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Iosip A.,Technical University Gheorghe Asachi | Dobon A.,Transport and Logistics Research Center | Hortal M.,Transport and Logistics Research Center | Bobu E.,Technical University Gheorghe Asachi
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2012

Purpose: This study aims to analyze and quantify the environmental impacts associated with the production of testliner paper using 100 % recovered paper as fiber raw material, by applying the life cycle assessment principles. A simulation of advanced sorting technology was done to prepare and use batches of raw materials with different levels of contaminants. Comparative studies of environmental impact assessment were focused on the quality of recovered paper, which is decisively influenced by the efficiency of the sorting process. The particularity of the study is that so far it is the only one that analyzes the environmental impact generated by recovered paper quality. Methods: To analyze the environmental impacts in the scenarios, life cycle assessment methodology was considered. Potential environmental impacts were assessed by using the CML 2009, Dec.07 method developed by the Centre for Environmental Science from the University of Leiden. Results and discussion: In this study, acidification potential, abiotic resources depletion potential, eutrophication potential, global warming potential, photochemical ozone creation potential, and human toxicity potential were the impact categories analyzed. Considering that the system boundaries refer only to the paper mill that was obtained, all unitary processes involved in the manufacturing of product system influence in varying proportions the impact categories chosen for evaluation. A higher concentration of contaminants leads to a higher amount of energy and water used, and thus, a significant amount of waste and emissions generated. Simulations performed have highlighted the importance of sorting technology that influences the quality of raw material that will be used. Conclusions: Utilization of recovered paper batches with a low quality contributes to an increased environmental impact associated with the testliner paper manufacturing stage. A low quality of recovered paper will influence energy consumption in different modules of the system (recycled fiber pulp preparation, paper machine, and wastewater treatment), the volume of waste generated, and consequently the emissions released both in air and water. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Iosip A.,Technical University Gheorghe Asachi | Hortal M.,Transport and Logistics Research Center | Dobon A.,Transport and Logistics Research Center | Bobu E.,Technical University Gheorghe Asachi
Environmental Engineering and Management Journal | Year: 2010

Environmental issues are a key objective for European paper industry. Among the initiatives addressed to minimise the environmental impacts, this industry has an important focus on the product itself. Paper industry is continuously improving environmental profile of their products by using high percentages of recycled fibres as substitute of virgin fibres. The use of recycled cellulose fibres has taken a considerable extent during last decade and recovered paper became an indispensable secondary raw material for the paper manufacturing, accounting for 50% of the total fibre raw material in European countries. Despite of these assets of paper and board recycling, there are few specific studies that analyse the environmental behaviour of the paper products considering the use virgin and/or recycled fibres. The aim of this work is to assess and compare the environmental impact of corrugated board production by using different component papers, based on virgin fibbers (kraftliner) and recycled fibres (testliner and wellenstoff). Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology was applied in order to identify, quantify and evaluate the environmental impacts. LCA software GaBi 4 was used to support this analysis.

Iosip A.,Technical University Gheorghe Asachi | Hortal M.,Transport and Logistics Research Center | Dobon A.,Transport and Logistics Research Center | Bobu E.,Technical University Gheorghe Asachi
Environmental Engineering and Management Journal | Year: 2012

This paper is part of LCA studies performed in the frame of FP7 project "Recovered Paper Sorting by Innovative Technologies-SORT IT". It analysis the results obtained by Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) of the reference case for recycled packaging paper manufacturing (current sorting technology), which will constitute a comparison base for new sorting technology developed in SORT IT project. The main stages considered in the life cycle were: recovered paper (RP) transport from collection center to paper mill, RP processing and recycling in paper production, wastewater and solid waste treatment. Special attention has been paid to detailed definition of the parameters that have a relevant impact on the whole assessment such as system boundaries, functional unit, quality standards for input data in term of time, geographic area, etc. Subsequently a life cycle inventory analysis was made. In the impact assessment stage, CML 2001 Dec.07 baseline impact assessment factors developed by the Centre for Environmental Science were used and the adjusted data were entered into the GaBi 4.4 LCA software and modeled into environmental inputs and outputs. The classification and characterization of essential elements in LCIA were applied to the inventory data in order to assess their potential impact on the environment. The contribution to various impacts categories was analyzed and, the characterized results were normalized. The results revealed that in recycled packaging paper manufacturing cycle the most important unitary processes that affect the environmental impact are the consumption of energy (electricity mainly) resources, natural gas used in steam generation, RP transport stage and packaging paper manufacturing unitary process (represented by recovered paper processing, paper machine, boiler and rejects/sludge treatment). All unitary processes were found to be significant sources of air and water emissions that affect the environmental impact.

Aliaga C.,Transport and Logistics Research Center | Ferreira B.,Transport and Logistics Research Center | Hortal M.,Transport and Logistics Research Center | Pancorbo M.T.,Plastics Technology Center | And 2 more authors.
Waste Management | Year: 2011

The use of Radio Frequency IDentification Technology (RFID) in the packaging sector is an important logistical improvement regarding the advantages offered by this technology in comparison with barcodes. Nevertheless, the presence of these devices in plastic packaging, and consequently in plastic waste, can cause several problems in the recycling plants due to the materials included in these devices. In this study, the mentioned recycling constraints have been experimentally identified in a pilot scale recycling study consisting in three recycling tests with an increasing presence of RFID tags. Differences in each test were evaluated. Furthermore, the quality of the recycled material of each test was studied through the injection and testing of tests probes. The results of the pilot scale recycling tests did not show a decrease in the quality of the recycled plastic due to the presence of RFID tags. Nevertheless, several operational problems during the recycling process were observed such as the obstruction of the screens, which lessened the process yield and created process interruptions, as well as the loss of extruded plastic during the process. These recycling constraints cannot be directly extrapolated to the industrial plants due to the different working scales. Nevertheless, technological solutions are proposed in order to avoid these recycling constraints if they appear. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Dobon A.,Transport and Logistics Research Center | Cordero P.,Transport and Logistics Research Center | Kreft F.,Wageningen University | Ostergaard S.R.,Danish Technological Institute DTI | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2011

Purpose: This paper is the second part of a two-paper series dealing with the sustainability evaluation of a new communicative packaging concept. The communicative packaging concept includes a device that allows changing the expiry date of the product as function of temperature during transport and storage: a flexible best-before-date (FBBD). Such device was analysed in a consumer unit consisting of a nanoclay-based polylactic acid tray filled with pork chops. Methods: An economic assessment was made through the use of life cycle costing (LCC) methodology proposed by Bovea and Vidal (Resources, Conservation and Recycling Volume 41, Issue 2, May 2004, Pages 133-145) where both internal and external costs were considered. Furthermore, the social aspects were analysed using a contingent valuation (CV) of the willingness to pay (WTP). The sustainability assessment of FBBD was made through the combination of life cycle assessment (LCA) and LCC results, together with the CV of the WTP according to the method proposed by Bovea and Vidal. It was assumed that the use of the FBBD minimizes the food losses from 3.5% to 0.5%. Results and discussion: LCC results show that internal costs related to pork chops and logistic supply chain life cycle represent more than 90% of life cycle cost. The use of FBBD communicative device could increase pork chop selling price between 0.01 and 0.1€ since the purchasing cost of this communicative device is included in this price. WTP results show that FBBD purchasing cost for consumer acceptance is estimated as 0.05€/FBBD. Therefore, only pork chop selling price for scenarios 1 (0.05€/device) and 3 (0.01€/device) could be accepted by consumers. The most sustainable situation is reached when the cost of the FBBD is as less as possible (0.01€). Conclusions: The use of FBBD communicative device has economic advantages for perishable products since it contributes to the increase in the economic savings due to the reduction of food losses. However, these economic savings represent a small percentage over pork chop selling price, and therefore, an FBBD price less than 0.02€/device is required. If a lower price for the communicative device is reached, satisfying the WTP of consumers (0.05€/FBBD), the communicative package will be much more sustainable. Recommendations: It is expected that the competitiveness of FBBD communicative device will be improved in the future. This might be accomplished by reducing FBBD production and distribution costs and increasing their social acceptance, providing more sustainable solutions. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Dobon A.,Transport and Logistics Research Center | Cordero P.,Transport and Logistics Research Center | Kreft F.,Wageningen University | Ostergaard S.R.,Danish Technological Institute DTI | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2011

Purpose In recent years, a new perspective for food packaging has emerged as a result of several issues like quality, safety, competitive prices or providing of useful information to consumers. This new perspective is called communicative packaging. Communicative packaging may influence consumers/companies on purchasing decisions. Since the environmental evaluation of such systems has not yet been performed, this paper is focused on the environmental evaluation of a flexible best-before-date (FBBD) communicative device on a packaging consumer unit and its implications on reducing environmental impacts related to fresh products. This consumer unit consists of a nanoclay-based polylactic acid tray filled with pork chops. Methods The environmental assessment of the consumer unit was made through life cycle assessment (LCA) using a cradle-to-gate approach. Environmental impacts were assessed according to the Eco-Indicator 99 v 2.1 methodology in Individualist (I) perspective. Results and discussion Several results were obtained from the LCA. With regard to environmental impacts of the FBBD, most of them were due to the paper substrate used for the manufacture of this communicative packaging concept as well as to the transports for delivering the components of the FBBD communicative device. On the other hand, when environmental impacts of packaging system with and without FBBD were compared, a large environmental load was detected for the system that has the communicative device affixed as a result of the higher weight of the package. However, the environmental load caused by the use of the FBBD was minimal in comparison with the total environmental load of the whole packaging system. On the contrary, the consumer unit that has the communicative device affixed showed less environmental burden than the consumer unit that has not affixed the device. This was due to the environmental benefits that the communicative device provides by reducing the amount of out-of-date packaged products at retailer outlets. Conclusions The use of a FBBD contributes to minimize environmental burdens related to the production, packaging and delivery of pork chops since it facilitates a dynamic control of out-of-date products even though the consumer unit with FBBD weighs 1 g more than the consumer unit that does not use the communicative device. Recommendations The results presented in this paper are estimated results of a specific case study for a prototype of communicative packaging device. Consequently, these results must be considered as a first approach according to future developments on communicative packaging. © Springer-Verlag 2011.

Lara-Lledo M.,Transport and Logistics Research Center | Lara-Lledo M.,University of Manitoba | Olaimat A.,University of Manitoba | Holley R.A.,University of Manitoba
International Journal of Food Microbiology | Year: 2012

The ability of Listeria (L.) monocytogenes to convert glucosinolates into antimicrobial isothiocyanates was investigated. Mustard glucosinolates in pure (sinigrin) or extract forms (sinigrin, oriental; sinalbin, yellow mustard) were used in broth media and in a polyvinyl polyethylene glycol graft copolymer (PPG) packaging film with bologna to examine their value as antimicrobial precursors for the control of L. monocytogenes viability and extension of bologna shelf-life at 4 °C. During broth tests with deodorized (myrosinase-inactivated) mustard extracts (10. d at 20 °C) or with purified sinigrin (21. d at 20 °C) L. monocytogenes was only inhibited when exogenous myrosinase was added. None the less, the organism was able to hydrolyze almost half the pure sinigrin by 21. d in tests without added enzyme. Reductions in sinigrin levels were measured by reversed-phase liquid chromatography, and in the absence of L. monocytogenes or added myrosinase the glucosinolate was stable. When pure sinigrin, oriental or yellow mustard extracts were incorporated in PPG films containing 3, 5 and 6% (w/w) of the corresponding glucosinolate and used to package bologna inoculated with 4 log CFU/g L. monocytogenes, the pathogen became undetectable in bologna packed with the oriental mustard extract at 52. d storage and remained undetectable at 70. d. The yellow mustard extract was less inhibitory and the pure sinigrin was not antimicrobial. L. monocytogenes numbers reached > 7 log CFU/g in the film and untreated controls at 17. d storage. At 35. d storage, samples packed with control film contained sufficient numbers of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) (> 7 log CFU/g) to be considered spoiled, whereas treatments containing mustard or sinigrin remained < 7 log CFU/g LAB for ≤ 70. d. L. monocytogenes played a key role in exerting control over its own viability in bologna by hydrolysis of the glucosinolate in the oriental mustard film, but other antimicrobials in treatments may have contributed. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Garcia-Romeu-Martinez M.-A.,Transport and Logistics Research Center | Rouillard V.,Victoria University of Melbourne
Packaging Technology and Science | Year: 2011

This paper presents an alternative method for characterizing the random vibrations produced by transport vehicles. The paper discusses the significance and limitations of the average power spectral density and explains why it is not always adequate as the sole descriptor of road vehicle vibrations as the process generally tends to be non-stationary and non-Gaussian. The paper adopts an alternative analysis method, based on the statistical distribution of the moving root-mean-square (rms) vibrations, as a supplementary indicator of overall ride quality. A variety of sample vibration records, collected from various vehicle types and routes in Spain and Australia, were used to investigate the suitability of various mathematical models, based on the Weibull distribution. It shows that the model can also effectively describe the statistical parameters of the process, namely the mean, median, standard deviation, skewness and kurtosis. The paper proposes a single mathematical model that can accurately describe the statistical character of the non-stationary random vibrations generated by road vehicles in general. The proposed generic distribution model, based on the Weibull distribution, was developed to afford additional control over various aspects of the shape of the distribution function. The model was found to be general enough to be able to produce a range of well-known distributions. Curve-fitting results using the sum-of-squared error (least squares) optimization were found to produce non-convergent results, which required inclusion of the mean, median, standard deviation, skewness and kurtosis in the optimization algorithm. The paper also shows how the model is capable of accurately describing the statistical parameters of the process, namely the mean, median, standard deviation, skewness and kurtosis. This result is relevant not only for the characterization of ride quality but also for the accurate synthesis of road vehicle vibrations in the laboratory. The results can be used to assist in developing a novel method for simulating non-stationary (modulated) vibration in the laboratory. The rms distribution function can be used to create an rms level schedule that will enable the synthesis of random vibrations with varying rms levels to better represent the road transport vibration process. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Balaguer M.P.,Transport and Logistics Research Center | Aliaga C.,Transport and Logistics Research Center | Fito C.,Transport and Logistics Research Center | Hortal M.,Transport and Logistics Research Center
Waste Management | Year: 2016

Nanomaterials can provide plastics with great advantages on mechanical and active properties (i.e. release and capture of specific substances). Therefore, packaging is expected to become one of the leading applications for these substances by 2020. There are some applications already in the market. Nevertheless, there is still some areas under development. A key issue to be analyzed is the end-of-life of these materials once they become waste, and specifically when nanomaterials are used in biodegradable products. The present study evaluated the disintegration, biodegradability, and ecotoxicity of poly(lactic acid) films reinforced with the three following nanomaterials: (1) montmorillonite modified with an ammonium quaternary salt, (2) calcium carbonate and (3) silicon dioxide. Results on disintegration showed that films completely disintegrated into visually indistinguishable residues after 6-7weeks of incubation in composting environment. Moreover, no differences were observed in the evolution of the bioresidue with respect to color, aspect, and odor in comparison with the control. It was also observed that nanomaterials did not significantly reduce the level of biodegradability of PLA (p>0.05). In fact, biodegradation was higher, without finding significant differences (p>0.05), in all the nano-reinforced samples with respect to PLA after 130days in composting (9.4% in PLA+Nano-SiO2; 34.0% in PLA+Clay1; 48.0% in PLA+Nano-CaCO3). Finally, no significant differences (p>0.05) in ecotoxicity in plants were observed as a result of the incorporation of nanoparticles in the PLA matrix. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Aucejo S.,Transport and Logistics Research Center
Food Science and Technology | Year: 2010

Natural antimicrobials for innovative and safe packaging (NAFISPACK) project has been initiated to develop innovative packaging solutions for some foodstuffs such as fresh chicken, minimally-processed vegetables (MPV) and fresh fish to preserve the food safely during distribution and storage. One of the work plan of NAFISPACK focuses on selecting the natural antimicrobial (NA) substances for target microorganisms, target food and chosen packaging materials. Another plan aims to prepare the developed packaging materials for use in pilot plants in order to be successfully transformed in packages by industrial methods. The next plan studies and defines the appropriate quality parameters that can be followed during storage of the target food products with the new active packages, which provides information related to the effectiveness of new packaging solutions in target fresh foods.

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