Park Babelsberg 14
Phone: +49 (0)331 977- 4447
FAX: +49 (0)331 977 - 4433
To examine the influence of these uncertainties on the overall results the authors developed a computer aided tool which allows to investigate a wide variety of system parameters. These parameters concern the waste characterization, the process design and efficiency, the landfill behavior, the material flow management, the infrastructure and the LCA methodology.
The paper reports the results for each group of parameters and illustrates them by case specific examples. The results show that the specific contributions of the waste management don't exceed the 1% level (in Germany). The differences between the various waste management systems are small and are therefore often dominated by data and modeling uncertainties. Different evaluations methods may lead to different results too. A waste treatment system which is basically the environmental best could due to the above mentioned uncertainties not be identified. To assess the validity and the limitations of LCAs of waste management systems a sensitivity analysis investigating the uncertainties is indispensable. The results show that the analysis of uncertainty not only improves the quality of the LCA study but also offers the chance for identifying weak points and improvement opportunities of the waste management system and to elaborate the best system under case specific conditions.
Dr. Graham J. Treloar, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Australian AGILE Construction Initiative
School of Architecture and Building
Geelong Waterfront Campus
Phone: +61 3 5227 8328
Mobile: +61 414 703 966
FAX: +61 3 5227 8303
Mr. Tim Grant
Centre for Design at RMIT University, Melbourne Australia
Phone: +61 3 9925 3490
Mobile: +61 408 104 977
FAX: +61 3 9639 3412
For comparative LCAs where the aim is to identify the products or options with the least environmental impact, the unit process analysis may be deficient due to incomplete system boundary definition. The LCA standard on goal and scope states " resources need not be expended on the quantification of such inputs and outputs that will not significantly change the overall conclusions of the study " (ISO 14001). It is under this assumption that many processes, such as the manufacture of capital equipment, and the provision of services and minor materials are excluded from LCAs. However, recent studies using input-output analysis, based on national economic data, indicate that a typical LCA study can be incomplete in system boundary by up to 50%. This study was based on energy related environmental loadings only. System boundary incompleteness is not consistent across all systems and products, therefore it cannot be ignored for comparative LCAs.
The use of input output analysis in LCAs is, however, limited in its resolution down at an individual process level, and also lacks the breadth of environmental data across the whole economy.
This paper examines LCA data and input-output data for a range of plastic products. It identifies some of the sources of incompleteness, and offers a solution for taking account of system boundary incompleteness through a hybrid LCA method, based on the input-output system boundary.
Marcelle McManus, Research Officer
Engineering Design Centre in Fluid Power Systems
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Bath
Phone: +44 (0)1225 826826 ext 5384
FAX: +44 (0)1225 826928
G.P. Hammond, Professor of Mechanical Engineering
C.R. Burrows, Hebron and Medlock Dean of Engineering and Design
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering and Design,
University of Bath, Claverton Down,
Bath, BA2 7AY, United Kingdom
This paper builds upon a previously reported case study by the authors (1, 2) who analysed and compared the use of conventional mineral oil and biodegradable oil within a fluid power system installed on mobile forestry machinery. The operation of logging and transporting equipment in forests can have a variety of significant environmental and ecological impacts, both locally and on the wider biosphere. A sensitivity analysis has therefore been carried out for the case study and shows how sensitive the final results are to changes in the initial data and assumptions. It also illustrates how the most significant parameters can be identified and their impact minimised at the design stage. The paper outlines the complexities inherent in the use of sensitivity analysis in connection with LCA and discusses its implementation using a commercial LCA software programme to deal with such a study.
The work to be reported forms part of a major research programme funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Science Research Council to support the Engineering Design Centre in Fluid Power Systems at Bath (grant GR/L26858).
1. C. R. Burrows, Hammond, G.P. and McManus, M.C., Life-Cycle Assessment of Oil Hydraulic Systems for Environmentally Sensitive Applications., pp 61 - 69. in Nair, S.S. and Mistry. S.A. (eds), Fluid Power Systems and Technology, FPST (Vol. 5), ASME, Anaheim, California (ASME, 1998).
2. C. R. Burrows, Hammond, G.P. and McManus, M.C., Life Cycle Assessment of Some Mobile Hydraulic Systems., pp 1163 - 1176. in Koskinen, K.T., Vilenius, M. and Tikka, K. (eds) Proceedings: The Sixth Scandinavian International Conference on Fluid Power, SICFP '99, Tampere, Finland (1999) Tampere University of Technology (TUT) Print 1999.
Institute of Product Development
Technical University of Denmark
Institute of Product Development
Technical University of Denmark
International Institute of Applied System Analysis
Department of Science, Technology and Society
M.D. Bovea and R. Vidal
Department of Technology
Universitat Jaume I
Campus Riu Sec
12071 Castellon, Spain
Phone: + 34 964 728189
FAX: + 34 964 728106
This paper proposes the study of a product family as office furniture, with the aim of obtaining the adequate design strategies to apply in future designs. In order to do this, a range of simplified or streamlined LCA techniques will be covered and their results will be compared with the ones obtained by a full LCA. Conclusions of this evaluation will show that just some streamlined techniques offer correct results and only for the product family analyzed. So, it will demonstrate how a majority of the benefits of LCA can sometimes be achieved at a fraction of the cost. The conclusions of this paper will provide to the designer a useful and reliable tool to incorporate environmental requirements into the design process.