LCA quantified environmental impacts. acmc_logo

The ILCD Handbook analyses the environmental impact assessment methodologies for use in Life Cycle Assessment [1]. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) generates data across a number of environmental impacts. The categories used in the ReCiPe2016 method are given in a paper by Huijbregts et al [2].

Reinforcements

Table 1: Potential environmental impacts/kg associated with synthetic fibre reinforcement production.
Impact Category   Units Glass fibre
La Rosa [3-5]
Glass fibre
Le Duigou [6]
    Reinforcement HP_MP600E random mat  
Abiotic depletionADPkg Sb eq. 0.02 0.019
Acidification Potential APkg SO2 eq 0.017 0.016
Eutrophication potential EP kg PO4 P-lim. eq 0.04 0.0012
Cumulative Energy DemandCEDMJ eq 51.3 45
Global Warming Potential GWP kg CO2 eq 2.95 2.65
Ozone layer Depletion PotentialODP x10-9 kg CFC11 eq249 200
Photochemical Oxidant Creation Potential POCP kg C2H2 eq ~ 0.0006
Human Toxicity Potential HTP kg 1,4-DB eq 9.52 9.1
Freshwater Aquatic Ecotoxicity PotentialFAETP kg 1,4-DB eq0.684 0.17
Marine Aquatic Ecotoxicity PotentialMAETP kg 1,4-DB eq 1460 ~
Terrestrial Ecotoxicity PotentialTETP kg 1,4-DB eq0.0412 0.042
Land occupation (Ecological footprint)LU m2 arable0.0692 0.007

Table 2: Potential environmental impacts/kg associated with natural fibre reinforcement production.
Impact Category   Units Flax fibre
Le Duigou [6]
Hemp fibre
La Rosa [3-5]
Hemp fibre
Abass [7]
    Reinforcement hackled fibre Hemcore Biomat four processes
Abiotic depletionADPkg Sb eq. 0.0017 0.004 0.00195-0.00656
Acidification Potential APkg SO2 eq 0.0022 0.0026 0.00409-0.00663
Eutrophication potential EP kg PO4 P-lim. eq 0.0014 0.0006 0.0045-0.00725
Cumulative Energy DemandCEDMJ eq 11.7 8.89 0.883-1.38
Global Warming Potential GWP kg CO2 eq -1.4 0.531 5.42-7.32
Ozone layer Depletion PotentialODP x10-9 kg CFC11 eq 24 68.8 72.5-149
Photochemical Oxidant Creation Potential POCP kg C2H2 eq 730 x10-3 ~ ~
Human Toxicity Potential HTP kg 1,4-DB eq 0.215 0.136 0.391-0.467
Freshwater Aquatic Ecotoxicity PotentialFAETP kg 1,4-DB eq 0.059 0.0571 0.0336-0.0455
Marine Aquatic Ecotoxicity PotentialMAETP kg 1,4-DB eq ~ 131 78.9-627
Terrestrial Ecotoxicity PotentialTETP kg 1,4-DB eq 0.0087 0.00152 0.00186-0.00377
Land occupation (Ecological footprint)LU m2 arable 0.84 1.54 0.00733-0.0729

Polymers

Table 3: Potential environmental impacts/(ton or tonne) associated with synthetic vinyl ester or bio-based epoxy resin production.
Impact Category  Units Vinyl ester
La Rosa [3]
LER-Gb
epoxy resin
Kočí [8]
LER-Pc
epoxy resin
Kočí [8]
Bio-based epoxy
La Rosa [3]
    System Derakane
VE 470-300
    Entropy SuperSap epoxy
Abiotic depletion ADP kg Sb eq. 59.4 0.009 0.021 0.01
Acidification Potential AP kg SO2 eq 40.3 27.6 38.4 25.44
Eutrophication potential EPkg PO4 P-lim. eq 6.6 7.6 5.5 6.9
Cumulative Energy Demand CED MJ eq 2.16 102788d 146313d 1.9
Global Warming Potential GWP kg CO2 eq 6663 4632 8654 4079
Ozone layer Depletion Potential ODP x10-9 kg CFC11 eq 1260 200 x103 500 x103 0.00
Photochemical Oxidant Creation Potential POCP kg C2H2 eq ~ 2.083 2.958 ~
Human Toxicity Potential HTP kg 1,4-DB eq 490 566 276 545.17
Freshwater Aquatic Ecotoxicity Potential FAETP kg 1,4-DB eq 247 68.2 16.6 66.39
Marine Aquatic Ecotoxicity Potential MAETP kg 1,4-DB eq ~ ~ ~ ~
Terrestrial Ecotoxicity PotentialTETP kg 1,4-DB eq 29.1 232 10.9 228.63
Land occupation (Ecological footprint)LU m2 arable ~ ~ ~ ~

Table 4 shows energy and GWP data for three resin systems.
Urethane methacrylates only have unsaturation at the ends of the polymer chain.

Table 4: Energy input, Global Warming Potential and ReCiPe points for polymers [9, 10].
Resin system Crystic Crestapol
urethane methacrylate 1212
Unsaturated polyester Unsaturated polyester Epoxy Epoxy Poly(lactic acid)
Ingeo 2009TM
References [9, 10] [9, 10] [11] [9, 10] [11] [11]
Energy input
(MJ/tonne)
117000 128000 62800 [12]
64500 [13]
78000 [13]
139000 76000 [12]
107100 [13]
141700 [13]
67800 [14]
Global warming potential
(kg CO2 eq./tonne)
5700 7600 2390 [13] 6700  4680 [13]
5900 [13]
1240 [14]
ReCiPe points (mPt/kg) ~ ~ 644 [15] ~ 734 [15] 312 [15]

Composites

Table 5: Potential environmental impacts/ton associated with composites.
Impact Category   Units Le Duigou [16] Le Duigou [16]
    System Glass/UPRe Flax/PLLAf
Abiotic depletion ADP kg Sb eq. 0.043 0.027
Acidification Potential AP kg SO2 eq 0.021 0.0145
Eutrophication potential EP kg PO4 P-lim. eq 0.0031 0.0075
Cumulative Energy Demand CED MJ eq 143.9 76.3
Global Warming Potential GWP kg CO2 eq 6.0 1.6
Ozone layer Depletion Potential ODP x10-9 kg CFC11 eq 750 340
Photochemical Oxidant Creation Potential POCP kg C2H2 eq 1.5 x 10-3 0.52 x 10-3
Human Toxicity Potential HTP kg 1,4-DB eq 8.0 1.0
Freshwater Aquatic Ecotoxicity Potential FAETP kg 1,4-DB eq 0.03 0.35
Marine Aquatic Ecotoxicity Potential MAETP kg 1,4-DB eq ~ ~
Terrestrial Ecotoxicity Potential TETP kg 1,4-DB eq 0.04 0.03
Land occupation (Ecological footprint) LU m2 arable 0.015 0.51

... data in different units!

Table 6: Environmental externalities associated with production of 1 ton of fibre.
Category Abbreviation Unit Continuous basalt
fibre productiona
Fořt [17]
Glass fibres
[18] then [5]
Ramie fibres
(after carding)
[18] then [5]
Ramie yarns
[18] then [5]
Source     "results" ~ ~ ~
Carcinogens ACkg C2H3Cl eq15.2 ~ ~ ~
Non-Carcinogens NCkg C2H3Cl eq12.1 ~ ~ ~
Respiratory Inorganics RIkg PM2.5 eq0.320 ~ ~ ~
Ionizing Radiation IR Bq C14 eq2.30 × 103 ~ ~ ~
Ozone Layer Depletion OLD kg CFC11 eq 35.1 × 10−6 483 x 10-10 7.88 x 10-10 8.26 x 10-10
Respiratory Organics ROkg C2H4 eq0.175 ~ ~ ~
Photochemical Oxidant POg kg NMVOC ~ 5.26 11.9 14.4
Human Toxicity HTh kg 1,4-DB eq. ~ 20.8 147 175
Aquatic Ecotoxicity AEikg TEG water256× 103 ~ ~ ~
Freshwater Aquatic Ecotoxicity FAEh kg 1,4-DB eq. ~ 0.461 4.12 4.15
Terrestrial Ecotoxicity TEikg TEG soil57.4 × 103 ~ ~ ~
Terrestrial Acidification/Nutrification TANkg SO2 eq6.56 10.3 10.9 13.4
Land Occupation LOm2 organic arable8.05 ~ ~ ~
Aquatic Acidification AAkg SO2 eq1.34 ~ ~ ~
Aquatic Eutrophication AEUkg PO4 P-lim 40.3 x 10-3 5.25 x 10-3 86.9 x 10-3 87.1 x 10-3
Global Warming GWkg CO2 eq398 1740 1770 3790
Non-Renewable Energy NREMJ primary6630   ~ ~
Fossil Depletion   kg oil eq. ~ 578 832 1340
Mineral Extraction MEMJ surplus6.55 ~ ~ ~

The values for each of the eight impact categories for the four stage (i.e. i: transportation, ii: cultivation, harvesting and peeling, iii: carding and spinning, and iv: degumming) production processes for ramie yarns are given in the original papers [5], [18].

Footnotes to the Tables

  1. *  "favorable Iceland electricity mix composed mainly from geothermal sources further improved the calculated environmental effects".
  2. LER-G = Liquid Epoxy Resin produced based on Glycerine
  3. LER-P = Liquid Epoxy Resin produced based on Propylene
  4. Abiotic Depletion (ADP fossil) in MJ/tonne of liquid epoxy resin
  5. UPR = Unsaturated Polyester Resin.
  6. PLLA = Poly (L-Lactic Acid) or Poly (L-Lactide)
  7. NMVOC = Non-Methane Volatile Organic Compound(s)
  8. DB = dichlorobenzene
  9. TEG = Tri Ethylene Glycol. The characterisation factor (CF) for TEG = 1, while the CF for DDT = 7.4
    (i.e. 1 kg of DDT is considered as toxic as 7.4 kg of TEG) [19].
  10. 1 kWh = 3.6 MJ,  1/lb = 0.453592 kg,  1 kWh/lb = 1.63293 MJ/kg.

Data for natural fibres [7, 20].

Data for glass fibres [21-23].

Data for carbon fibres [24].

References

  1. Anon., ILCD Handbook/International Reference Life Cycle Data System: analysis of existing Environmental Impact Assessment methodologies for use in Life Cycle Assessment, European Commission Joint Research Centres/Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (VA) ~ Italy, 2010.
  2. MAJ Huijbregts, ZJN Steinmann, PMF Elshout, G Stam, F Verones, M Vieira, M Zijp, A Hollander and R van Zelm, ReCiPe2016: a harmonised life cycle impact assessment method at midpoint and endpoint level, The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 2017, 22, 238-147.
  3. AD La Rosa, G Cozzo, A Latteri, G Mancini, A Recca, G Cicala, A comparative life cycle assessment of a composite component for automotive, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 2013, 32, 1723-1728.
  4. AD La Rosa, G Recca, J Summerscales, A Latteri, G Cozzo and G Cicala, Bio-based versus traditional polymer composites. a life cycle assessment perspective, Journal of Cleaner Production, 01 July 2014, 74, 135-144.
  5. SC Das, AD La Rosa and SA Grammatikos, Life cycle assessment of plant fibers and their composites, Chapter 19 in SM Rangappa, J Parameswaranpillai, S Siengchin, T Ozbakkaloglu and H Wang (Editors): Plant Fibers, their Composites, and Applications (The Textile Institute Book Series), Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge, 2022, 457-484.  ISBN 978-0-12-824528-6.
  6. A Le Duigou, P Davies and C Baley, Environmental impact analysis of the production of flax fibres to be used as composite material reinforcement, Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy, March 2011, 5(1), 1-13.
  7. E Abass, Life Cycle Assessment of novel hemp fibre: a review of the green decortication process, MSc dissertation, Imperial College University of London, September 2005.
  8. V Kočí and T Loubal, LCA of liquid epoxy resin produced based on polypropylene and glycerine. Acta Environmentalica Universitatis Comenianae (Bratislava), 2012, 20(supplement 1), 62–67.
  9. JM Chard, The development of bio-based composite materials, Engineering Doctorate thesis, University of Surrey, September 2013.
  10. M Chard, L Basson, G Creech, DA Jesson and PA Smith, Shades of Green: life cycle assessment of a urethane methacrylate/unsaturated polyester resin system for composite materials, Sustainability, 2019, 11(4), 1001.
  11. Y Deng, Life Cycle Assessment of biobased fibre-reinforced polymer composites, Doctor in Engineering thesis, KU Leuven, June 2014. ISBN 978-94-6018-845-9.
  12. N Patel, Cumulative energy demand (CED) and cumulative CO2 emissions for products of the organic chemical industry, Energy, June 2003, 28(7), 721-740.
  13. T Suzuki and J Takahashi, Prediction of energy intensity of carbon fiber reinforced plastics for mass-produced passenger cars, The 9th Japan International SAMPE Symposium, 29 November-02 December 2005.
  14. ETH Vink, S Davies and JJ Kolstad, The eco-profile for current Ingeo(R) polylactide production, Industrial Biotechnology, August 2010, 6(4), 212-224 [via Deng].
  15. OVAM, Ecolizer 2.0, www.ovam.be/ecolizer, 2010 [via Deng ~ no longer available. Alternative: https://www.sustainabilityexchange.ac.uk/ecolizer, accessed 24 May 2022]
  16. A Le Duigou, P Davies and C Baley, Replacement of glass/unsaturated polyester composites by flax/PLLA biocomposites: Is it justified?, Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy, December 2011, 5(4), 466-482.
  17. J Fořt, J Kočí and R Černý, Environmental efficiency aspects of basalt fibers reinforcement in concrete mixtures, Energies, 2021, 14, 7736.
  18. S Dong, G Xian, X-S Yi, Life cycle assessment of ramie fiber used for FRPs, Aerospace, 2018, 5(3), 81.
  19. SMP Bennet, Ecotoxicity in LCA – a review of methods and an assessment of the ecotoxic impact of pesticide use in Swedish winter wheat and Brazilian soybean production, SIK Report SR 855, October 2012. SIK, Box 5401, SE-402 29 Göteborg, Sweden. ISBN 978-91-7290-320-3.
  20. Nilmini PJ Dissanayake, Life Cycle Assessment of flax fibres for the reinforcement of polymer matrix composites, PhD thesis, University of Plymouth, May 2011.
  21. SV Joshi, LT Drzal, AK Mohanty and S Arora, Are natural fiber composites environmentally superior to glass fiber reinforced composites?, Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, March 2004, 35(3), 371-376.
  22. Q Dai, J Kelly, J Sullivan and A Elgowainy, Life-Cycle Analysis Update of Glass and Glass Fiber for the GREETTM Model, Argonne National Laboratory report, September 2015
  23. Anon., Life cycle assessment of CFGF – Continuous Filament Glass Fibre Products, PwC – Sustainable Performance and StrategyReport prepared for GlassFibreEurope, October 2016.
  24. RJ Tapper, ML Longana, A Norton, KD Potter and I Hamerton, An evaluation of life cycle assessment and its application to the closed-loop recycling of carbon fibre reinforced polymers, Composites Part B: Engineering, 1 March 2020, 184, 107665.

Acknowledgement:  Sincere thanks to Nanting Yu for identification of some of the sources of data!


Created by John Summerscales on 14-Feb-2022 and updated on 08-Jun-2022 16:09. Terms and conditions. Errors and omissions. Corrections.