unit 14 - Life Cycle Assessment Case Study Comparing Two...

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1 UNIT_14 1 Life Cycle Assessment Life Cycle Assessment Case Study Case Study Comparing Two Comparing Two Products/Methods Products/Methods UNIT_14 2 What is LCA? What is LCA? Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a standardized technique for measuring and comparing the environmental impacts of providing, using and disposing of a product or a service. LCAs have a number of interrelated stages: 1. Goal Definition and Scoping 2. Inventory Analysis (LCI) 3. Impact Assessment 4. Interpretation
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2 UNIT_14 3 Life Cycle Assessment Life Cycle Assessment (Application) (Application) 1. LCA users attempt to trace back to the environment all of the resources consumed at all stages in the manufacture, use and disposal of products. 2. The methodology considers all of the emissions to air, water and land at each of these stages. 3. In combination, data on each stage provide an inventory of exchanges of substances between the product and the environment associated with the entire life cycle of the product, from the 'cradle to the grave'. UNIT_14 4 The Justification The Justification for Using LCA for Using LCA For the purpose of comparison and decision making, the best way of considering the advantages of one product over another (assuming they provide the same function) is to compare environmental impacts or footprints (cradle to grave) of each product. LCA allows us to do this.
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3 UNIT_14 5 The LCA Process The LCA Process UNIT_14 6 Life Cycle Assessment Life Cycle Assessment Two Products/ Methods Two Products/ Methods The purpose of the study is to provide a comparison of the environmental impacts or footprints for two hand drying methods: 1. 1. Paper Towels 2. 2. Electric Hand Air Drier (Manufactured by Airdri and supplied by Bobrick) The environmental (ecological) profile was generated by identifying and quantifying the 'cradle-to-grave‘ environmental impacts associated with the two product systems.
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4 UNIT_14 7 The Two Products/Methods The Two Products/Methods Drier Drier The drier system involves: The manufacture and supply of the drier (plus packaging), The consumption of electricity for the drying of hands The disposal of the drier at the end of its useful life. Paper Towels Paper Towels The paper towel approach to drying hands requires: The manufacture, supply and disposal (at the end of their useful life) of: A towel dispenser (plus packaging) A bin for disposal of towels (plus packaging) Bags for use in the bin (plus packaging) Paper towels (plus packaging). UNIT_14 8 What is Expected? What is Expected? From the LCA Results From the LCA Results The LCA results can be used: The LCA results can be used: 1. To provide an indication as to which system places less burden on the environment 2. As a scoping study for further more detailed assessment of the products.
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5 UNIT_14 9 Goal & Scope Goal & Scope - I Goal The goal of this study is to quantify and compare the environmental profiles of the paper towel system and the hand air drier system.
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