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LCA (life-cycle assessment)

life-cycle analysis Eco-balance analysis

All stage product life

from raw material extraction through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and disposal or recycling

Environmentally Friendly Sustainable Products Green product Environmentally Preferable
United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (1987) Sustainable Development definition: development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Biodegradable Recyclable Ozone friendly Eco-design Greenwashing

Being Green is Trendy . . . . . . . . . . . What Does Science Say?

Industry is looking for ways to green their products and manufacturing processes. Individuals and Families are looking to green their homes and lifestyles. How can you tell if something really is green?? What is currently happening to achieve this goal? Scientists perform a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

Product Life Cycle

M, E M, E M, E M, E M, E M, E

Ra w Mat erial Ac quisit ion


Ma terial Proc ess ing

Ma nufac ture & As sem bly


Us e & Serv ice


Re tirem ent & Rec overy


T reat ment Dis pos al


re u s e rema nufac ture c lo sed-loop recy cle o p e n - lo o p re cy cle

M, E = Material and Energy inputs to process and distribution W = Waste (gas, liquid, or solid) output from product, process, or distribution Material flow of product component

Propose the use of LCA

to make more informed decisions through a better understanding of the human health and environmental impacts of products, processes, and activities

Areas covered by LCA

Raw Materials Materials Processing

Water Effluents Air Emissions

Materials Energy

Product Manufacture Solid Wastes Retail Outlets


Other Releases
Usable Products

Product Use and Service

Reuse - Recycling


LCA is a technique to assess the environmental aspects and potential impacts associated with a product, process, or service, by:

Compiling an inventory of relevant energy and material inputs and environmental releases Evaluating the potential environmental impacts associated with identified inputs and releases Interpreting the results to help you make a more informed decision

four basic stages of conducting an LCA

Goal and scope definition Inventory analysis Impact assessment Interpretation

What Makes Up LCA

Goal & Scope Definition
What is the purpose of the LCA and who is the audience?

Impact Assessment (LCIA)

What are the environmental, social, and economic affects?

Inventory Analysis (LCI)

1. What is the function & functional unit? 2. Where are the boundaries? 3. What data do you need? 4. What assumptions are you making? 5. Are there any limitations?

Ways to reduce environmental impacts. What conclusions can you draw from the study? What recommendations can be made?

illustrates the possible life cycle stages that can be considered in an LCA and the typical inputs/outputs measured

Items To Consider??
Inputs What is needed to make the substance! 1. Energy 2. Materials 3. Labor Outputs What comes out of the system! 1. Products (electricity, materials, goods, services) 2. Waste 3. Emissions 4. Co-products

The LCA process is a systematic

LCA Applications
External uses: Marketing or support for specific environmental claims. Labelling. Public education and communication. Policy making. Supporting the establishment of purchasing procedures

LCA Applications
Internal uses: Strategic planning. Product & process design, improvements & optimisation. Identifying environmental improvement opportunities. Support the establishment of purchasing procedures or specifications. Environmental auditing & waste minimisation

Global Impact Categories

Source: Use of copper, zinc, oil etc. Effect: Reduction of possibilities for future generations
Resource depletion

Green house effect

Source: Combustion (transport, energy etc.) Effect: Increase in temperature, desert formation etc.

Depletion of ozone layer

Source: CFC and HCFC from foam and coolants Effect: UV radiation, skin cancer etc.

Regional Impact Categories

Source: Transport, energy, industry (Hydrocarbons etc.) Effect: Ozone formation (Damage of lung tissue etc. )
Ozone formation


Source: Transport, energy, agriculture Effect: Damage to woodlands, lakes and buildings (SOx, NOx, NH3 ) Source: Fertilisers, waste water, transport and energy Effect: Eutrophication (Damage to plants and fish) Source: Waste water, incineration, industry, ships etc. Effect: Accumulation: Chronic damage to ecosystems and organisms


Persistent toxicity

Generic Unit Process

Midpoint versus Endpoint Modeling

Environmental Impact throughout Lifecycle

Example: Automobile

The figure illustrates that one emission may contribute to several impacts, and that several emissions contribute to the same impact

Example: EtOH

Concept of Biorefinery
Plant Raw Material Pre-processing Final Processing Fuels Functional Unit Recycle or Disposal



Chemicals, etc. Polymers Feeds & Foods Monomers Products to Replace Petroleum Based or Petroleum Dependent Products

Crop Residues


Sugar Crops

Lubricants Electricity

Recycled within Product System or to Other Product Systems



Woody & Herbaceous Crops



Compost pile or Landfill

Example : washing machines

Source: Electrolux 1998

Calculated environmental impacts across the products life cycle identifies and quantifies energy & materials used, waste emissions, etc identifies improvement potentials

LCA of washing machines

Production Distribution Energy Air Pollution Water Pollution 4% 2% 4% 7% 2% 1% 1% Use 96% 98% Disposal

87% 98% 5%

Solid Waste Water Consumption

Life Cycle Assessment

A Scientific Way to Look at Going Green!

30 Oktober 2012