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Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany

Baumann M.,University of Stuttgart | Schuller O.,PE International AG
Proceedings of the 26th International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems, ECOS 2013 | Year: 2013

As a result of the worldwide increasing energy demand and the resulting increase of greenhouse gas emissions, the topic of renewable electricity generation is getting more relevant. Hydropower, as the currently most relevant renewable electricity source, had a share of 14 % of the world electricity production in 2011. Hydropower plants show a wide variety of design which depends on local and regional conditions. There are three main plant types; their use depends on local landscape conditions: Run-of-river plants, storage plants and pumped-storage plants. The plant type influences the construction and end-of-life of the plant life cycle. Since pumped-storage plants are constructed to store and refine electricity, their environmental impacts have to be evaluated separately. Besides the hydropower plant type, the climate and vegetation region in which the hydropower plants are located is a second influence factor. The flooding of vegetated regions during plant operation causes gases resulting of biomass degradation. These gases, depending on the climate region, mainly consist of carbon dioxide or methane. Both gases have an important impact on the greenhouse gas effect. The objective of the study was to develop new country-specific Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) models which imply the three hydropower plant types and their share of the country-specific electricity production. A further task was to identify and compare in a more detailed way the environmental impacts of hydropower in different countries depending on climate and vegetation conditions. The resulting LCA models, which were designed for the LCA software and database GaBi, describe all relevant environmental impacts which occur during construction phase, use phase and end-of-life of the respective hydropower plant type. Environmental impacts, like the global warming potential, acidification potential, eutrophication potential and photochemical ozone creation potential as well as the primary energy demand can be assessed and evaluated. The integration of the developed hydropower LCA models into the GaBi energy database leads to a significant quality improvement of results especially for countries with high hydropower share like Norway or Brazil. Through this integration, the results of the presented study are already in use by industry, e.g. energy, automotive or chemical industry for the environmental assessment of their products. The paper focuses on the chosen input data for the LCA and shows the methodology and results for the country-specific assessment of hydropower.

Reuter M.A.,Outotec Oyj | Reuter M.A.,Aalto University | van Schaik A.,MARAS BV | Gediga J.,PE International AG
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2015

Purpose: This paper illustrates how a product-centric approach to recycling, building on the extensive expertise, knowhow and tools of the mineral-centric classical minerals and metallurgical processing, should be core to Design for Resource Efficiency (DfRE). Methods: Process simulation (HSC Sim 1974-2014, Outotec's design tool) and environmental software (GaBi 2014) are applied to quantify resource efficiency (RE) in a rigorous manner. These digitalisation tools are linked and will be used to show how the environmental performance of copper primary production, the processing of residues and the recycling of e-waste, e.g. light emitting diode (LED) lamps as well as the production of nickel pig iron can be evaluated. The paper also shows how technologies can be compared relative to a precise thermodynamic and techno-economic baseline. Results: The results include simulation-based environmental indicators, exergy, recycling and recovery rates, as well as the qualities and quantities of the recyclates, losses and emissions of materials during production recycling. The complete mass and energy balance simulation provides the mineralogical detail of all streams (both mineral and recyclate as well as offgas and dust) to define and improve environmental assessment, while at the same time revealing the aspects of LCA databases and their results that require improvement. Furthermore, this paper presents an approach for industry to implement life-cycle methods in practice. It shows that the DfRE is all about predicting stream grades and thus is equivalent to Design for Recyclate grade and quality (as this determines whether a recyclate or product stream has economic value and can be treated or processed further). DfRE also reveals especially the grade, composition, minerals etc. of the leakage streams, i.e. diffuse emissions, thus permitting a more precise evaluation of environmental impact. Conclusions: The prediction of recyclate and stream compositions and grade makes the environmental analysis of systems more precise and will help to expand the detail that defines these flows on environmental databases. This is especially valuable for DfR, where the methodological rigour suggested in this paper is a very necessary addition and requirement for estimating the true environmental impact of product redesigns and the resource efficiency of processing technology and complete recycling systems. The methodology produces mass- and energy-consistent, economically viable best available technique (BAT) process blocks, the inclusion of which on environmental databases will be invaluable in benchmarking technology and systems in terms of estimating the achievable resource efficiency baseline. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Kreissig J.,PE International AG | Hauke B.,Bauforumstahl e.V | Kuhnhenne M.,RWTH Aachen
Stahlbau | Year: 2010

With the upcoming Construction Product Requirements (CPR) the new basic requirement of sustainable utilization of natural resources must also be obeyed by the harmonized European market for construction products. Buildings must be designed, constructed and dismantled accordingly. Furthermore it must be assured that the buildings, the materials and members they are made of can be recycled, that the building is durable and that only environmentally sound raw materials and products are employed. Within this normative context eco-balancing of construction materials has a growing importance. Also for the sustainability assessment of buildings, e. g. according to the DGNB label, qualified eco-data of the employed construction materials are an important input. This paper describes the eco-balancing of construction materials in general and of structural steel in particular. 418 © Ernst & Sohn Verlag für Architektur und technische Wissenschaften GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin.

Merl A.D.,PE CEE GmbH | Braune A.,PE International AG
CESB 2013 PRAGUE - Central Europe Towards Sustainable Building 2013: Sustainable Building and Refurbishment for Next Generations | Year: 2013

Certificates that address the sustainability of buildings are applied more and more in Europe. These certificates - e.g. according to DGNB - are based on a set of sustainability indicators for which evaluation methodologies are defined. These indicators give guideline on the selection of relevant sustainability impacts and on how to address expected impacts in the planning and execution phases of a building's development. The authors discuss the factors for when certification leads to improved building sustainability performance. One focus will be on the coherent use of assessment tools during the development phases, e.g. for building life cycle assessment.

Koffler C.,Pe international inc. | Florin J.,PE International AG
Sustainability (Switzerland) | Year: 2013

For some metals, downcycling appears when scrap is polluted with undesirable elements or mixed with lower quality scrap grades in a way that the material displays a change in inherent properties when recycled. The article recommends the use of different scrap class prices instead of a solitary secondary alloy price to represent the level of downcycling inflicted on aluminum over a product's life cycle. The price ratio between scrap price and primary aluminum price is shown to be stable across all available scrap classes for the years 2007-2010. While the revised approach to value-corrected substitution (VCS) puts a stronger emphasis on the creation of high-quality scrap by penalizing its pollution more than the original version, its key limitation is the correct identification of the appropriate point of substitution along the scrap value chain. If relevant sorting or pre-treatment steps are omitted, the substitution factor would be overcorrected, which is why it is crucial to establish the scrap value right before the scrap is either mixed with scraps from other product systems or right before it enters the remelting step. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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