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LCA

Environmental effects of your products

Takes up landfill space


Production pollute air
Not biodegradable
Nonrenewable resources
Not recyclable
Cause acid rain
Disposed to landfill

LCA defines as a compilation and evaluation of inputs, outputs and potential


environment impacts of a product throughout its life cycle

What is LCA?
Method providing a quantitative assessment of the environment impacts of a
product over its entire life cycle

Inputs raw material consumptions, energy, utilities, transport


Output emission to waste

Phases of LCA
Raw
material
extraction

material
manufactur
e

product
manufactur
e

Product
use

Recycling
and reuse

Disposal

Product or process applications


1. Compare and choose which product or process is most environmentally
friendly
2. Identify weak environmental links
3. Improve segment of life cycle to make it more environmental friendly and
sustainable

Life cycle concepts

Cradle to grave entire life cycle


Cradle to gate raw material extraction to products leaving factory gate
Cradle to cradle recycling

Gate to gate single manufacturing at a particular site


Well to wheels fuel from its original raw material to its final production of
power

Methodology
Goal and scope
definition

Interpretatio
n

Inventory
analysis

Impact
assessment
1)

2)

Goal and scope definition


Scope and purpose defined
System boundaries defined
Functional unit established
Inventory analysis
Material and energy used is quantified
Waste emitted are quantified
3) Impact assessment
Inventory data grouped according to categories of environmental
effects
Inventory data weighed to give numerical score
4) Interpretation
Improvement in processing or product use identified

Goal definition
Functional unit: appropriate basis to compare inventories and impacts
Eg: 1 tonne of ammonia production

Organization context of LCA study


-Internal company use or external company use for public policy

Purpose of LCA

Compare competing products?


Major environment burdens?
Make improvement of the process?

System and its boundaries (space and time considerations)


Data requirements
Assumptions
Details and accuracy

Scope

System boundaries

Inventory analysis
Purpose: identify and quantify environmental burdens in LCA

Burdens are defined by material and energy used in the systems and emissions of
waste discharged to the environment
Steps in inventory analysis:

Detailed definition of system


Data collection
Allocation of environmental burdens
Quantification of the burdens

Relevant stages of the life of a product

Raw material and energy needs


Manufacturing
Transport, storage and distribution
Use, reuse and maintenance
Recycle and waste management

Calculation of environmental burdens

Data availability and resources


2 types of data

Foreground/ primary relating to specific processes and parts of the system


Background/secondary relate to parts of system that supply materials and
energy to foreground (electricity supply system provide power)

Provide high level info about raw materials, energy consumption, waste for products
and processes

http://simapro.rmit.edu.au/LCA/datadownloads.html

Impact assessment phase

Classification potential impacts on human, ecological health and resource


depletion
Characterization quantification of impact
Normalization impacts reference to total emissions/ impacts for industry
Grouping qualitative ranking of importance of impacts
Environmental Index

Classification

CO2 emission contribute greenhouse effect, assigned to Global warming potential


impact category
Nitrogen oxide cause eutrophication and acidification

Impact categories
Impact categories
Global warming potential
acidification
Photochemical oxidant
Nonrenewable resources
Ozone depletion
Eutrophication/Nitrification
Human toxicity
ecotoxicity

Explanations (effect)
Climate change
Acid rain
Smog
Indexed scarcity
Harm ozone
Loss of dissolved oxygen
Human health
Toxic to flora and fauna

Resource depletion
Renewable hydroelectric energy, biomass product, solar
Nonrenewable fossil fuels, mineral

Characterization