Assignement 2 - MCMASTER UNIVERSITY Paper Cups vs....

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MCMASTER UNIVERSITY Paper Cups vs. Styrofoam Cups: Nature’s Analysis ENGINEERING 1P03 Assignment #2 Simon Edwards 0949966 11/12/2009
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An Assignment comparing the overall effects from paper cups and Styrofoam cups on the environment.
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*Assumptions are at the end of the document. 1 st number -> Data attributed to the Paper Cup 2 nd number -> Data attributed to the Styrofoam Cup Materials Choice Energy Use Solid Residues Liquid Residues Gaseous Residues Pre-Manufacture 1,1 2,0 3,4 2,3 2,1 Product Manufacture 1,2 1,2 0,2 0,2 0,2 Product Packaging and Transport 2,2 0,0 3,3 2,2 0,0 Product Use NA NA NA NA NA Recycling and Disposal 1,2 2,2 0,1 1,2 1,2 Materials Choice [1,1]: To produce paper cups requires cutting down millions of trees, destroying habitats and polluting the air. That being said, new EPA requirements state that any paper goods must be at least 30% recyclable, although most products today are 100% post consumer recycled material. Unfortunately, despite these efforts to make the planet greener, in 2007, only 56% of paper used up in the U.S. was recycled. 1 Styrofoam cups, made of polystyrene, are almost always recyclable due to the fact that “polystyrene materials can be reprocessed and molded” to form new products to be used around the world. Even not recycled Styrofoam would not affect the environment to the extent that paper, cans, batteries or glass can. 2 Energy Use [1,2]: 1 http://focusorganic.com/the-realities-of-recycling-closing-the-loop-is-critical/ 2 http://pspc.intoweb.co.za/index.php?recovery
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To make paper, trees (either hardwood or softwood, depending on the kind of paper being made) must be cut down, the logs must be transferred to paper factories where the logs are cleaned, chipped and then “moved to a pulping operation.” The pulp fibres are spread over a wire and dried forming paper, overall using up quite a large amount of energy throughout the lengthy process. 3 Styrofoam cups are formed from styrene, which is a petroleum product. It is only through the process of polymerization making it hot polystyrene, which prior to cooling, is injected with hydrocarbons (Hydrochloroflourocarbon) under “immense pressure,” using up large amounts of energy. Subsequently, the molten polystyrene begins to expand as pressure is slowly reduced on the product, creating foam borders, which can be cut to create any Styrofoam object, also using up a large amount of overall energy. 4 Solid Residues [1,3]: The production of pulp leaves the following solid residues: bark, fines, pins, large chips as well as “sodium salts enriched with NaCl and KCl from recovery boiler, dregs from green liquor clarifier/filter, and grit separated at slacker.” 5 There is no solid residue that comes from the production of polystyrene and the extraction of petroleum. 6
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This note was uploaded on 04/05/2010 for the course ENGINEERIN Engineerin taught by Professor Fleisig during the Spring '10 term at McMaster University.

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Assignement 2 - MCMASTER UNIVERSITY Paper Cups vs....

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