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James Stemp W.,Keene State College | Childs B.E.,Microsoft | Vionnet S.,Quantis
Scanning | Year: 2010

Based on the need to develop a method to reliably and objectively document and discriminate the use-wear on archaeological stone tools, Stemp et al. (2009) tested whether the surface roughness measured on experimentally worn stone tools used on different contact materials could be discriminated. Results of these initial experiments indicated that discrimination was possible and also determined the scales over which this discrimination occurred. In this article, we report the results of additional experiments using the same method on a second set of tools to test its reliability and reproducibility. In these experiments, four flint flakes were intensively used for 20 min on either conch shell or dry deer antler. The surface roughness or texture of the stone tools was measured by generating 2D profiles using a UBM laser profilometer. Relative lengths (RLs) calculated from the profiles were used directly as characterization parameters and subsequently compared statistically at each scale using the F-test to establish a level of confidence for the differentiation at each scale represented in the measured profiles. The mean square ratios of measurement data were used to determine whether the variation in roughness was statistically significant and to what level of confidence. The scales at which there was a high level of confidence were the ones at which the tools were differentiable. The results of these experiments confirm our previous findings that RLs, over certain scale ranges, can discriminate the stone tool surface wear profiles produced by the different contact materials. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Kounina A.,Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne | Margni M.,Quantis | Margni M.,Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal | Bayart J.-B.,Quantis | And 17 more authors.
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2013

Purpose: In recent years, several methods have been developed which propose different freshwater use inventory schemes and impact assessment characterization models considering various cause-effect chain relationships. This work reviewed a multitude of methods and indicators for freshwater use potentially applicable in life cycle assessment (LCA). This review is used as a basis to identify the key elements to build a scientific consensus for operational characterization methods for LCA. Methods: This evaluation builds on the criteria and procedure developed within the International Reference Life Cycle Data System Handbook and has been adapted for the purpose of this project. It therefore includes (1) description of relevant cause-effect chains, (2) definition of criteria to evaluate the existing methods, (3) development of sub-criteria specific to freshwater use, and (4) description and review of existing methods addressing freshwater in LCA. Results and discussion: No single method is available which comprehensively describes all potential impacts derived from freshwater use. However, this review highlights several key findings to design a characterization method encompassing all the impact pathways of the assessment of freshwater use and consumption in life cycle assessment framework as the following: (1) in most of databases and methods, consistent freshwater balances are not reported either because output is not considered or because polluted freshwater is recalculated based on a critical dilution approach; (2) at the midpoint level, most methods are related to water scarcity index and correspond to the methodological choice of an indicator simplified in terms of the number of parameters (scarcity) and freshwater uses (freshwater consumption or freshwater withdrawal) considered. More comprehensive scarcity indices distinguish different freshwater types and functionalities. (3) At the endpoint level, several methods already exist which report results in units compatible with traditional human health and ecosystem quality damage and cover various cause-effect chains, e.g., the decrease of terrestrial biodiversity due to freshwater consumption. (4) Midpoint and endpoint indicators have various levels of spatial differentiation, i.e., generic factors with no differentiation at all, or country, watershed, and grid cell differentiation. Conclusions: Existing databases should be (1) completed with input and output freshwater flow differentiated according to water types based on its origin (surface water, groundwater, and precipitation water stored as soil moisture), (2) regionalized, and (3) if possible, characterized with a set of quality parameters. The assessment of impacts related to freshwater use is possible by assembling methods in a comprehensive methodology to characterize each use adequately. © 2012 The Author(s).

Fabiola G.,ENEA | Benoit V.,Quantis
Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE International Conference on Health, Safety and Environment 2014: The Journey Continues | Year: 2014

Most Oil & Gas companies have developed "Social Investment" programs aimed at developing local infrastructure and services to benefit communities in regions in which they operate. These programs are intended to anchor companies in local environments and improve public attitudes, thus contributing to project acceptance by populations. These programs are often implemented through partnerships with established development agencies or NGOs that are familiar with local conditions. However, agreed-on tools to evaluate their impacts are lacking, especially for projects targeting the base of the pyramid. After a review of the state of the art of impact evaluation methods used by development actors, this paper proposes a novel method to evaluate the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of Access-to-Energy projects in developing areas. The specific objectives and implementation context of these projects require the adoption of a holistic approach to gauge and monitor short-term and long-term impacts on livelihoods, the economy and the environment. However, a single evaluation method does not fit for all the dimensions. The proposed methodology encompasses two specific evaluation frameworks, the results of which are then combined for a global performance evaluation. At the socioeconomic level, different types of indicators are proposed and ranked in a hierarchy of impact categories. Indicators are built to understand the potential long-term impacts and their drivers in a cost-effective way, rather than to simply monitor the project activity. The method is illustrated using the example of electrification and cookstove projects. At the environmental level, a Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) based approach was selected for its ability to assess impacts in multiple dimensions. However, the most widespread product-focused use of LCA was modified to assess a project, and thus to compare different project implementation scenarios rather than different product design scenarios. It makes it possible to identify a potential shift of environmental burdens between scenarios, and consequently optimize project implementation. A mock-up of an environmental evaluation tool targeting electrification projects was used to demonstrate the feasibility of this approach, taking the example of off-grid electrification implemented via Solar Home Systems or Diesel Generators. Based on the results, several project implementation scenarios are discussed. Copyright 2014, Society of Petroleum Engineers.

News Article | December 13, 2016

New techniques and substitutes are now available or up-and-coming to reduce the environmental impact of cement production – the third-most polluting industry in terms of greenhouse gas emissions behind chemicals/petrochemicals and iron and steel. Last month Nature Geoscience journal published research that claimed an average of 42 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the creation of cement are recouped from the atmosphere once the concrete is in situ. This is good news, if true, but work is still needed to reduce the carbon footprint of cement in order to prevent disastrous global warming, and the opportunity exists to turn cement from climate change villain to climate change hero by making it carbon negative – that is, absorbing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than was used to produce it. This article examines the nature of cement and concrete, ways to reduce the impact of its present production processes, and novel substitutes and means of production that, if successful at scale, will eradicate greenhouse gas emissions from its lifecycle. All in all, this adds up to around 63 ways to cut the global warming impact of cement. Concrete is made from varying proportions of coarse aggregate bonded with cement that hardens over time. Most concretes used are lime-based concretes made from calcium silicate, such as Portland cement. The main ingredient is limestone or calcium carbonate (CaCO ). Portland cement is made by heating the raw materials including the limestone firstly to above 600°C and then to around 1450°C to sinter the materials. This emits carbon dioxide and produces calcium silicate ((CaO) ·SiO ). When it is turned into liquid cement with the addition of water and exposed to the air it absorbs carbon dioxide again, to reform into calcium carbonate (CaCO ), and hardens. The material is vital to modern construction and ubiquitous; the massive ready-mix concrete industry, the largest segment of the cement market (a staggering 4.3 billion tonnes a year produced), is worth over $100 billion a year. Most of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with cement production arise because its production requires very high temperatures, but there are also significant emissions associated with mining and transportation. Source: Specifying Sustainable Concrete from The Concrete Centre. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates the global cement industry could save between 28 per cent and 33 per cent of total energy use by the adoption of best practice commercial technologies. So what are these? Best practice involves energy efficiency savings in the production and supply chain. These could result in savings of between 60 Mt CO /year (at the low end) and 520 Mt CO /year, according to the IEA. One of the most effective techniques is heat recovery and reuse, but this remains relatively unexploited. Waste Heat to Power is one form of heat recovery and reuse. The high temperatures associated with cement production can also be used to generate steam that is then used in steam turbines. This approach has been widely used in China, which hosts over 700 installations in the cement industry. This web-based tool is based on MS-Excel and has been developed to analyse environmental impacts of production of concrete and its constituents (such as cement, aggregates, admixtures, and supplementary cementitious materials). The tool is not a conventional database of inventory of resources (materials, energy, and water) and emissions from manufacturing that only considers direct impacts, for example, only tailpipe emissions during transportation of concrete materials or emissions from electricity generation. In GreenConcrete, the supply chain impacts of each process during the production of concrete and its materials are evaluated. This makes it possible to analyse where the savings can be generated the most and what technological improvements to make. Primary energy used (in the form of fuel and electricity) throughout the production and transportation processes is one of the main environmental impacts analysed as part of the study. Materials substitution, for example the addition of wastes and geo-polymers to clinker, can reduce CO emissions from cement manufacture and save energy. Clinker may be blended with alternative materials like blast furnace slag, fly ash from coal fired power plants and natural pozzolans. Use of granulated slag in Portland cement may increase energy use in the steel industry, but can reduce both energy consumption and CO emissions during cement production by about 40 per cent. This EnergyStar guide for energy and plant managers, Energy efficiency improvement and cost saving opportunities for cement making, outlines over 50 specific energy efficiency opportunities for all stages of the different production processes of different types of cement. This includes over fifty changes to production methods such as: using high-efficiency roller mills, energy management and process controls, kiln shell heat loss reduction, use of waste fuels, conversion to pre-heating for the kiln, pre-calciner kilns, better maintenance and optimisation of parts and systems, oxygen enrichment, high efficiency motors and variable speed drives, using steel slag in kiln and much more. Savings can also be made at the end of life of a concrete structure. Currently only 50 per cent of concrete is recycled for use in new building projects (compared to up to 99 per cent for structural steel). Down-cycling does help to reduce the use of aggregates, but does not help to reduce the supply of materials needed for new concrete. There are also several candidates for substitutes for Portland cement that have less of an impact on global warming. “Limestone-free cements can be achieved through chemical ‘activation’ of by-product materials or by producing an array of cementitious compounds based on magnesium oxide,” according to Jenny Burridge, the head of structural engineering at The Concrete Centre, UK. Here are the main ones: This involves the accelerated carbonation of magnesium silicates instead of calcium carbonates under high temperature and pressure, with the resulting carbonates then heated at low temperatures to produce magnesium oxide, with the CO generated being recycled back in the process. The use of magnesium silicates eliminates the CO emissions from raw materials processing. In addition, the low temperatures required allow the use of fuels with low energy content or carbon intensity (biomass), thus potentially further reducing carbon emissions. As with Portland cement, production of the carbonates absorbs carbon dioxide by carbonating part of the manufactured magnesium oxide using atmospheric/ industrial CO . In recent years it was hoped that the claim of manufacturers Novacem (a spin-out company from Imperial College London) – that making one tonne of cement using this method absorbs up to 100kg more CO than it emits, making it a carbon-negative product – could revolutionise the industry. However, there have been problems associated with trying to scale up production and the company became insolvent in 2013. Calera’s process involves the capture of raw flue CO gas from industrial sources and converting it into calcium carbonate cement-based building materials. By converting the gas into a solid form of calcium carbonate it permanently sequesters the CO . Commercial demonstrations have included the capture of flue gas from power plants and burning coal, without concentrating the CO . The flue gas is contacted in a scrubber with an aqueous alkaline solution that effectively removes the CO and a calcium source that results in the formation of the special calcium carbonate product that is then dried to a free flowing powder. It requires sources both of alkalinity and calcium. Some industrial waste streams contain both, like calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2). Another option is separate streams, one for alkalinity, such as sodium hydroxide (NaOH), and one for calcium, like calcium chloride, which can be naturally occurring or found in the waste streams of existing chemical processes. The result is a high strength material that can be used without any other cement or binder system to make concrete products from countertops, plant holders and benches to fibre cement board sheets on a commercial line, exceeding strength requirements but of a lighter weight than many existing cement board products. SOLIDIA cement is a related product and process that cures concrete with carbon dioxide, say, from flue gases, and is currently at commercialisation stage. It requires less limestone as a result and can therefore be fired at lower kiln temperatures. It requires less energy and generates around 30 per cent less greenhouse gases than ordinary Portland cement. Celitement is a cement substitute produced at temperatures below 300°C under a process developed by the German Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT. It will therefore require less energy and emit fewer greenhouse gases. Celitement is calcium hydrosilicate, a raw material already containing calcium (CaO) and silicon (SiO ), though in the wrong ratio. It must be processed using an autoclave under saturated steam conditions, grinding and the addition of water. All of this emits around 50 per cent less carbon dioxide than Portland Cement. But it is still at the R&D stage. Alkali activated and “geopolymer” cements gain their strength from chemical reactions between a source of alkali (soluble base activator) and aluminate-rich materials. The source of the aluminate-rich materials will be an otherwise waste product – fly ash, municipal solid waste incinerator ash (MSWIA), metakaolin, blast furnace slag, steel slag or other slags, or other alumina-rich materials. They tend to have lower embodied energy/carbon footprints than Portland cements (up to 80-90 per cent, but this is dependent on the source of the aluminate-rich material). Production is now covered by a standard: PAS 8820:2016 Construction materials. Created by David Stone, it is composed partly of iron dust reclaimed from steel mills and currently sent to landfill. Stone has patented the name Ferrock and formed a company, IronKast, which is in the early stages of commercialising the patent with pilot implementations in marine environments being tested and benchmarked by the University of Arizona. It emits no carbon dioxide during production and, in order to cure it, as with Portland cement, carbon dioxide is required as a catalyst thereby making it carbon negative. When CO dissolves into water it forms carbonic acid. If iron dust is present it combines with carbonate molecules and precipitates back out of solution as solid iron carbonate. The resultant material has a greater compressive strength than mortar made with Portland cement. However, because of the limited availability of the iron dust, it will never completely replace all uses of Portland cement. Another substitute for concrete is Hempcrete, which is made from hemp and lime. Hemp, when growing, absorbs atmospheric carbon dioxide. Lime, when applied this way, also absorbs atmospheric carbon dioxide, making the material carbon negative. While not having the structural strength of concrete (its typical compressive strength is around 1MPa, over 20 times lower than low grade concrete and its density is 15 per cent that of traditional concrete), with a k-value of between 0.12 and 0.13 W/mK, it offers some insulation value. It can be used in many situations where concrete is currently used. It is of interest also because of its breathability, which lends it to use with other national building materials to create buildings that have a pleasant internal atmosphere that does not suffer from damp or condensation. Aether is a partnership by Lafarge, a world leader in building materials, with two technical centres, BRE (UK) and the Institute of Ceramics and Building Materials (Poland). Technically, this is a Belite-Calcium Sulfo-Aluminate-Ferrite compound. Trials found that Aether generates 20 to 30 per cent less CO per tonne of cement than pure Portland cement (CEM (I) type) and had a compressive strength similar to Portland cement. There is a European standard now underway. This is still at the R&D stage however; the key problem is that it hydrates slowly. In terms of embodied CO alternative cements are showing good promise, but there is a lack of experience, a lack of codes and standards, and some concerns about raw material availability and about durability. A study of the recent start-up attempts in this area, Towards low-carbon alternatives for OPC, concluded that the technologies are still at an early stage: “High-end cement science using new analytical techniques and modelling is just beginning and marks a methodological breakthrough”. It advocates “collaboration between interested industry partners and basic research institutes and resources for long-term research projects as a necessary precondition for the progress of radical inventions”. This is exactly the approach being taken by LEILAC, a new collaboration between European and Australian partners. The LEILAC (Low Emissions Intensity Lime And Cement) project is trialling a new type of carbon capture technology called Direct Separation. To this end it is about to build and operate a pilot plant at the HeidelbergCement plant in Lixhe, Belgium. This aims to capture about 60 per cent of total CO emissions from both industries without significant energy or capital penalty, with throughputs of up to 240 tonnes of cement per day and demonstrate that the technology works sufficiently robustly to begin scale-up planning. The technology is already proven at commercial scale for processing magnesite in Australia – a similar ore to limestone, albeit at lower temperatures (760°C versus 950°C exhaust temperatures). The company operating this, Calix, is lead partner in the project. It has already partially calcined limestone, albeit to around 70 per cent in a 22-metre long tube with no pre-heating. It uses the Catalytic Steam Calcination of limestone, dolomite and magnesite for cement and building products. The project has received €12m (AU$17.3m) in grant funding as part of the European Union’s Horizons 2020 program. HeidelbergCement, CEMEX, Tarmac, Lhoist, Amec Foster Wheeler, Calix Limited, ECN, Imperial College, PSE, Quantis, and the Carbon Trust are all working to apply this critical technology to the cement and lime industries. All these partners recognise that the long-term future of the cement and lime industries, which are both vital for many aspects of the European economy, hinge upon a reduction in their CO emissions. The separate elements of capture, transport and storage of carbon dioxide have all been demonstrated, but integrating them into a complete CCS process and bringing costs down remains a challenge. There are two large projects currently working in Europe, at Sleipner (operating since 1996) and Snøhvit (operating since 2008), capturing and storing around 1.7 million tonnes of CO . However, the technology has not been applied to the cement nor lime industries, as traditional methods of capturing the CO are either too complex or expensive. The new trial aims to do just this by beginning a full Front End Engineering Design (FEED) phase. Results should be available in 2020. When integrated into new plants, or retrofitted into existing plants that are fired with biomass or by waste combustion, and using current best practice as outlined above, by using “Direct Separation” technology the total CO emissions of cement production would be reduced by more than 85 per cent compared to conventional fossil fuel fired lime and cement plants, without significant operating issues, energy or capital penalty. If to this was added the figure of 42 per cent – of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the creation of cement using conventional means that are now known to be absorbed by concrete after its creation – then this would mean that conventional concrete would actually be potentially carbon negative. NOTE: A version of this article was fist published on The Fifth Estate on 6 December. David Thorpe is the author of:

Gronlund C.J.,University of Michigan | Humbert S.,Quantis | Shaked S.,University of California at Los Angeles | O'Neill M.S.,University of Michigan | Jolliet O.,University of Michigan
Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health | Year: 2015

Fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5) is a major environmental contributor to human burden of disease and therefore an important component of life cycle impact assessments. An accurate PM2.5 characterization factor, i.e., the impact per kilogram of PM2.5 emitted, is critical to estimating “cradle-to-grave” human health impacts of products and processes. We developed and assessed new characterization factors (disability-adjusted life years (DALY)/kgPM2.5 emitted), or the products of dose-response factors (deaths/kgPM2.5 inhaled), severity factors (DALY/death), and intake fractions (kgPM2.5 inhaled/kgPM2.5 emitted). In contrast to previous health burden estimates, we calculated age-specific concentration- and dose-response factors using baseline data, from 63 US metropolitan areas, consistent with the US study population used to derive the relative risk. We also calculated severity factors using 2010 Global Burden of Disease data. Multiplying the revised PM2.5 dose responses, severity factors, and intake fractions yielded new PM2.5 characterization factors that are higher than previous factors for primary PM2.5 but lower for secondary PM2.5 due to NOx. Multiplying the concentration-response and severity factors by 2005 ambient PM2.5 concentrations yielded an annual US burden of 2,000,000 DALY, slightly lower than previous US estimates. The annual US health burden estimated from PM emissions and characterization factors was 2.2 times higher. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Boulay A.-M.,Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal | Bayart J.-B.,Quantis | Bulle C.,Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal | Franceschini H.,Unilever | And 5 more authors.
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2015

Purpose: The integration of different water impact assessment methods within a water footprinting concept is still ongoing, and a limited number of case studies have been published presenting a comprehensive study of all water-related impacts. Although industries are increasingly interested in assessing their water footprint beyond a simple inventory assessment, they often lack guidance regarding the applicability and interpretation of the different methods available. This paper aims to illustrate how different water-related methods can be applied within a water footprint study of a laundry detergent and discuss their applicability. Methods: The concept of water footprinting, as defined by the recently published ISO Standard (ISO 2014), is illustrated through the case study of a load of laundry using water availability and water degradation impact categories. At the midpoint, it covers scarcity, availability, and pollution indicators such as eutrophication, acidification, human, and eco-toxicity. At the endpoint, impacts on human health and ecosystems are covered for water deprivation and degradation. Sensitivity analyses are performed on the most sensitive modeling choices identified in part A of this paper. Results and discussion: The applicability of the different methodologies and their interpretation within a water footprint concept for decision making is presented. The discussion covers general applicability issues such as inventory flow definition, data availability, regionalization, and inclusion of wastewater treatment systems. Method-specific discussion covers the use of interim ecotoxicity factors, the interaction of scarcity and availability assessments and the limits of such methods, and the geographic coverage and availability of impact assessment methods. Lastly, possible double counting, databases, software, data quality, and integration of a water footprint within a life cycle assessment (LCA) are discussed. Conclusions: This study has shown that water footprinting as proposed in the ISO standard can be applied to a laundry detergent product but with caveats. The science and the data availability are rapidly evolving, but the results obtained with present methods enable companies to map where in the life cycle and in the world impacts might occur. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Humbert S.,University of California at Berkeley | Marshall J.D.,University of Minnesota | Shaked S.,University of Michigan | Spadaro J.V.,Environmental Research Consultant | And 8 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2011

Particulate matter (PM) is a significant contributor to death and disease globally. This paper summarizes the work of an international expert group on the integration of human exposure to PM into life cycle impact assessment (LCIA), within the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative. We review literature-derived intake fraction values (the fraction of emissions that are inhaled), based on emission release height and "archetypal" environment (indoor versus outdoor; urban, rural, or remote locations). Recommended intake fraction values are provided for primary PM10-2.5 (coarse particles), primary PM 2.5 (fine particles), and secondary PM2.5 from SO 2, NOx, and NH3. Intake fraction values vary by orders of magnitude among conditions considered. For outdoor primary PM 2.5, representative intake fraction values (units: milligrams inhaled per kilogram emitted) for urban, rural, and remote areas, respectively, are 44, 3.8, and 0.1 for ground-level emissions, versus 26, 2.6, and 0.1 for an emission-weighted stack height. For outdoor secondary PM, source location and source characteristics typically have only a minor influence on the magnitude of the intake fraction (exception: intake fraction values can be an order of magnitude lower for remote-location emission than for other locations). Outdoor secondary PM2.5 intake fractions averaged over respective locations and stack heights are 0.89 (from SO2), 0.18 (NOx), and 1.7 (NH3). Estimated average intake fractions are greater for primary PM10-2.5 than for primary PM2.5 (21 versus 15), owing in part to differences in average emission height (lower, and therefore closer to people, for PM10-2.5 than PM2.5). For indoor emissions, typical intake fraction values are ∼1000-7000. This paper aims to provide as complete and consistent an archetype framework as possible, given current understanding of each pollutant. Values presented here facilitate incorporating regional impacts into LCIA for human health damage from PM. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

de Schryver A.M.,Radboud University Nijmegen | de Schryver A.M.,ETH Zurich | van Zelm R.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Humbert S.,Quantis | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Industrial Ecology | Year: 2011

Summary: This article investigates how value choices in life cycle impact assessment can influence characterization factors (CFs) for human health (expressed as disability-adjusted life years [DALYs]). The Cultural Theory is used to define sets of value choices in the calculation of CFs, reflecting the individualist, hierarchist, and egalitarian perspectives. CFs were calculated for interventions related to the following impact categories: water scarcity, tropospheric ozone formation, particulate matter formation, human toxicity, ionizing radiation, stratospheric ozone depletion, and climate change. With the Cultural Theory as a framework, we show that individualist, hierarchist, and egalitarian perspectives can lead to CFs that vary up to six orders of magnitude. For persistent substances, the choice in time horizon explains the differences among perspectives, whereas for nonpersistent substances, the choice in age weighting and discount rate of DALY and the type of effects or exposure routes account for differences in CFs. The calculated global impact varies by two orders of magnitude, depending on the perspective selected, and derives mainly from particulate matter formation and water scarcity for the individualist perspective and from climate change for the egalitarian perspective. Our results stress the importance of dealing with value choices in life cycle impact assessment and suggest further research for analyzing the practical consequences for life cycle assessment results. © 2011 by Yale University.

Del Duce A.,Quantis | Del Duce A.,Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology | Gauch M.,Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology | Althaus H.-J.,Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2014

Purpose: Due to the large environmental challenges posed by the transport sector, reliable and state-of-the art data for its life cycle assessment is essential for enabling a successful transition towards more sustainable systems. In this paper, the new electric passenger car transport and vehicle datasets, which have been developed for ecoinvent version 3, are presented.Methods: The new datasets have been developed with a strong modular approach, defining a hierarchy of datasets corresponding to various technical components in the vehicle. A vehicle is therefore modelled by linking together the various component datasets. Also, parameters and mathematical formulas have been introduced in order to define the amount of exchanges in the datasets through common transport and vehicle characteristics. This supports users in the choice of the amount of exchanges and enhances the transparency of the dataset.Results: The new transport dataset describes the transport over 1 km with a battery electric passenger car taking into account the vehicle production and end of life, the energy consumption due to the use phase, non-exhaust emissions, maintenance and road infrastructure. The dataset has been developed and is suitable for a compact class vehicle.Conclusions: A new electric passenger car transport dataset has been developed for version 3 of the ecoinvent database which exploits modularisation and parameters with the aim of facilitating users in adapting the data to their specific needs. Apart from the direct use of the transport dataset for background data, the various datasets for the different components can also be used as building blocks for virtual vehicles. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Girault G.,Rio Tinto Alcan | Petit S.,Rio Tinto Alcan | Rheault J.P.,Rio Tinto Alcan | Mercereau D.,ENEA | Verzat B.,Quantis
TMS Light Metals | Year: 2015

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology is emerging as a standardized reference for assessing the comprehensive environmental impact from any product or process. This holistic approach considers all steps related to the product/process life, from cradle to grave. As an aluminum producer, Rio Tinto Alcan (RTA) recently applied this method to assess its relative performance compared to the industry average, with a specific focus on its GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emission intensity. As a smelting technology supplier, RTA is now deploying a simplified approach based on LCA principles to assess technology performance. Combined with specific accounting techniques, this should allow for more efficient designs, both from an environmental and financial perspective. This paper illustrates, through some examples on product and process assessments, how this philosophy can be used to design and operate sustainable technology solutions in a systematic way.

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