This paper presents the first inventory and environmental impact study of the life cycle of coal obtained from a surface mine in Brazil. Significant reserves of coal in Brazil have attracted the attention of investors interested in building chemical and power generation plants. This inventory was developed to serve as a database for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies, considering especially the impact of greenhouse gases, since there is no such information in the literature. The inventory collected data in situ, regarding the main pieces of equipment, inputs to the plant, and the direct emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), covering different stages of the coal mining and processing, as well as the indirect emissions of GHG from the production and transportation of inputs. The coal life cycle emissions were equal to 3.29 × 10−2 kg CO2eq per kg of coal, of which direct emissions accounted for 98.3% of GHG, in which the major part was due to fugitive methane emissions from surface mining and post-mining coal crushing and handling operations. Additionally, the results of a sensitivity analysis showed that the diesel oil consumption was the most influential parameter of life cycle emission in terms of the inputs regarded.
Journal of Cleaner Production – Elsevier
Published: Aug 20, 2018
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