Purpose This study advocates a modular approach combining results even for similar products are discussed (e.g. pro- unit processes as building blocks to formulate biomass pro- duction path and allocation method lead to a range of cess chains. This approach facilitates a transparent environ- GWP values for ethylene production from 0.43 to mental life cycle impact assessment for bio-based products. It 3.37 kg CO eq/kg ethylene). For the majority of bio- also enhances the ability to develop and assess more complex products, CED has lower values than fossil-based equiv- biorefinery systems, identifies critical parameters and offers alents (average difference 39–70 MJ eq/kg product de- useful material to support environmental impact assessment in pending on the allocation method), while mixed trends early design stages. are obtained for the GWP and water depletion indica- Methods Twenty-three different products were assessed with tors. Assessments also highlight attributes that have a regard to the environmental burden associated with their pro- significant effect in the environmental profile of a pro- duction paths. Life cycle inventories (LCIs) for 32 unit pro- duction path such as the synthesis path, the process cesses were compiled (using information from pilot plants, chemistry (water intensity) and process-related factors simulation
The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 6, 2017
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