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Hybrid Assessment of the Life Cycle Energy Intensity of a Laptop Computer

Rachel Deng,1 Eric Williams,1,2 Callie Babbitt3


1 School

of Sustainability and 2 School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Arizona State University 3 Golisano Institute for Sustainability, Rochester Institute of Technology

Overview
Introduction Methodology
Economic balance hybrid LCA Context for laptop study

Comparative results
Manufacturing vs. use
Laptop vs. desktop

Background
Energy use an important consideration over life cycle of personal computers Increasing attention by consumers and OEMs to life cycle energy impact and carbon footprint Goal evaluate to inform
Design changes Behavior and use changes

Uncertainty associated with aggregation

Top-down EIO LCA

Economic Balance Hybrid LCA


Reduce overall uncertainty

Uncertainty associated with cutoff error

Bottom-up process sum LCA

Context for Hybrid Methodology


Previous studies applying LCA to desktop computers Likely underestimation of manufacturing impact by process LCA alone
Study
Williams 2004 EPIC 2005 Choi et al. 2006 Duan et al. 2009

Type
Hybrid Process Process Process

Impact
Energy Energy Multiple LCIA Resource

Manufacturing
80% 20% 50-80% 40%

Case Study
Dell Inspiron 2500, Intel Mobile Pentium III processor, 512 megabytes (MB) of memory, and a 15-inch LCD screen US $1449 in 2001 Residential Use

Economic data collection

Remaining Value EIOLCA model

Remaining Value Energy

Additive IO Energy

Manufacturing Energy

Bill of Materials
Disassembly Bill of Components

Process Sum Energy

Use phase data collection

Use Phase Energy

Total Life Cycle Energy

Energy Intensity Calculations


Electricity and bulk materials
Based on fossil fuel inputs from Ecoinvent and other databases Weighted average global fuel mix and/or heating value for fossil fuels
Minimum-maximum ranges to represent geographic and manufacturing variability in supply chain

Use Phase Assumptions


Lifespan range: 3-5 years Use pattern of Laptop computers (EPA), and power value for use modes of the Inspiron 2500 (Dell):
Mode
off sleep idle

Time in mode (%)


60% 10% 30%

Power (watts)
1.26 9.05 18.32

Bill of Materials
Material (Diss.)
ABS PC Other plastics Glass Copper Aluminum Steel Other

Mass (g)
373 406 343 300 270 512 845 442

Material (Calc.)
Gold

Mass (g)
0.36

Silver
Epoxy Palladium Nickel Zinc Neodymium Tin Lead

1.4
264 0.06 0.99 0.1 0.02 9.33 6.13

Material Energy
Material (Diss.)
ABS PC Other plastics Glass Copper Aluminum Steel Other

Energy (MJ/computer)
High 26.5 42.6 --13.2 9.19 65.7 26.4 --Low 35.6 50.8 --19.7 26.0 80.2 78.2 ---

Material (Calc.)
Gold Silver Epoxy

Energy (MJ/computer)
High 21.0 0.48 33.3 Low 244 16.5 63.8

Palladium Nickel
Zinc Neodymium Tin

3.85 0.09
0.00 0.01 2.19

12.5 0.20
0.01 0.01 2.88

Lead

0.08

0.14

Process Sum Energy


Process Source US MECS Japan natl. circuit board US natl. Japan natl. Years 1998, 2002 1999 2000 2001 m2 board Norm.

Fossil Fuel Electricity Total Energy MJ/norm kWh/norm MJ/Comp. 3.2


3.2 2.3 n/a 93 141 190

semiconductor US census

1995-2006 cm2 silicon

1.5
2.0 1.1 1.5 28 40 27 2,100 n/a n/a 60 264-932 29-47 249-406

Facility (UMC) 1998-2005

Facility (anon)
silicon wafers literature

2001
mixed kg

n/a n/a n/a

LCD
computer assembly

EPA
EUP US natl Firm (HP)

2001
2007

15-in unit

2002-2004 unit 2000

85
35

35
51

313-570

Additive Input-Output Correction


Value content $/comp. 60.9 Direct fossil intensity MJ/$ 6.5 Elec. Intensity kWh/$ 0.3 Total energy content MJ/comp. 583

Process Electronic chemicals and materials Semiconductor manufacturing equipment

IO Sector Photographic Film and Chemicals Semiconductor machinery manufacturing

85.0

5.9

0.4

794

Energy Intensity Totals


Category Process-Sum Additive IO Remaining value Manufacturing total Use phase total Life cycle total Energy/computer (MJ) 1282 2616 1377 705 3364 - 4698 1868 - 3113 5247 - 7826

Ranges represent minimum and maximum values

Stage and Product Comparisons


9000 8000 7000 Manufacturing Use 60% 62% 64% 81%

Life cycle energy (MJ/computer)

6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 Laptop-Low 36%

38%

40% 19%

Laptop-Mean

Laptop-High

Desktop

Stage and Product Comparisons


9000 8000 7000 Manufacturing Use 60% 62% 64% 81% 4000

Life cycle energy (MJ/computer)

3000 2500 2000 1500 1000

6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 36%

38%

40% 19% Desktop 500 0

Laptop-Low Laptop-Mean Laptop-High

Annualized energy burden (MJ/computer/year)

3500

Conclusions
Total energy burden of laptop computer is ~25% less than that of desktop (assuming same lifespan) Manufacturing component between 60-65% of total
Dependent on lifespan assumptions and

manufacturing ranges

EIO corrections ~50% of total manufacturing energy


Essential to include to capture supply chain

inputs

Extensions
Refine and update economic estimates for IO correction Replicate study for modern laptop and netbook Assess energy associated with end-oflife management

Acknowledgements
NSF Award 0731067 Assessing and managing the sustainability of global reverse supply chains: the case of personal computers (E. Williams) Industrial Ecology Fellowship from the AT&T Foundation (E. Williams) Scott OConnell, Dell Colleagues in ASU Center for Earth Systems Engineering and Management http://enpub.fulton.asu.edu/cesem/