As a pillar of sustainable development, ecology has become an important milestone in research community, especially due to global challenges like climate change. The ecological performance of products can be scientifically conducted with life cycle assessments. In the construction sector, significant amounts of CO2 emissions are assigned to the energy used for building heating purposes. Therefore, sustainable construction materials for insulating purposes are substantial, whereby aerogels have been explored intensively in the last years due to their low thermal conductivity. Therefore, the WALL-ACE project aims to develop an aerogel-based thermal insulating plaster that would achieve minor thermal conductivities. But as in the early stage of development phases, a lot of information is still missing or not yet accessible, the ecological performance of innovative products bases increasingly on uncertain data that can lead to significant deviations in the results. To be able to predict realistically how meaningful the results are and how viable the developed products may be with regard to their corresponding respective market, these deviations however have to be considered. Therefore, a classification method is presented in this study, which may allow comparing the ecological performance of modern products with already established and competitive materials. In order to achieve this, an alternative calculation method was used that allows computing with lower and upper bounds to consider all possible values without precise data. The life cycle analysis of the considered products was conducted with an interval arithmetic based calculation method. The results lead to the conclusion that the interval solutions describing the possible environmental impacts are so wide that the result usability is limited. Nevertheless, a further optimization in reducing environmental impacts of aerogels seems to be needed to become more competitive in the future.
After natural disasters, displaced people (DP) require important numbers of housing units, which have to be erected quickly due to emergency pressures. These tight timeframes can cause the multiplication of the environmental construction impacts. These negative impacts worsen the already high energy consumption and pollution caused by the building sector. Indeed, post-disaster housing, which is often carried out without pre-planning, usually causes high negative environmental impacts, besides other economic and social impacts. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a suitable strategy to deal with this problem which also takes into account the instability of its causes, like changing ratio between rural and urban population. To this end, this study aims to present a model that assists decision-makers to choose the most suitable building technology for post-disaster housing units. This model focuses on the alternatives sustainability and fulfillment of the stakeholders’ satisfactions. Four building technologies have been analyzed to determine the most sustainability technology and to validate the presented model. In 2003, Bam earthquake DP had their temporary housing units (THUs) built using these four technologies: autoclaved aerated concrete blocks (AAC), concrete masonry unit (CMU), pressed reeds panel (PR), and 3D sandwich panel (3D). The results of this analysis confirm that PR and CMU obtain the highest sustainability indexes. However, the second life scenario of THUs could have considerable impacts on the results.
The environmental impact related to ornamental stones (such as marbles and granites) is largely debated. Starting from the industrial revolution, continuous improvements of machineries led to a higher exploitation of this natural resource and to a more international interaction between markets. As a consequence, the environmental impact of the extraction and processing of stones has increased. Nevertheless, if compared with other building materials, ornamental stones are generally more durable, natural, and recyclable. From the scientific point of view, studies on stone life cycle sustainability have been carried out, but these are often partial or not very significant because of the high percentage of approximations and assumptions in calculations. This is due to the lack, in life cycle databases (e.g. Ecoinvent, Thinkstep, and ELCD), of datasets about the specific technologies employed in the stone production chain. For example, databases do not contain information about diamond wires, chains or explosives, materials commonly used in quarries and transformation plants. The project presented in this paper aims to populate the life cycle databases with specific data of specific stone processes. To this goal, the methodology follows the standardized approach of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), according to the requirements of UNI 14040-14044 and to the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook guidelines of the European Commission. The study analyses the processes of the entire production chain (from-cradle-to-gate system boundaries), including the extraction of benches, the cutting of blocks into slabs/tiles and the surface finishing. Primary data have been collected in Italian quarries and transformation plants which use technologies representative of the current state-of-the-art. Since the technologies vary according to the hardness of the stone, the case studies comprehend both soft stones (marbles) and hard stones (gneiss). In particular, data about energy, materials and emissions were collected in marble basins of Carrara and in Beola and Serizzo basins located in the province of Verbano Cusio Ossola. Data were then elaborated through an appropriate software to build a life cycle model. The model was realized setting free parameters that allow an easy adaptation to specific productions. Through this model, the study aims to boost the direct participation of stone companies and encourage the use of LCA tool to assess and improve the stone sector environmental sustainability. At the same time, the realization of accurate Life Cycle Inventory data aims at making available, to researchers and stone experts, ILCD compliant datasets of the most significant processes and technologies related to the ornamental stone sector.
This paper aims to determine the best environmental and economic scenario for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management of the Maku city by using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach. The functional elements of this study are collection, transportation, and disposal of MSW in Maku city. Waste composition and density, as two key parameters of MSW, have been determined by field sampling, and then, the other important specifications of MSW like chemical formula, thermal energy and water content were calculated. These data beside other information related to collection and disposal facilities are used as a reliable source of data to assess the environmental impacts of different waste management options, including landfills, composting, recycling and energy recovery. The environmental impact of MSW management options has been investigated in 15 different scenarios by Integrated Waste Management (IWM) software. The photochemical smog, greenhouse gases, acid gases, toxic emissions, and energy consumption of each scenario are measured. Then, the environmental indices of each scenario are specified by weighting these parameters. Economic costs of scenarios have been also compared with each other based on literature. As final result, since the organic materials make more than 80% of the waste, compost can be a suitable method. Although the major part of the remaining 20% of waste can be recycled, due to the high cost of necessary equipment, the landfill option has been suggested. Therefore, the scenario with 80% composting and 20% landfilling is selected as superior environmental and economic scenario. This study shows that, to select a scenario with practical applications, simultaneously environmental and economic aspects of different scenarios must be considered.
In the present scenario of energy crises, energy conservation in the electrical machines is very important in the industries. In order to conserve energy, one needs to monitor the performance of an induction motor on-site and in-situ. The instruments available for this purpose are very meager and very expensive. This paper deals with the design and development of induction motor performance analyser on-line, on-site, and in-situ. The system measures only few electrical input parameters like input voltage, line current, power factor, frequency, powers, and motor shaft speed. These measured data are coupled to name plate details and compute the operating efficiency of induction motor. This system employs the method of computing motor losses with the help of equivalent circuit parameters. The equivalent circuit parameters of the concerned motor are estimated using the developed algorithm at any load conditions and stored in the system memory. The developed instrument is a reliable, accurate, compact, rugged, and cost-effective one. This portable instrument could be used as a handy tool to study the performance of both slip ring and cage induction motors. During the analysis, the data can be stored in SD Memory card and one can perform various analyses like load vs. efficiency, torque vs. speed characteristics, etc. With the help of the developed instrument, one can operate the motor around its Best Operating Point (BOP). Continuous monitoring of the motor efficiency could lead to Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of motors. LCA helps in taking decisions on motor replacement or retaining or refurbishment.
In order to reach the long-term national climate goals of the German government for the building sector, substantial energetic measures have to be executed. Historically, those measures were primarily energetic efficiency measures at the buildings’ shells. Advanced technologies for the on-site generation of heat (or other types of energy) often are not feasible at this small spatial scale of a single building. Therefore, the present approach uses the spatially larger dimension of a quarter. The main focus of the present paper is the long-term economic-ecological assessment of available decentralized heat-generating (CHP power plants and electrical heat pumps) technologies at the quarter level for the German unrefurbished residential buildings. Three distinct terms have to be described methodologically: i) Quarter approach, ii) Economic assessment, iii) Ecological assessment. The quarter approach is used to enable synergies and scaling effects over a single-building. For the present study, generic quarters that are differentiated according to significant parameters concerning their heat demand are used. The core differentiation of those quarters is made by the construction time period of the buildings. The economic assessment as the second crucial parameter is executed with the following structure: Full costs are quantized for each technology combination and quarter. The investment costs are analyzed on an annual basis and are modeled with the acquisition of debt. Annuity loans are assumed. Consequently, for each generic quarter, an optimal technology combination for decentralized heat generation is provided in each year of the temporal boundaries (2016-2050). The ecological assessment elaborates for each technology combination and each quarter a Life Cycle assessment. The measured impact category hereby is GWP 100. The technology combinations for heat production can be therefore compared against each other concerning their long-term climatic impacts. Core results of the approach can be differentiated to an economic and ecological dimension. With an annual resolution, the investment and running costs of different energetic technology combinations are quantified. For each quarter an optimal technology combination for local heat supply and/or energetic refurbishment of the buildings within the quarter is provided. Coherently to the economic assessment, the climatic impacts of the technology combinations are quantized and compared against each other.
Decision making for sustainable manufacturing design and management requires critical considerations due to the complexity and partly conflicting issues of economic, social and environmental factors. Although there are tools capable of assessing the combination of one or two of the sustainability factors, the frameworks have not adequately integrated all the three factors. Case study and review of existing simulation applications also shows the approach lacks integration of the sustainability factors. In this paper we discussed the development of a simulation based framework for support of a holistic assessment of sustainable manufacturing design and management. To achieve this, a strategic approach is introduced to investigate the strengths and weaknesses of the existing decision supporting tools. Investigation reveals that Discrete Event Simulation (DES) can serve as a rock base for other Life Cycle Analysis frameworks. Simio-DES application optimizes systems for both economic and competitive advantage, Granta CES EduPack and SimaPro collate data for Material Flow Analysis and environmental Life Cycle Assessment, while social and stakeholders’ analysis is supported by Analytical Hierarchy Process, a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis method. Such a common and integrated framework creates a platform for companies to build a computer simulation model of a real system and assess the impact of alternative solutions before implementing a chosen solution.
The biodegradable family of polymers polyhydroxyalkanoates is an interesting substitute for convectional fossil-based plastics. However, the manufacturing and environmental impacts associated with their production via intracellular bacterial fermentation are strongly dependent on the raw material used and on energy consumption during the extraction process, limiting their potential for commercialization. Industrial wastewater is studied in this paper as a promising alternative feedstock for waste valorization. Based on results from laboratory and pilot-scale experiments, a conceptual process design, techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessment are developed for the large-scale production of the most common type of polyhydroxyalkanoate, polyhydroxbutyrate. Intracellular polyhydroxybutyrate is obtained via fermentation of microbial community present in industrial wastewater and the downstream processing is based on chemical digestion with surfactant and hypochlorite. The economic potential and environmental performance results help identifying bottlenecks and best opportunities to scale-up the process prior to industrial implementation. The outcome of this research indicates that the fermentation of wastewater towards PHB presents advantages compared to traditional PHAs production from sugars because the null environmental burdens and financial costs of the raw material in the bioplastic production process. Nevertheless, process optimization is still required to compete with the petrochemicals counterparts.
This research work is concerned with the life cycle assessment (LCA) of an expressway, as well as its infrastructure, in Thailand. The life cycle of an expressway encompasses the raw material acquisition phase, the construction phase, the use or service phase, the rehabilitation phase, and finally the demolition and disposal phase. The LCA in this research was carried out using CML baseline 2000 and in accordance with the ISO 14040 standard. A functional unit refers to transportation of one person over one kilometer of a 3-lane expressway with a 50-year lifetime. This research has revealed that the construction phase produced the largest proportion of the environmental impact (81.46%), followed by the service, rehabilitation, demolition and disposal phases and transportation at 11.97%, 3.72% 0.33% and 2.52%, respectively. For the expressway under study, the total carbon footprint over its lifetime is equivalent to 245,639 tons CO2-eq per 1 kilometer functional unit, with the phases of construction, service, rehabilitation, demolition and disposal and transportation contributing 153,690; 73,773; 3693, 755 and 13,728 tons CO2-eq, respectively. The findings could be adopted as a benchmark against which the environmental impacts of future similar projects can be measured.
As the limited availability of petroleum-based fuel has been a major concern, biodiesel is one of the most attractive alternative fuels because it is renewable and it also has advantages over the conventional petroleum-base diesel. At Present, productions of biodiesel generally perform by transesterification of vegetable oils with low molecular weight alcohol, mainly methanol, using chemical catalysts. Methanol is petrochemical product that makes biodiesel producing from methanol to be not pure renewable energy source. Therefore, ethanol as a product produced by fermentation processes. It appears as a potential feed stock that makes biodiesel to be pure renewable alternative fuel. The research is conducted based on two biodiesel production processes by reacting soybean oils with methanol and ethanol. Life cycle assessment was carried out in order to evaluate the environmental impacts and to identify the process alternative. Nine mid-point impact categories are investigated. The results indicate that better performance on abiotic depletion potential (ADP) and acidification potential (AP) are observed in biodiesel production from methanol when compared with biodiesel production from ethanol due to less energy consumption during the production processes. Except for ADP and AP, using methanol as feed stock does not show any advantages over biodiesel from ethanol. The single score method is also included in this study in order to identify the best option between two processes of biodiesel production. The global normalization and weighting factor based on ecotaxes are used and it shows that producing biodiesel form ethanol has less environmental load compare to biodiesel from methanol.
The construction industry is turning towards sustainability. It is a well-known fact that sustainability is based on a balance between environmental, social and economic aspects. In order to achieve sustainability efficiently, these three criteria should be taken into account in the initial project phases, since that is when a project can be influenced most effectively. Thus the aim must be to integrate important tools like BIM and LCA at an early stage in order to make full use of their potential. With the synergies resulting from the integration of BIM and LCA, a wider approach to sustainability becomes possible, covering the three pillars of sustainability.
Rapid industrialization results in increased use of natural resources bring along serious ecological and environmental imbalance due to the dumping of industrial wastes. Principles of sustainable construction have to be accepted with regard to the consumption of natural resources and the production of harmful emissions. Cement is a great importance raw material in the building industry and today is its large amount used in the construction of concrete pavements. Concerning raw materials cost and producing CO2 emission the replacing of cement in concrete mixtures with more sustainable materials is necessary. To reduce this environmental impact people all over the world are looking for a solution. Over a period of last ten years, the image of fly ash has completely been changed from a polluting waste to resource material and it can solve the major problems of cement use. Fly ash concretes are proposed as a potential approach for achieving substantial reductions in cement. It is known that it improves the workability of concrete, extends the life cycle of concrete roads, and reduces energy use and greenhouse gas as well as amount of coal combustion products that must be disposed in landfills.
Life cycle assessment also proved that a concrete pavement with fly ash cement replacement is considerably more environmentally friendly compared to standard concrete roads. In addition, fly ash is cheap raw material, and the costs saving are guaranteed. The strength properties, resistance to a frost or de-icing salts, which are important characteristics in the construction of concrete pavements, have reached the required standards as well. In terms of human health it can´t be stated that a concrete cover with fly ash could be dangerous compared with a cover without fly ash. Final Multi-criteria analysis also pointed that a concrete with fly ash is a clearly proper solution.
The production of aluminum alloys and ingots – starting from the processing of alumina to aluminum, and the final cast product – was studied using a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach. The studied aluminum supply chain consisted of a carbon plant, a reduction plant, a casting plant, and a power plant. In the LCA model, the environmental loads of the different plants for the production of 1 ton of aluminum metal were investigated. The impact of the aluminum production was assessed in eight impact categories. The results showed that for all of the impact categories the power plant had the highest impact only in the cases of Human Toxicity Potential (HTP) the reduction plant had the highest impact and in the Marine Aquatic Eco-Toxicity Potential (MAETP) the carbon plant had the highest impact. Furthermore, the impact of the carbon plant and the reduction plant combined was almost the same as the impact of the power plant in the case of the Acidification Potential (AP). The carbon plant had a positive impact on the environment when it come to the Eutrophication Potential (EP) due to the production of clean water in the process. The natural gas based power plant used in the case study had 8.4 times less negative impact on the environment when compared to the heavy fuel based power plant and 10.7 times less negative impact when compared to the hard coal based power plant.
In this study tree types of multilayer gas barrier plastic packaging films were compared using life cycle assessment as a tool for resource efficient and environmentally low-impact materials selection. The first type of multilayer packaging film (PET-AlOx/LDPE) consists of polyethylene terephthalate with barrier layer AlOx (PET-AlOx) and low density polyethylene (LDPE). The second type of polymer film (PET/PE-EVOH-PE) is made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and co-extrusion film PE-EVOH-PE as barrier layer. And the third one type of multilayer packaging film (PET-PVOH/LDPE) is formed from polyethylene terephthalate with barrier layer PVOH (PET-PVOH) and low density polyethylene (LDPE).
All of analyzed packaging has significant impact to resource depletion, because of raw materials extraction and energy use and production of different kind of plastics. Nevertheless the impact generated during life cycle of functional unit of II type of packaging (PET/PE-EVOH-PE) was about 25% lower than impact generated by I type (PET-AlOx/LDPE) and III type (PET-PVOH/LDPE) of packaging.
Result revealed that the contribution of different gas barrier type to the overall environmental problem of packaging is not significant. The impact are mostly generated by using energy and materials during raw material extraction and production of different plastic materials as plastic polymers material as PE, LDPE and PET, but not gas barrier materials as AlOx, PVOH and EVOH.
The LCA results could be useful in different decision-making processes, for selecting resource efficient and environmentally low-impact materials.
The environmental performance of rapeseed oil (RO) and rapeseed methyl ester(RME) from winter rape as fuels produced in Romanian agroclimate is analyzed in this paper. The proposed methodology is life cycle assessment (LCA) and takes into consideration the influence of grain production and agroclimatic conditions. This study shows favorable results first for RO and then for RME. When compared to diesel fuel, both studied biofuels show better results in the following impact categories: Abiotic depletion potential (ADP), Ozone layer depletion (ODP) and Photochemical ozone creation potential (POCP).Furthermore, the environmental performance of the two biofuels studied can be improved by changing the type of fertilizer used and also by using biofuels instead of diesel in the field works.
The globe Sustainability has become the subject of international attention, the key reason is that global climate change. Climate and disasters around the abnormal frequency multiplier, the global temperature of the catastrophe and disaster continue to occur throughout the world, as well as countries around the world. Currently there are many important international conferences and policy, it is a "global environmental sustainability " and "living human health " as the goal of development, including the APEC 2007 meeting to "climate Clean Energy" as the theme Sydney Declaration, 2008 World Economic Forum's "Carbon - promote Cool Earth energy efficiency improvement project", the EU proposed "Green Idea" program, the Japanese annual policy, "low-carbon society, sustainable eco-city environment (Eco City) "And from 2009 to 2010 to promote the "Eco-Point" to promote green energy and carbon reduction products .And the 2010 World Climate Change Conference (COP16 United Nations Climate Change Conference Copenhagen), the world has been the subject of Negative conservative "Environmental Protection ", "save energy consumption, " into a positive response to the "Sustainable " and" LOHAS", while Taiwan has actively put forward eco-cities, green building, green building materials and other related environmental response Measures, especially green building construction environment that is the basis of factors, the most widely used application level, and direct contact with human health and the key to sustainable planet. "Sustainable development "is a necessary condition for continuation of the Earth, "healthy and comfortable" is a necessary condition for the continuation of life, and improve the "quality" is a necessary condition for economic development, balance between the three is "to enhance the efficiency of ", According to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) for the "environmental efficiency "(Eco-Efficiency) proposed: " the achievement of environmental efficiency, the price to be competitive in the provision of goods or services to meet people's needs, improve living Quality at the same time, the goods or services throughout the life cycle. Its impact on the environment and natural resource utilization and gradually reduced to the extent the Earth can load. "whichever is the economy "Economic" and " Ecologic". The research into the methodology to obtain the Taiwan Green Building Material Labeling product as the scope of the study, by investigating and weight analysis to explore green building environmental load (Ln) factor and the Green Building Quality (Qn) factor to Establish green building environmental efficiency assessment model (GBM Eco-Efficiency). And building materials for healthy green label products for priority assessment object, the object is set in the material evidence for the direct response to the environmental load from the floor class-based, explicit feedback correction to the Green Building environmental efficiency assessment model, "efficiency " as a starting point to achieve balance between human "health "and Earth "sustainable development of win-win strategy. The study is expected to reach 1.To establish green building materials and the quality of environmental impact assessment system, 2. To establish value of GBM Eco-Efficiency model, 3. To establish the GBM Eco-Efficiency model for application of green building material feedback mechanisms.
Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is a procedure tool of environmental management for identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the adverse effects of development proposals. EIA reports usually analyze how the amounts or concentrations of pollutants obey the relevant standards. Actually, many analytical tools can deepen the analysis of environmental impacts in EIA reports, such as life cycle assessment (LCA) and environmental risk assessment (ERA). Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) is one of steps in LCA to introduce the causal relationships among environmental hazards and damage. Incorporating the LCIA concept into ERA as an integrated tool for EIA can extend the focus of the regulatory compliance of environmental impacts to determine of the significance of environmental impacts. Sometimes, when using integrated tools, it is necessary to consider fuzzy situations due to insufficient information; therefore, ERA should be generalized to fuzzy risk assessment (FRA). Finally, the use of the proposed methodology is demonstrated through the study case of the expansion plan of the world-s largest plastics processing factory.
Rice husk is one of the alternative fuels for Thailand because of its high potential and environmental benefits. Nonetheless, the environmental profile of the electricity production from rice husk must be assessed to ensure reduced environmental damage. A 10 MW pilot plant using rice husk as feedstock is the study site. The environmental impacts from rice husk power plant are evaluated by using the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology. Energy, material and carbon balances have been determined for tracing the system flow. Carbon closure has been used for describing of the net amount of CO2 released from the system in relation to the amount being recycled between the power plant and the CO2 adsorbed by rice husk. The transportation of rice husk to the power plant has significant on global warming, but not on acidification and photo-oxidant formation. The results showed that the impact potentials from rice husk power plant are lesser than the conventional plants for most of the categories considered; except the photo-oxidant formation potential from CO. The high CO from rice husk power plant may be due to low boiler efficiency and high moisture content in rice husk. The performance of the study site can be enhanced by improving the combustion efficiency.