Life Cycle Assessment Overview

What is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a method of assessing the environmental impact of a production or service activity from a holistic perspective. The activities that are assessed cover the entire life cycle. What are the 5 stages of a life cycle assessment?

  • start obtaining raw materials,
  • transportation,
  • production,
  • use,
  • waste treatment (ISO 14041, 1998; UNEP, 2003).

Life Cycle Assessment
Life Cycle Assessment Overview

There are several activities that are sources of environmental impacts according to (Ripa et al., 2017), namely:

  • Consumption of resources
  • Emission of substances to the environment
  • Land swaps

What is meant by the life cycle approach?

The Life Cycle approach is a way of identifying a product from a life cycle perspective, starting from the raw material being extracted to returning to the soil. If the Life cycle approach is a qualitative approach, then the life cycle assessment is a quantitative approach.

Why a life cycle assessment?

Every production activity is related to one another. Say a plastic straw and an iron straw. Maybe single-use plastic straws can pollute the oceans if the waste treatment of a city goes poorly. However, iron straws also have a big environmental impact because the production process requires a lot of energy.

There are many possibilities that an activity can pollute the environment. To compare products with one another requires a thorough assessment of its life cycle. So that we can understand the overall impact before concluding a product is more environmentally friendly

In making decisions, LCA analysis can also provide a clear picture of where the hotspots of an activity are. That way the decision-making process is participatory and prevents conflicts (Feo and Malvano, 2009; Ripa et al., 2017)

LCA study stages

How do you write a life cycle assessment?

The stages of writing LCA are carried out according to ISO 14040, What are the 4 stages of LCA?

• Goal and Scope.

• Inventory analysis.

• Impact Assessment.

• Interpretation.

The stage is very likely to be repeated. For example, in the middle of data collection, it turns out that it requires a change in scope. This is normal in LCA studies

a. Goal and scop definition

These LCA studies have different objectives. Is it for the purposes of research, policy making, or the need to increase the effectiveness of an activity. So from whom the results are informed also vary. It could be for the government, company or society.

Determination of the definition of the scope or scope through

• selection model,

• function unit (function unit),

• selected impact categories,

• methods for impact production,

• system limits (system limits)

• principles for allocation requirements and data quality.

b. Inventory Analysis (LCI)

This Inventory analysis takes up 80% of the entire LCA study process. This stage is basically based on the flow of materials and the flow of energy. In order to make it easier to trace the required data, it is better to make a block diagram that shows the inflow and outflow along with the limitations of the system.

When the data collection stage has started, all activities, such as: raw materials, including energy use, products, and solid waste and emissions to the air. All data must relate to a functional unit, for example

• raw material requirements per 1 ton of product

• emissions produced per 1 tonne of production.

c. Impact assessment (LCIA)

LCIA is a measure to indicate environmental impacts previously recorded in the LCI. There are 2 steps that determine the success of LCIA based on Baumann and Tillmann (2014), namely:

(1) Classification, namely sorting inventory parameters according to the type of environmental impact contribution, (2) Characterization, Characterization Impact Assessment is grouping inventory data into the resulting environmental impact. For example, CO2, CH4, CO, NOx emissions are grouped into emissions that have an effect on global warming. Global Warming Potential.

d. Interpretation and presentation of results

Based on the ISO 14040 standard, the term at this stage will be systematically tested the life cycle of a product based on inventory data and impact analysis results. The interpretation stage will obtain conclusions and recommendations for improvements according to the desired objectives.

Quantitative LCA analysis yields many yield parameters, making it difficult to understand. One of the steps that can be used is to select an inventory of the most important results in a bar chart, or in other ways by presenting the impact weighted results (Baumann and Tillman, 2014).

Harjanto et al. (2012), determining the most important problems in production activities using a contribution analysis approach and improvement analysis methods. To get recommendations for process improvements, the data can be presented in the form of bar charts and tables.

LCA study limitations

Grounded an ISO 14044, there are four options in determining the boundaries of the system in the Life Cycle Assessment study, namely:

a. Cradle to grave, is the broadest scope. Starting from raw materials extracted, transportation, production process, use by the community, until they are dumped back into the ground.

b. Cradle to gate, People also ask What is cradle gate? The process is calculated from raw goods to semi-finished goods. This scope is usually intended for companies or governments in order to choose environmentally friendly materials.

c. The gate to the grave, Starting from the product leaving the factory, it is used by the community until it is thrown back to the ground. This scope is intended for the public to be wiser in choosing goods. Or it could be to the government as a reference for controlling the waste of a product.

d. Gate to gate is the shortest process. The impact that is calculated only comes from the production process.

LCA in the production process

What is the Life Cycle Assessment by example?

One of the oldest LCA studies was conducted by the Coca-Cola Company. They want to know which one is more environmentally friendly between glass bottles and plastic bottles.

Glass bottles have the advantage that they can be used multiple times but the production process is high energy-consuming. While plastic bottles have a production process with lower energy usage, the use of plastic bottles is very limited.

With various considerations such as a good recycling process, plastic bottles can be recycled into new bottles. Therefore, plastic bottles are more desirable than glass bottles.

The practice of LCA in the industrial world is very useful for a factory design. flowcharts, process units, and reference flow are interconnected

For example, Gabel et.al in 2003 conducted an LCA simulation for cement production. By modifying the selection of raw materials, the resulting emissions will also be different. So that the process carried out is more environmentally friendly.

Chiba Specialty Chemicals has used LCA to issue new regulations on the balance between economic, social, and environmental.

In industrial processes, LCA is similar to a supply chain. However, the focus of the supply chain is customer satisfaction and costs, while LCA focuses on the resulting environmental performance.

Some industries carry out a Life Cycle Cost (LCC) to calculate costs. In modern practice, LCA is often combined with the supply chain to find a lower cost as well as being environmentally friendly, commonly called a green supply chain.

In green supply chain efforts, LCA has a role: measuring the environmental impact of the supply chain, identifying the most influential environmental impacts, and assisting the choice between combinations in life cycle design and product chain management (recycling, production or reuse) (Baumann, 2014). 

What is the issue with the life cycle assessment?

An overall of 34 spaces and difficulties have been determined. These consist of difficulties such as 'allocation', 'uncertainty' or 'biodiversity', in addition to issues such as 'littering', 'animal welfare' or 'positive impacts' which are seldom dealt with in the current LCA literary works.

Exactly just how a lot does a life cycle assessment set you back?

Such a comprehensive LCA takes approximately 3 months [3] and expenses $ 10,000- $ 60,000 [4], and is just feasible to the total when the item is utilized and has undergone all phases of its life cycle.

What undergoes the life cycle?

The life cycle is the collection of phases that a living being undergoes throughout his lifetime. It's useful to utilize diagrams to reveal the phases, which frequently consist of beginning with a seed, egg, or online birth after that expanding and recreating. The life cycle repeats itself over and over once more.

What are the primary difficulties dealt with by LCA specialists?

Therefore, the growth and development of LCAs deals with 4 primary categories of advancement difficulties: structure systems and models; information and understanding gaps; integrates temporal and vibrant components; and the limitations of comparability that occur from various situations and system restrictions.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of LCA?

LCA likewise has restrictions that in some cases increase questions regarding the outcomes of the LCA. LCA research researches depend on presumptions and situations since LCA assesses real life in a streamlined design. Research researches could likewise have various scopes, so one examine might disregard the effects or procedures that research researchers have integrated.

What is the item Life Cycle Assessment?

The item Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) assesses the general environmental impact triggered by manufacturing systems, utilize, and disposal procedures. (referred to as the worth chain or "item life cycle") needed to offer a specific item.

What is the 2nd phase in the life cycle assessment?

Phase 2: In this action, the stock evaluation offers a summary of the stream of products and energy in the item system and particularly its communications with the environment, raw products taken in, and discharges to the environment. All the important procedures and extra streams of energy and material will be discussed later on.

What is the distinction in between cradle to cradle and cradle to burial place?

Cradle to Grave. The distinction between cradle to cradle (CTC) and cradle to grave (CTG) is that the conventional CTG (reusing, and so on.) A product could be utilized with a number of "lives" eg. Plastic containers could be reused to earn one more one.

What is life cycle danger assessment?

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is specified as a methodical evaluation of the prospective impact of a service or product on the environment throughout its whole life cycle.

What are the drawbacks of AMDAL?

Among the weak points of AMDAL is that it depends greatly on technological information and audits, from area examinations to logical programs that contrast information and anticipate occasions.

Complying with procedures could assistance also the tiniest company to establish and preserve an efficient PLM process: Strategy & Technique. 

Why is the life cycle essential?

Why the Life Cycle is Essential for Living Points The life cycle identifies the collection of phases a private organism undergoes from the moment it's developed to the moment it creates its very own children. Nevertheless, types differ commonly in specific elements of their various life cycles.

What is the function of the life cycle?

Life cycle assessment, or LCA, is a method that assesses the impact of an item, from the products utilized to earn it to its ultimate disposal. The LCA could be an effective device for determining modifications that might decrease a product's unfavorable impact on the Planet over its lifetime.

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