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Munoz I.,2. 0 LCA Consultants | Rodriguez C.,Greendelta GmbH | Gillet D.,Mahtani Chitosan Pvt. | M. Moerschbacher B.,University of Munster
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2017

Purpose: The aim of this article is to present the first life cycle assessment of chitosan production based on data from two real producers located in India and Europe. The goal of the life cycle assessment (LCA) was to understand the main hot spots in the two supply chains, which are substantially different in terms of raw materials and production locations. Methods: The LCA is based on consequential modelling principles, whereby allocation is avoided by means of substitution, and market mixes include only flexible, i.e. non-constrained suppliers. The product system is cradle to gate and includes the production of raw materials, namely waste shells from snow crab and shrimp in Canada and India, respectively, the processing of these in China and India and the manufacture of chitosan in Europe and India. Primary data for chitin and chitosan production were obtained from the actual producers, whereas raw material acquisition as well as waste management activities were based on literature sources. The effects of indirect land use change (iLUC) were also included. Impact assessment was carried out at midpoint level by means of the recommended methods in the International Life Cycle Data (ILCD) handbook. Results and discussion: In the Indian supply chain, the production of chemicals (HCl and NaOH) appears as an important hot spot. The use of shrimp shells as raw material affects the market for animal feed, resulting in a credit in many impact indicators, especially in water use. The use of protein waste as fertilizer is also an important source of greenhouse-gas and ammonia emissions. In the European supply chain, energy use is the key driver for environmental impacts, namely heat production based on coal in China and electricity production in China and Europe. The use of crab shells as raw material avoids the composting process they would be otherwise subject to, leading to a saving in composting emissions, especially ammonia. In the Indian supply chain, the effect of iLUC is relevant, whereas in the European one, it is negligible. Conclusions: Even though we assessed two products from the same family, the results show that they have very different environmental profiles, reflecting their substantially different supply chains in terms of raw material (shrimp shells vs. crab shells), production locations (locally produced vs. a global supply chain involving three continents) and the different applications (general-purpose chitosan vs. chitosan for the medical sector). © 2017 The Author(s)

Kjaer L.L.,Technical University of Denmark | Host-Madsen N.K.,NIRAS | Schmidt J.H.,2. 0 LCA Consultants | McAloone T.C.,Technical University of Denmark
Sustainability (Switzerland) | Year: 2015

An increasing number of companies are expanding their environmental impact reduction targets and strategies to include their supply chains or whole product life cycles. In this paper, we demonstrate and evaluate an approach, where we used a hybrid Environmental Input-Output (EIO) database as a basis for corporate and product environmental footprint accounts, including the entire supply chain. We present three cases, where this approach was applied. Case study 1 describes the creation of total corporate carbon footprint accounts for three Danish regional healthcare organisations. In case study 2, the approach was used as basis for an Environmental Profit and Loss account for the healthcare company, Novo Nordisk A/S. Case study 3 used the approach for life cycle assessment of a tanker ship. We conclude that EIO-based analyses offer a holistic view of environmental performance, provide a foundation for decision-making within reasonable time and cost, and for companies with a large upstream environmental footprint, the analysis supports advancing their sustainability agenda to include supply chain impacts. However, there are implications when going from screening to implementing the results, including how to measure and monitor the effect of the different actions. Thus, future research should include more detailed models to support decision-making. © 2015 by the authors.

Pizzol M.,University of Aalborg | Weidema B.,University of Aalborg | Brandao M.,2. 0 LCA Consultants | Osset P.,SCORELCA
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2015

Monetary valuation is the practice of converting measures of social and biophysical impacts into monetary units and is used to determine the economic value of non-market goods, i.e. goods for which no market exists. It is applied in cost benefit analysis to enable the cross-comparison between different impacts and/or with other economic costs and benefits. For this reason, monetary valuation has a great potential to be applied also in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), especially in the weighting phase. However, several challenges limit its diffusion in the field, which resulted in only a few applications so far. The authors have performed a review of different monetary valuation methods for use in LCA. Firstly, monetary valuation approaches, methods, and LCA applications were identified. Secondly, key features and the strengths and weaknesses of each monetary valuation method were determined. Finally, monetary valuation methods and LCA applications were evaluated according to a comprehensive set of criteria, ranging from scientific foundation to uncertainty and complexity. It was found that observed- and revealed-preference methods and the abatement cost method have limited applicability in LCA, whereas the choice experiment method and the budget constraint method are the best options for monetary valuation in LCA. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Bundgaard A.M.,University of Aalborg | Dalgaard R.,2. 0 LCA Consultants | Gilbert C.,DuPont Company | Thrane M.,DuPont Company
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2014

The objective of this study was to examine the potential of digestibility-improving enzymes to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from commercial broiler production. The enzyme product which was examined is a combination of xylanase (X), α-amylase (A), and protease (P) developed by Danisco Animal Nutrition (DuPont Industrial Biosciences). XAP facilitates higher inclusion rates in the diet of cheaper and possibly more environmentally friendly feed ingredients that have a lower nutritional value. XAP can be used for corn-soybean based diets comprising up to 12% by-products. Two scenarios were compared: one included XAP whereas the other scenario did not include XAP. The potential of XAP to reduce GHG emissions was documented through a GHG assessment based on Life Cycle Assessment principles. Consequential modelling was applied including indirect land use changes (ILUC) and direct land use (LU). The findings showed that XAP facilitated savings in GHG emissions from broiler production in the order of 90 g CO2 eq. per FU. It corresponded to a 5-9% reduction of GHG emissions from broiler production. The sensitivity analysis showed that the results varied substantially, but in all analyses the GHG emissions were reduced. The two most important parameters were: assumptions about the actual changes in the feed formulation and the modelling of ILUC. The two parameters can significantly influence the estimated improvement potential. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Munoz I.,2. 0 LCA consultants | Schmidt J.H.,University of Aalborg
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2016

Purpose: The fifth assessment report by the IPCC includes methane oxidation as an additional indirect effect in the global warming potential (GWP) and global temperature potential (GTP) values for methane. An analysis of the figures provided by the IPCC reveals they lead to different outcomes measured in CO2-eq., depending on whether or not biogenic CO2 emissions are considered neutral. In this article, we discuss this inconsistency and propose a correction. Methods: We propose a simple framework to account for methane oxidation in GWP and GTP in a way that is independent on the accounting rules for biogenic carbon. An equation with three components is provided to calculate metric values, and its application is tested, together with the original IPCC figures, in a hypothetical example focusing on GWP100. Results and discussion: The hypothetical example shows that the only set of GWP100 values consistently leading to the same outcome, regardless of how we account for biogenic carbon, is the one proposed in this article. Using the methane GWP100 values from the IPCC report results in conflicting net GHG emissions, thus pointing to an inconsistency. Conclusions: In order to consistently discriminate between biogenic and fossil methane sources, a difference of 2.75 kg CO2-eq. is needed, which corresponds to the ratio of the molecular weights of CO2 and methane (44/16). We propose to correct the GWP and GTP values for methane accordingly. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Huulgaard R.D.,University of Aalborg | Dalgaard R.,2. 0 LCA Consultants | Merciai S.,2. 0 LCA Consultants
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2013

Purpose: This paper concerns the Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC) and the implementing measures (IM) in which ecodesign requirements are set up for energy-using and energy-related products. Previous studies have found that the requirements have a unilateral focus on energy consumption and the use phase. This is not in line with the scientific understanding of ecodesign, where attention should be put on all life cycle phases and all relevant environmental impact categories. This study focuses on the requirements for televisions (TV). A life cycle assessment (LCA) is carried out on two TVs to analyse if other environmental hotspots and life cycle phases should be included in the requirements in the IM of the Ecodesign Directive besides energy consumption in the use phase analysis. Methods: The consequential approach is used. The data for the LCA have been gathered from two manufacturers of TVs. In one case, the data were delivered in Excel spreadsheets; in the other case, the authors of this paper together with the manufacturer disassembled a TV and collected the data manually. Results and discussion: When applying the consequential approach, the production phase has the highest environmental impact, which is in contradiction with the focus area of the IM. The result of the sensitivity analysis is that the source of electricity is a potentially significant contributor of uncertainty. However, even in a coal-based scenario, the contribution from the production phase is approximately 30 %. Conclusions: Based on these results, it is concluded that for future requirement setting in IM, it is necessary to set up requirements that cover more life cycle phases of the product in order to address the most important impacts. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Dalgaard R.,2. 0 LCA Consultants | Schmidt J.,University of Aalborg | Flysjo A.,Arla Foods
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2014

The aim of the study is to develop a tool, which can be used for calculation of carbon footprint (using a life cycle assessment (LCA) approach) of milk both at a farm level and at a national level. The functional unit is '1 kg energy corrected milk (ECM) at farm gate' and the applied methodology is LCA. The model includes switches that enables for, within the same scope, transforming the results to comply with 1) consequential LCA, 2) allocation/average modelling (or 'attributional LCA'), 3) PAS 2050 and 4) The International Dairy Federations (IDF) guide to standard life cycle assessment methodology for the dairy sector. The key elements of consequential LCA and the IDF guide are presented and explained by examples. The national carbon footprints (CF) for milk produced in Denmark and Sweden in 2005 are presented. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Merciai S.,2. 0 LCA Consultants | Heijungs R.,Leiden University | Heijungs R.,VU University Amsterdam
Ecological Economics | Year: 2014

Input-output tables (IOTs) are widely used in several types of analyses. Although born in an economic context, IOTs are increasingly used for the environmental impact assessment of product systems, e.g. in environmental policy analysis, and for several others such as the accounting of greenhouse gases.However, the use in these contexts does not ensure the validity of the IOT as a consistent and robust multidisciplinary modeling tool in itself. It is in respect to certain basic requirements that IOTs should find their legitimacy. In this paper, we study their validity with respect to a well-established scientific law: the mass balance. Compliance with this basic balance is an important check for data consistency.Following such a track, we focus specifically on monetary input-output tables and we reach the conclusion that IOTs can fail in respecting the basic balance laws whenever prices differ per purchaser. Therefore caution is needed because the estimations in terms of environmental pressures can be biased. The drawback lays in the use of homogeneous prices, which determines a discrepancy in physical units between what is used and what is asked for, within and between activities. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Munoz I.,2. 0 LCA consultants | Otte N.,Henkel AG | van Hoof G.,Procter and Gamble | Rigarlsford G.,Unilever
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2016

Purpose: The aim of this article is to present a new model and tool to calculate life cycle inventories (LCIs) of chemicals discharged down the drain. Exchanges with the technosphere and the environment are attributed for based on the predicted behaviour of individual chemicals in the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and following discharge to the aquatic environment, either through the treated effluent or directly when there is no connection to WWTP. The described model is programmed in a stand-alone spreadsheet, WW LCI. Methods: The model includes treatment in a modern WWTP and sludge disposal as well as the greenhouse gas (GHG) and nutrient emissions from degradation in the environment. The model fundamentals are described, and its application is shown with six industrial chemicals: sodium carbonate, ethanol, tetraacetylethylenediamine (TAED), diethylenetriamine penta(methylene phosphonic acid) (DTPMP), zeolite A and sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP). This application considers two scenarios: Germany, with full connection to WWTP, and a generic direct discharge scenario. The scenario with WWTP connection is assessed with WW LCI as well as with the wastewater treatment model developed for ecoinvent. Results are presented for key LCI flows and for life cycle impact assessment (LCIA), focusing on GHG emissions, freshwater ecotoxicity and marine and freshwater eutrophication. Results and discussion: GHG emissions predicted by WW LCI differ to those predicted by the ecoinvent model, with the exception of sodium carbonate. For zeolite A and DTPMP, WW LCI predicts GHG emissions 330 higher and 12.5 times lower, respectively. Eutrophication scores are lower for WW LCI as the German scenario considers more optimistic nutrient removal rates than the default ones from the ecoinvent model. Freshwater ecotoxicity is mainly driven by the magnitude of the USEtox characterization factors; however, the ecoinvent model cannot accommodate chemical-specific toxicity assessments. When WW LCI is used to compare a direct discharge scenario with the German scenario, differences are found in all three impact categories. Conclusions: WW LCI provides a comprehensive and chemical-specific inventory, constituting an advance over previous models using generic descriptors such as biological oxygen demand. This level of detail comes at the price of an increased effort for collecting input data as well as the need to identify individual chemicals in wastewater prior to the assessment. The LCIs generated through this model can then be applied in the context of LCA studies where each chemical contributes to the total life cycle impacts of a product or service. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Schmidt J.H.,2. 0 LCA consultants
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2015

The purpose of this study is to evaluate and compare the environmental performance of five different vegetable oils, including the relevant market responses induced by the oils' by-products. The oils under study are palm oil, soybean oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil and peanut oil. These oils are to a large extent substitutable and they are among the largest oils in terms of global production. Besides evaluating the environmental performance of each oil individually, the effect of reducing each one of the oils and replacing it with a mix of the others is also evaluated. The life cycle inventory is carried out using a consequential approach, which implies that co-product allocation is avoided by use of substitution, and that marginal market mixes are generally applied. The environmental performance is evaluated by focussing on global warming, land use and water consumption. With respect to global warming, rapeseed oil and sunflower oil are the best performing, followed by soybean oil and palm oil, and with peanut oil as the least good performing. For land use, palm oil and soybean oil are the oils associated with the smallest contribution, followed by rapeseed oil, and with sunflower oil and peanut oil as the oils with the largest net occupation of land. When focussing on water consumption (using the water stress index), sunflower oil had the smallest impact, followed by rapeseed oil, palm oil and soybean oil, and with peanut oil as the oil with the largest contribution. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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