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Life Cycle Inventory

The LCI data used in this study was obtained through cooperation with many companies, including Materials Recovery Facility, plastic waste reprocessing plants, the fibre production factory, and inventory databases such as SimaPro 8.0 Australian LCA databases (Associates and Sylvatica 2004a, b; Grant 2011a, b, 2012; Grant and Grant 2011a, b, c, d, e; Spielmann 2012; Steiner 2008), Building Products LCI databases (BPIC 2010) and scientific publications (Arena et al. 2003; Chilton et al. 2010; Perugini et al. 2005; Shen et al. 2010; Strezov and Herbertson 2006). These details are specifically outlined in Table 6.1.

Life Cycle Impact Assessment

The software SimaPro 8.0 has been used for the LCIA. All the LCIA data of the four scenarios, including all emissions released and all raw material requirements, are converted into environmental impact categories based on the Australian Indicator Set V3.00 (SimaPro 2010). Impacts categories examined include CO2 equivalent, PO4 equivalent, water use and oil equivalent.

The processes of iron production, steel continuous casting and milling, virgin PP production, plastic waste collecting and recycling, and fibre production consume large amounts of primary energy and electricity. In Australia, the predominant

Table 6.1 Summary of data sources used for the LCI phase

Data

Sources

Domestic PP waste collection

  • • On-site investigation and communication with a manager in Visy recycling-Townsville MRF (2012)
  • • Scientific publications: Chilton et al. (2010)
  • • Simapro 8.0 database, Australasian unit process LCI library, Kerbside collection of mixed recyclables (Grant and Grant 2011b)

Domestic PP waste reprocessing

  • • Scientific publications: Perugini et al. (2005) and Arena et al. (2003)
  • • Simapro 8.0 database, Australasian unit process LCI library, reprocessing PP from MRF’s for use in as recycled granulate (Grant and Grant 2011e)

Industrial PP reprocessing

  • • Communication with a manager of Martogg group (2013)
  • • Simapro 8.0 database, AusLCI unit process library, low voltage electricity (Grant 2012)

Virgin PP granulates production

• Simapro 8.0 database, Australasian unit process LCI library, polypropylene production Australian average (Grant and Grant 2011d)

PP granulates transportation

  • • Scientific publications: Shen et al. (2010)
  • • Communication with the manager of Martogg group to get actual transportation distances and vehicle types (2013)
  • • Simapro 8.0 database, Australasian unit process LCI library, rigid truck transport in Australia (Grant 2011b), articulated truck transport (Grant 2011a)

PP fibre production

  • • On-site investigation, checking real electricity bills to get electricity consumption, and communication with a manager in Danbar plastic (2013)
  • • Simapro 8.0 database, AusLCI unit process library, low voltage electricity (Grant 2012)

Plastic waste landfilling

  • • Scientific publications: Perugini et al. (2005) and Arena et al. (2003)
  • • Simapro 8.0 database, Australasian unit process LCI library, LCI of 1000 kg plastic in landfill (Grant and Grant 2011c)

Steel production

  • • Communication with an executive director of Steel Reinforcement Institution of Australia (SRIA)
  • • Scientific publications: Strezov and Herbertson (2006)
  • • Building Products LCI from Australian Building Products Innovation Council, SRM (BPIC, 2010)
  • • LCA databases Simapro 8.0 database, Franklin USA 98 library, Steel from basic oxygen furnace (Associates and Sylvatica 2004b), Cold-rolled steel sheet from electric arc furnace (Associates and Sylvatica 2004a)

Concast and rolling mill

  • • Communication with an executive director of SRIA
  • • Building products LCI form Australian Building Products Innovation Council, SRM (BPIC 2010)
  • • Simapro 8.0 database, Ecoinvent unit processes library, milling steel (Steiner 2008)

Mill steel transportation

  • • Communication with an executive director of SRIA
  • • Scientific publications: Strezov and Herbertson (2006)

(continued)

Table 6.1 (continued)

Data Sources

  • • Building Products LCI form Australian Building Products Innovation Council, SRM (BPIC 2010)
  • • LCA databases Simapro 8.0 database, Australasian unit process LCI library, domestic shipping in Australia (Grant and Grant 2011a); AusLCI unit process library, Lorry > 32t (Spielmann, 2012)

SRM production

  • • Communication with an executive director of SRIA
  • • Building Products LCI form Australian Building Products Innovation Council, SRM (BPIC 2010)

primary energy sources for these processes are coal, oil and diesel, which lead to CO2 emissions and associated global warming potential (GWP). Carbon dioxide equivalent (kg CO2 eq) is a standard unit for measuring GWP, and the consumption of fossil fuels is used to assess the depletion of limited natural resources. Water use and water-based pollution are important issues in Australia, because of their scarcity. Water-based impacts can be significant in both steel production and also in domestic recycling, where washing is an important processing step. In this study both quantity and pollution are assessed. Eutrophication pollution impacts are aggregated into PO4 equivalent. Water-based toxicity is not assessed because of a scarcity of data in this area.

The CO2 equivalent (kg) was calculated based on the database of 100-year greenhouse impacts reported by 2009 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change method and data (IPCC 2009). PO4 equivalent (kg) is based on the model of 2009 Climate Modelling Laboratory impact assessment (Mera 2009). The consumption of fossil fuels (oil equivalent in kg) are based on 2008 Recipe database (Recipe 2008).

 
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