Life Cycle Assessment

Published: 2021-06-29 06:45:26
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Category: Science

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Key Points: Summary of important points made by the speaker, observations on the field trip. (This is an expandable space.)
* Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an international system of procedures for gathering and analysing the inputs and outputs of energy and resources, in relation to environmental impact related to the performance and service of the product through its life cycle.
* LCA acts in accordance with ISO 14040
* LCA is comparative
* Introductory example is given on packaging material, where comparison is based on advantages and disadvantages on polystyrene and popcorn packaging material in terms of environmental impact.
* Polystyrene is extracted from fossil oil which is non renewable and non biodegradable
* Popcorn is completely biodegradable as it is obtained from renewable resources

Steps were taken to determine which material is better and is presented by the renewable packing material system boundary scheme both for popcorn and polystyrene.
Emission and extraction inventory has shown that popcorn is better for CO2, energy, oil, while polystyrene is better for water,occupation,N2O,particulates,Selenium,Arsenic ion, Barium and Nitrates. The reason for the latest results is the use of fertilizers in agriculture which burdens environment with nitrogen.
On the other hand, the impact of Popcorn compared to polystyrene per kg of material in aspect of Global Warming, is significantly lower than the impact of polystyrene, where emission exceeds 1.7kg of CO2 per kg of material. However, polystyrene have no NOx emission evidence, while the emission of nitrous oxides from popcorn is two times greater than that of carbon dioxide.
In the Eco- Footprint aspect, priority is given to polystyrene again as popcorn production requires more land use. From the Ecopoints aspect, 1 kg popcorn appears to be 3 times better than polystyrene. However, polystyrene have a much higher density than popcorn, approximately 4.6 times.
To conclude, polystyrene is 2-5 times better than popcorn.

Sometimes industrial products may be more biodegradable than natural products, which put in a slogan:
"Natural"is different from environmental friendly"

This demonstrates that functional units of services and materials play vital function in comparing products, while measuring the impacts depends on perspective.

The old LCA issues are:
1. Hand towels or hand dryers
2. Disposable or reusable nappies
3. Plastic or paper shopping bags
4. Incandescent or compact-fluorescent light bulbs
The speaker explained what the Life Cycle is on the algorithm of product stewardship. This included :
* Raw Material acquisition
* Material processing
* Manufacture and assembling
* Use and service
* Retirement and recovery

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