Life cycle analysis of polymer recycling literature review

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

This literature review supports the following project: Life cycle analysis of distributed polymer recycling.

See also: Energy Payback Time of a Solar Photovoltaic Powered Waste Plastic Recyclebot System

MOST group articles on waste plastic extrusion[edit | edit source]


Kuczensk, Brandon, and Roland Geyer. "LCA and Recycling Policy — a Case Study in Plastic." 1 Oct. 2001. Web. 10 Oct. 2011. [6].[edit | edit source]

  • 11 states have bottle bills (MI included)
  • producing 1 kg PET requires 206 g Natural Gas for ethylene, 588 g crude oil for xylene, Liquid oxygen, and water
  • 1kg diverted from land fill saves 1kg disposal +.78kg primary production
  • buy back centers/source separated processors: .044MJ primary energy per 1kg PET
  • curbside collection: .65-.8 MJ primary energy per 1kg PET
  • materials recovery center: .38 MJ primary energy per 1kg PET
  • each additional kg recycled reduced primary energy 46.2-56.3 MJ

NOTES: good diagrams/flowcharts, necessary info for CA only [1]

Lofti, Ahmad. "Plastic / Polymer Recycling." Web. 11 Oct. 2011. [7].[edit | edit source]

  • 1:PET (highly recyclable)
  • 2:HDPE (highly recyclable)
  • 3:PVC (not recycled)
  • 4:LDPE
  • 5:Polypropylene (not recycled)
  • 6:Polystyrene (not recycled)
  • 7:Other/mixed (no recycling)
  • usually a single re-use
  • can't mix PET and PVC in recycling
  • steps: collection, sorting/separating, processing, manufacturing

NOTES: outdated [2]

The ImpEE Project: Recycling of Plastics. The Cambridge-MIT Institute. 11 Oct 2011. [8][edit | edit source]

  • embodied energy analysis via input/output instead of thermo
  • energy in/kg PET out
  • energy in/bottles out
  • LCA preformed on milk carton
  • comparison of different materials (PET, glass, aluminum, steel)
  • LCA of recycling PET into fleece
  • chart of embodied energies and prices of polymers
  • embodied energy and price of recycled material is half of virgin material (lower quality)
  • "Transport does not have a great impact on the energy life cycle of this product."-slide 8

NOTES: great diagrams, equations [3]


Britz, David, Yohsi Hamaoka, and Jessica Mazorson. "Recology: Value in Recycling Materials." MIT Sloan Sustainability Lab, 13 May 2010. Web. 13 Oct. 2011. [9].[edit | edit source]

  • studied virgin material market, environmental impact, and recycling of virgin material
  • used LCA databases
  • materials flow and embodied energy
  • energy input=energy stored product+energy stored in waste+energy released
  • recycled material uses 80% less energy than virgin material
  • producing 1 kg recycled PET uses 42-55 MJ/ 1kg virgin PET uses >77 MJ

NOTES:check sources 12-14 [4]

"Embodied Energy Coefficients." Web. 13 Oct. 2011. [10].[edit | edit source]

  • coefficients in MJ/kg and MJ3
  • ABS, HDPE,LDPE, polyester, pp, ps, polyurethane, PVC
  • compares local data to worldwide data
  • sourced

[5]

Embodied Energy Table[edit | edit source]

Table 1: Embodied Energy per kg material

Material Embodied Energy (MJ/kg)[5] [6] Embodied CO2 (kg CO2/kg) [7] Transportation Energy (MJ/kg) [7] Notes
ABS 77.8-111 3.05 From Franklin Associates Ltd, 1991.[5]. From Plastics Europe, 2005. [7]
HDPE 79.7-103 1.57(resin)-2.02(pipe) From Franklin Associates Ltd. and manufacturer. 1994. [5]
LDPE 77-103 1.69(resin)-2.13(film) From Lawson. 1994.[5]
Polyester 53.7-58 From American Institute of Architects, Environmental Resource Guide, 1991. [5]
Polypropylene 64-94 2.97-3.93 From American Institute of Architects, Environmental Resource Guide, 1994. [5] From Plastics Europe, 2005. [7]
Polystyrene 100-117 2.55-3.45 From American Institute of Architects, Environmental Resource Guide, 1994. [5] From Plastics Europe, 2006. <refname="[7]"/>
Polyurethane 72.2-74 3.48-4.06 From American Institute of Architects, Environmental Resource Guide and manufacturer, 1991. [5]From Plastics Europe, 2005. <refname="[7]"/>
PVC 38.6-189 2.56-2.61 From American Institute of Architects, Environmental Resource Guide, Sheltair Scientific Ltd, and manufacturer. Best guess is 70 MJ/kg, 1992.[5]
PET 77-90[4] 2.73 From international journal of Life Cycle Assessment. [4]

Note: CO2 values are cradle to gate.

Transportation Energy[edit | edit source]

Variables for calculating transportation energy [8]

  • Distance Traveled
  • Speed Traveled
  • Type of Vehicle (mpg)
  • Loading of Vehicle

Table 2: Embodied Energy of Transportation

Vehicle Fuel Efficiency (ton miles/gallon)[8] Embodied CO2 of Transportation (lb CO2/gallon)[8] Notes
Garbage Truck 41 19.56
Airplane/Jet 5 19.56
Train 100 19.56
Ship 140 19.56
Passenger Vehicle 15-40 (mpg) [9] 19.56
  • Fuel efficiency calculated in mpg due to low loading capactity
  • Average can be taken as 31 mpg

Best Case Scenario: Detroit, MI

[10]

Worst Case Scenario: Copper Harbor, MI

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Kuczensk, Brandon, and Roland Geyer. "LCA and Recycling Policy — a Case Study in Plastic." 1 Oct. 2001. Web. 10 Oct. 2011. [1].
  2. Lofti, Ahmad. "Plastic / Polymer Recycling." Web. 11 Oct. 2011. [2].
  3. The ImpEE Project: Recycling of Plastics. The Cambridge-MIT Institute. 11 Oct 2011. [3]
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Britz, David, Yohsi Hamaoka, and Jessica Mazorson. "Recology: Value in Recycling Materials." MIT Sloan Sustainability Lab, 13 May 2010. Web. 13 Oct. 2011. [4].
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 "Embodied Energy Coefficients." Web. 13 Oct. 2011. [5].
  6. Hammond, Geoff, and Craig Jones. "Inventory of Carbon & Energy (ICE V2.0) Embodied Energy & Carbon." University of Bath. Web. 17 Oct. 2011. <http://web.archive.org/web/20120205181448/http://www.bath.ac.uk/mech-eng/sert/embodied/>.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Eco-profiles of the European Plastics Industry. Plastic Europe. 2005. Web. 20 Oct. 2011. http://web.archive.org/web/20101124202138/http://lca.plasticseurope.org:80/main2.htm.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Pearce, Joshua M., Sara J. Johnson, and Gabriel B. Grant. "3D-mapping Optimization of Embodied Energy of Transportation." Resources, Conservation and Recycling 51.2 (2007): 435-53. Print.
  9. 2011 Most and Least Fuel Efficient Vehicles. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/bestworst.shtml
  10. http://www.wm.com/about/press-room/2009/20090617_WM_Opens_Detroit_Recycling_Center.pdf