compounds in the Great Lakes Basin: Impact Assessment.." in Life Cycle Assessment." Prairie Village. so perform your calculations at thr~e recycle rates: 0 Yo.. respectively. L. 1 (4). PROBLEMS (From Allen. Do the same for the air emissions. Clift. and Allen. L. T. Inc. This problem WIll quantitatively examine life-cycle inventory data on the energy use and air emissions for these two pr~d~c~s..21b of petroleum IS re~U1re to manu acfu~ lib of polyethylene.010. G. Rosselot.. Streamlined Life-Cycle Assessment. "EV Emission Benefits in California. Customer Systems Division. 40A-46A. Steen.E. L. ed. and that based on this functional unit. D. Compare the energy requirements and air emissions of the sacks at different recycle rates.. S.1992. . B. Englewood Cliffs. . 1995. T. Prentice-Hall. M. 1993. "The EPS Enviro-Accounting Method: An Application of Environmental Accounting Principles for Evaluation and Valuation of Environmental Impact in Product Design. . Owens. EPA 744-R-95-002. "International Experiences of Environmentally Sound Product Development Based on Life-Cycle Assessment. Assume 0% recycle and that 1. d) The material and energy requirements of the plastic sacks are pnman~ de. T. Environmental Franklin Associates." Stockholm: Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL). Cleaner Technologies Substitutes Assessment: A Methodology and Resource Guide. Air Emissions and Energy Requirements (Allen." Report no. D and de Dude.. McGraw Hill. 1995.0045 Paper sack energy req'd (Btu/sack) 905 724 Plastic sack energy rcq'd (Btu/sack) 464 185 Note: These data arc based on past practices and may not be current.000 BTU/lb. Ca. "Quantifying and Reducing Environmental Impacts Resulting from Transportation of a Manufactured Garment." Environmental Life-Cycle Assessment. J.05l6 0.e of then life cycle. 1(1) 37-49 (1997).rocenes to be trans ported. Design for the Environment Computer Display Project (fact sheet).. KS. Stockholm. "Resource and Environmental Profile Analysis of a ManufacProduct. Englewood Cliffs.. a) Using the data in the table. Curran. "Life Cycle Assessment Constraints on Moving from Inventory to Impact Assessment. "An Abridged Life-Cycle Assessment of Electric Vehicle Batteries. Livingston. c) Discuss the relative environmental impacts of the two products. Pratt G." Dutch Ministry of Housing. June 1993.0146 0..E. D van de Meent. "Measuring Corporate Environmental Performance: The ICI Environmental Burden System. 1994. Life-cycle Stages Materials manufacture plus product manufacture plus product use Raw materials acquisition plus product disposal Paper sack air emissions (oz/sack) 0. K.1ved from etroleum a non-renewable resource. S. 117-127 (1998). b) Plot the energy requirements calculated in part a as a function of the recycle ~ate for both sacks. H. B. A. United States Environmental Protection" Agency (US EPA). Hopkins. Steele. Gollweg. R. EPA530-R97-019. McGraw-HilI.. T. N. et aI. "Application ofLife-Cycle Assessment to Business Performance. June 1997. Spatial Planning and the Environment. F. Do the results allow for a comprehensive comparison? . TX.. EPA 744-F-98. customers are asked to. Graedel. Verrniere.." Journal of Industrial Ecology..5 and 61 grams. 1350-1379. 1992). Wright. Compare the amount of etroleum required for the manufacture of two polyethylene sacks to the amoun t 0 p 10% of the energy required in the manufacture of one energy necessary to provlideo. R. "Life-Cycle Assessment of a Computer Workstation. Life-cycle inventories for paper and polyethylene grocery sacks have reSll te III the data given below. Also determine the amo~nt o~ energy required and the quantity of air pollutants releas~d for the qua~t1ty 0 apcr sacks capable of carrying the same volume of grocenes as the plastic sack.." Pollution Prevention Review. 4(4). C. Product Stewardship and Green Engineering Chap.. E. Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation (MCTC). N." Swedish Waste Research Council. 1994. 1996. J and Consoli.. tured Apparel F. 1998... Ltd. ~oth the air emissions and the energy requirements are f~nctlO~s of the reocycl~ rate. and Brown. The Netherlands.. 1999. 27(8). S. The higher heating value of petroleum 1S 20. D. 1998. AFR Report 36. Oliaei.S. Prentice-Hall. s re y on petrol~um to o~IYa limited extent and only for generating a small fraction of th~ manufacturing and transportation energy requirements.A. Some consumers make their choice based on t~e pcrcept[~n 0 t e rel~ive e~viroruncntal impacts of these two products. Guinee. 50 Yo and 1~0 Yo red c clcd Note that a 50% recycle rate indicates that half of the sack~ a~e dispose o~ and' the other half are recycled after the product usc stag. May 1994. 1. Paterson. A~sume that th~ functional unit to be used in this comparison IS a defined volume of g. RB2882.. May 1996. J. 1994. United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA)." Technical Brief. 1992.T. D. New York. M. P. May.456 Life-Cycle Concepts.. Rikken. Palo Alto. which wilJbe used in c~mpari~g the two products." Journal of Industrial Ecology. for Paper and Polyethylene Grocery Sacks Pt~- Graedel. determine the amount of energy. The Hague. M." Environmental Science and Technology.. K. van Oers.choose 1.. DT. 13 457 Electric Power Research Institute. Fava. D. Ryding. Postlethwaite. HVE-059-94.required and the quantity of air pollutants released per plastic sack. New Jersey... 1996. and Ryding. the paper sac. In contrast.0510 " Plastic sack air emissions (ozfsack) 0. .W. The plastic and paper sacks weigh 7.." submitted to Journal of Industrial Ecology. Industrial Ecology. Allen. and Mackay. ed. Allen.) Atthe supermarket checkstand. M. New York. and Allen. et aI. Inc. Gerbec." Chemosphere.. "An Indexing System for Comparing Toxic Air Pollutants Based upon Their Potential Environmental Impacts. Jan. Austin. "European Perspective.