Ostfold Research

Stadion, Norway

Ostfold Research

Stadion, Norway

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Raadal H.L.,Ostfold Research | Dotzauer E.,Mälardalen University | Hanssen O.J.,Ostfold Research | Kildal H.P.,Bergen Energi
Energy Policy | Year: 2012

Guarantees of Origin (GO) and Electricity Disclosure, as defined in the EU's Renewable Energy and Electricity Market Directives, require that European consumers should be provided with reliable information about the origin of their electricity supply. At the same time, the Renewable Energy Directive requires that support mechanisms be implemented with the aim of increasing the proportion of energy from renewable sources. The Quota System with Tradable Green Certificates (TGC) was established in Sweden as a support mechanism in 2003 and is, from 2012, planned to be extended to become a Swedish-Norwegian system. This article discusses the effects of Electricity Disclosure and the TGC system when working as two separate entities, and the potential interaction between the systems when working in tandem. It appears that Electricity Disclosure may create a customer-driven demand for renewable electricity, which can supplement the TGC system. In the long-term, GOs may thus influence the decisions made by investors in renewable energy. However, currently Electricity Disclosure has very low, or no, impact on the total production of electricity from renewable sources when compared with a stand-alone TGC system. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Svanes E.,Ostfold Research | Aronsson A.K.S.,Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2013

Purpose: Bananas are one of the highest selling fruits worldwide, and for several countries, bananas are an important export commodity. However, very little is known about banana's contribution to global warming. The aims of this work were to study the greenhouse gas emissions of bananas from cradle to retail and cradle to grave and to assess the potential of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions along the value chain. Methods: Carbon footprint methodology based on ISO-DIS 14067 was used to assess GHG emissions from 1 kg of bananas produced at two plantations in Costa Rica including transport by cargo ship to Norway. Several methodological issues are not clearly addressed in ISO 14067 or the LCA standards 14040 and ISO 14044 underpinning 14067. Examples are allocation, allocation in recycling, representativity and system borders. Methodological choices in this study have been made based on other standards, such as the GHG Protocol Products Standard. Results and discussion: The results indicate that bananas had a carbon footprint (CF) on the same level as other tropical fruits and that the contribution from the primary production stage was low. However, the methodology used in this study and the other comparative studies was not necessarily identical; hence, no definitive conclusions can be drawn. Overseas transport and primary production were the main contributors to the total GHG emissions. Including the consumer stage resulted in a 34 % rise in CF, mainly due to high wastage. The main potential reductions of GHG emissions were identified at the primary production, within the overseas transport stage and at the consumer. Conclusions: The carbon footprint of bananas from cradle to retail was 1.37 kg CO2 per kilogram banana. GHG emissions from transport and primary production could be significantly reduced, which could theoretically give a reduction of as much as 44 % of the total cradle-to-retail CF. The methodology was important for the end result. The choice of system boundaries gives very different results depending on which life cycle stages and which unit processes are included. Allocation issues were also important, both in recycling and in other processes such as transport and storage. The main uncertainties of the CF result are connected to N2O emissions from agriculture, methane emissions from landfills, use of secondary data and variability in the primary production data. Thus, there is a need for an internationally agreed calculation method for bananas and other food products if CFs are to be used for comparative purposes. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Askham C.,Ostfold Research | Gade A.L.,Jotun A S | Hanssen O.J.,Ostfold Research
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2012

The objective of the work presented was to provide a paint production company with a tool for strategic decisions in product development that could combine environmental and economic indicators with REACH information. The tool was to be in a form that would provide visual representation of several factors that are important for the company's product development, in a form that could be incorporated into current product development processes. The paper describes the indicators used, shows visual results from the trial of the strategy matrix tool, and outlines and discusses potential limitations. The offshore coatings products analysed were within the VOC (volatile organic compounds) concentration proposed by the European Directive limiting the VOC content in products (Ökopol, 2009). The products that have the lowest VOC concentrations score the highest (worst) on Total REACH Score. The trial has led to the tool being incorporated at specific "gates" (or milestones) in the company's product development process. The paper shows that close collaborative effort yielded a practically useful tool for strategic decision-making. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Askham C.,Ostfold Research | Gade A.L.,Jotun A S | Hanssen O.J.,Ostfold Research
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2013

This paper presents a prototype model developed for a case study linking chemical risk information with a life cycle assessment (LCA) approach to product development. Standard LCA software was used to develop a tool combining LCA and Risk Phrase information for health and environmental hazards encompassed by new European chemicals directives. Real product development cases are used based on Ostfold Research's collaboration with industry - specifically a coatings company. The principal objective of the work was to investigate the degree to which hazardous risk information could be combined with elements of LCA methodology to better inform product development. The work also shows how the tool equips product developers to move beyond the limited insight provided by the pure hazardous risk information approach, to also consider health and environmental hazard aspects in a functional perspective typical of LCA. This allows the identification of differences in product development priorities resulting from the two approaches. Some results from testing the prototype tool are presented and its application in product development within the coatings company and for other companies is discussed. The work presented in this paper falls short of the aim of including the full life cycle perspective, but represents an important first step towards achieving this. The work demonstrates that some integration of hazardous risk and LCA approaches is practicable, and indicates that such integration gives rise to changes in product development priorities. Combining hazardous risk information with LCA is valuable for decision makers, including product designers. The tool presented in this paper makes it possible for decision makers to combine LCA functional unit information with hazardous risk information, enabling designers to reduce a product's hazardous risk. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Modahl I.S.,Ostfold Research | Raadal H.L.,Energy and Climate Change Consultant | Gagnon L.,Energy and Climate Change Consultant | Bakken T.H.,Sintef
Energy Policy | Year: 2013

The aim of this paper is to improve the basis for the comparison of energy products. The paper will discuss important methodological issues with regard to various energy indicators and it will, by means of a few selected energy indicators, show examples of results for hydropower, wind power and electricity from biomass, gas and coal. Lastly it will suggest methods to achieve results which are more consistent when comparing electricity production technologies. In general, methodological issues can affect the results of life cycle assessments. In this paper, the authors have focused on the effect of system boundaries for energy indicators and found that the internal ranking of cases within one electricity generation technology is dependent on the indicator used. These variations do not, however, alter the general ranking of the major technologies studied. The authors suggest that future assessments should focus on a smaller set of indicators: the Cumulative Energy Demand (CED), which is the most "universal" indicator, Energy Payback Ratio (EPR) for assessment of upstream activities, and a suggested "Cumulative Fossil Energy Demand" (CFED) for resource depletion assessments. There is also a need for stricter standardisation and increased transparency in the assessment of energy products. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Raadal H.L.,Ostfold Research | Gagnon L.,Hydro - Quebec | Modahl I.S.,Ostfold Research | Hanssen O.J.,Ostfold Research
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2011

This paper presents a comprehensive overview of the life cycle GHG emissions from wind and hydro power generation, based on relevant published studies. Comparisons with conventional fossil, nuclear and other renewable generation systems are also presented, in order to put the GHG emissions of wind and hydro power in perspective. Studies on GHG emissions from wind and hydro power show large variations in GHG emissions, varying from 0.2 to 152 g CO 2-equivalents per kW h. The main parameters affecting GHG emissions are also discussed in this article, in relation to these variations. The wide ranging results indicate a need for stricter standardised rules and requirements for life-cycle assessments (LCAs), in order to differentiate between variations due to methodological disparities and those due to real differences in performance of the plants. Since LCAs are resource- and time-intensive, development of generic GHG results for each technology could be an alternative to developing specific data for each plant. This would require the definition of typical parameters for each technology, for example a typical capacity factor for wind power. Such generic data would be useful in documenting GHG emissions from electricity generation for electricity trading purposes. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.


Svanes E.,Ostfold Research | Vold M.,Ostfold Research | Hanssen O.J.,Ostfold Research
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2011

Purpose: The main purpose of this study has been to document the environmental performance of products based on autoline-caught cod and the distribution of environmental impacts in the value chain from fishing to retail. Another aim has been to document the performed environmental improvement analyses. Methods: Standard life cycle assessment methodology has been employed and the following impact categories studied: global warming potential (GWP), acidification, eutrophication, photochemical oxidant formation, ozone layer depletion and cumulative energy demand. Results and discussion: Products derived from autoline-caught cod have a GWP in the range of 0.16-7.6/1.7-4.4 kg CO2-eq/kg product delivered to consumer, using economic and mass allocation, respectively. The main impacts come from fuel consumption and release of refrigerants in the fishery. The products studied represent each of the four major processing outputs. The differences between the products can partly be attributed to differences in methodology (system borders, allocation), partly to actual physical differences. A comparison with published results from other studies indicates that seafood products sourced from Northeast Arctic cod fished with the autoline method has a relatively good environmental performance. A number of possible options for improving the environmental performance of the products were identified. The most internal improvement action was stopping leakages in fish freezers. Conclusions: This study has given a detailed overview of the environmental performance of seafood products sourced from Northeast Arctic cod from autoline fisheries in Norwegian territorial waters. This study has demonstrated the usefulness of such results in improving the environmental performance of the products. However, the usefulness of the results in communication to external actors is limited because few data exists on other products fulfilling the same functions and using the exact same methodology and assumptions. In order to achieve comparability between results from competing products, it is necessary to use a standardised and detailed calculation method. At the moment, no such method seems to be available. The literature study indicated that the environmental impact of Northeast Arctic cod products sourced from autoline fisheries compares well with other cod products on the market. Some cod stocks are sustainably managed, others not. Hence, it is recommended to break down results not only to species level but also fish stock level when the aim is to guide seafood customers towards making informed purchasing decisions. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Askham C.,Ostfold Research
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2012

Purpose: This paper discusses issues associated with the research question: What are the similarities and differences between the REACH and life cycle assessment (LCA) approaches, and how can synergies between these two approaches be exploited to achieve environmental improvements in a holistic perspective? Methods: The Innochem project (Hanssen 2010) has been the vehicle for examining two different approaches for product improvement: REACH and LCA. Product LCAs and REACH assessments were performed on several products from each of the two main company participants, i.e. Jotun and HÅG. These companies are downstream users, according to the REACH definition: Jotun producing mixtures and HÅG manufacturing articles. Knowledge of the REACH and LCA aspects associated with these two types of products existed in the project team and was used in the project period (2006-2011) to compare the two approaches. Results: This paper presents similarities and differences between REACH and LCA approaches as related to reducing impacts on the environment. As an illustrative example, the REACH registration dossier is compared to USEtox data for benzene. Conclusions: Combining aspects of LCA with REACH can give companies a competitive edge and benefit society. The greater availability of toxicity data that will result from REACH can strenghten LCA toxicity assessments and methods. The functional life cycle approach and potential synergies from LCA are important when implementing REACH in companies in order to avoid suboptimal solutions and exploit the potential for achieving innovative improvements. Many companies will use both approaches, which may lead to results pointing in the same direction, or contradictory results. Using both approaches and exploiting concurrence and synergies between them will ensure that decision makers are aware of potential conflicts during the product development process and can thus be able to seek solutions that will avoid these conflicts of interest. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Svanes E.,Ostfold Research | Vold M.,Ostfold Research | Hanssen O.J.,Ostfold Research
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2011

Purpose: The purpose of this study has been to investigate the effect of different allocation methods on life cycle assessment (LCA) results of products derived from line-caught cod and the consequences of applying these methods considering the main aims of this case study. These aims were for internal improvement work and communication of results to the market. Methods: Standard LCA methodology was applied. Mass allocation, economic allocation, a novel hybrid allocation and gross energy content allocation have been tested on a case study, and the results are discussed. In the case study, allocation problems in the studied case arose in the fishing and processing stages. Avoidance of allocation by splitting of processes, biological causality and system expansion or the avoided product approach was deemed to be not feasible. Results and discussion: Economic allocation gave a much larger spread of impacts between the different products than mass allocation, especially for processing residue, due to large price differences. Hybrid allocation gave impacts in between mass and economic allocation because the set factors give a higher value for products that are for human consumption. Energy allocation gave results close to mass allocation because the energy content is quite similar in different species and products. Economic allocation is sensitive to price changes, the others are not. When used for evaluating environmental performance improvement measures that change the relative yields for human consumption and other purposes, the different methods used reflected very different results. When used in communication to the market, the different allocation methods yield results that could lead to different behaviours by market actors. Conclusions: The different allocation methods gave very different results for the studied products; hence in order to achieve comparability between products, the same method must be used in all the cases. Different allocation methods might be appropriate for different purposes. For external communication to the market, mass allocation might be the preferred method in most cases. For internal improvement work, both economic and mass allocation could be used, but economic allocation might be the best alternative. The comparability of LCA results of products from wild-caught fish is limited, due to the lack of an agreed standard method. It is recommended to consider the different applications of the results when developing such a method. Different purposes might require different methodological choices, e.g. allocation methodology. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Askham C.,Ostfold Research
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2011

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to document and assess the environmental impacts associated with two competing powder coating solutions using current life cycle assessment (LCA) methods and available data and to check whether there is a conflict between environmental performance and occupational health issues. Materials and methods: Data have been gathered for the manufacture and application of the two different powder coatings. The case study is a cradle-to-gate study, using retrospective data. The data were entered into the SimaPro 7.2.4 LCA software and environmental impacts calculated using IPPC 2007, CML-IA and USEtox™ classification and characterisation methods. The USEtox methods were used both with and without interim factors, and this distinction was very important for the ranking of the alternatives. The study was performed using the functional unit: Surface treatment of the "foot-cross" of one H05 5300 office chair for 15 years (the lifetime of the chair), where the reference flow was 172 g of powder coating to fulfil this function. Literature about the known health effects associated with chemicals in the two solutions was also consulted in order to assess whether the main concerns driving the desire to replace the epoxy-based powder coating have been addressed and improved through using the polyester-based alternative. Results and discussion: The life cycle environmental impacts evaluated show improvements in the potential environmental impacts analysed due to the substitute polyester-based coating. The results for human toxicity and freshwater ecotoxicity potentials are dependent on the inclusion of interim characterisation factors. Literature sources provide evidence of irritation and sensitisation effects associated with epoxy resin, but not for the polyester resin alternative. Conclusions: Substitution of the epoxy-based coating by a polyester-based alternative reduces the occupational health risk for workers coming into contact with the powder coating. The results show that this substitution has also led to reduced potential environmental impacts: global warming, ozone depletion, photochemical oxidant creation, acidification, eutrophication, human toxicity and freshwater ecotoxicity, when the interim factors for some metals and organics are included in the USEtox calculations. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

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