Life cycle investigation of CO2 recovery and sequestration.

Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences, 1 Pesek Road, Jurong Island, Singapore.
Environmental Science and Technology (Impact Factor: 5.48). 07/2006; 40(12):4016-24. DOI: 10.1021/es051882a
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The Life Cycle Assessment of four CO2 recoverytechnologies, combined with nine CO2 sequestration systems, serves to expand the debate of CO2 mitigation methods beyond a single issue-prevention of global warming-to a wider range of environmental concerns: resource depletion, acidic and toxic gases, wastes, etc, so that the overall, and unexpected, environmental impacts may be revealed.

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    ABSTRACT: Human activities continue to degrade the natural environment in myriad ways, and at the heart of the problem is industrial activity—the extraction of resources, production, transportation, and use of goods, and the eventual disposal or recycling of materials. Yet, opportunities exist to engage industrial activity in creative, strategic ways that will actively improve the natural environment and help restore it to a state that can sustain human and non-human life into the future. This dissertation is intended to be a step toward that future by progressing our understanding in three separate but related topics in the context of corporate social responsibility (CSR). In the first chapter, I re-envision what is meant by ‘green business.’ Although the literature on business strategy and the environment frequently discusses whether, why, and when companies profit from ‘greenness,’ surprisingly little has been said—and no consensus has been reached—on what businesses can do that counts as ‘green.’ Despite the growing importance of environmental concerns to managers, stakeholders, and policymakers, the lack of a structured and practical definition of green business leaves well-intentioned entrepreneurs and corporate environmental managers without useful guidance on how best to make environmentally-relevant business decisions. In this chapter, therefore, I propose a new definition for ‘greenness,’ which states that it is the net balance of the environmental consequences caused by an activity that determines whether or not the activity is ‘net green.’ To demonstrate the usefulness of the definition, I apply it to four case studies centered on pollution control and prevention activities, which seem prima facie green. Some of these activities turn out not to be net green after all; for others, the green intuition is correct, but with caveats. The core outcome of the first chapter is that one of the most important factors determining whether an activity results in net environmental improvement damage centers on the concept of ‘displaced production.’ The second chapter, therefore, analyzes the displaced production mechanism in the context of recycling, and develops a methodology to estimate displacement rate. The typical assumption made in environmental assessments of product systems that include recycling is that secondary materials displace primary equivalents on a one-to-one basis. However, displaced production is a complex phenomenon governed by market mechanisms and the one-to-one displacement assumption was heretofore untested. Chapter two advances the understanding of displacement by presenting a displacement rate estimation methodology based on partial equilibrium market modeling. First, I develop a basic market model that explains the underlying price mechanisms of displaced production and identifies key parameters affecting displacement rate. Results from the basic model suggest that one-to-one displacement occurs only under specific parameter restrictions that are unlikely in a competitive commodity market. Next, the modeling methodology is demonstrated by developing an econometric model of the U.S. aluminum industry. The aluminum market model corroborates the basic model and suggests that U.S. aluminum displacement rates are likely to be below 100%. The third chapter shifts focus from what a business can do to be sustainable to the more common question in environmental strategy of why a firm would want to be socially and environmentally sustainable. One explanation posited in the literature is that corporate social responsibility leads to higher employee satisfaction, which increases worker productivity and profitability. Yet, empirical evidence for the relationship between CSR and satisfaction is scarce. Using a novel dataset, in this chapter I test this relationship for 3121 U.S. firms from 1998-2012 and find that companies’ performance in six out of seven CSR dimensions can explain whether they are rated by their employees as one of the best places to work in the country. I disaggregate the seven CSR dimensions into 44 individual CSR measures, and from those identify ten measures that are most likely to affect employee satisfaction—six areas in which to improve (employee ownership plans, family benefits, gay and lesbian policies, charitable giving, conscientious labor rights, and product innovation) and four areas in which to reduce negative impacts (toxic emissions, workforce reductions, poor labor rights, and deceptive marketing). This dissertation contributes to the literature in industrial ecology and life cycle assessment by clarifying the displacement mechanism and suggesting improved ways to estimate displacement rate, as well as to the business strategy and the environment literature by crystalizing what is meant by ‘green business’ and furthering our understanding of how CSR is likely to increase firms’ economic success.
    09/2014, Degree: PhD, Supervisor: Roland Geyer
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    ABSTRACT: Carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) is one of the most prominent emerging technologies for mitigating global climate change. In this study, a comparative evaluation for CO2 fixation by carbonation of steelmaking slag was performed by life cycle assessment (LCA) using Umberto 5.5.4 software, with the Swiss Eco-invent 2.2 database. Six scenarios of carbonation for basic oxygen furnace slag (BOFS), steel converted slag (SCS), and blended hydraulic slag cement (BHC) in different types of reactors and/or method were established. The environmental impacts for each scenario are quantified using the valuation system of ReCiPe, where global warming potential (GWP), ecosystem quality potential (EQP), and human health potential (HHP) were evaluated. In addition, sensitivity analysis was carried out to evaluate the relevant uncertainties of heating efficiency on the GHG emissions in direct carbonation processes. According to the results of LCA and sensitivity analysis, the direct carbonation of steelmaking slag in a slurry reactor was found to be the most attractive method, since the GWP was the lowest among the selected scenarios. Furthermore, the best available technology (BAT) for CO2 capture by carbonation processes of alkaline wastes was proposed according to the key performance indicators (KPIs) with respect to engineering considerations and environmental impacts. It was concluded that the accelerated carbonation of steelmaking slag should be performed by combining the slurry reactor with a rotating packed bed (RPB) to maximize carbonation conversion and minimize environmental impacts and additional CO2 emissions.
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    ABSTRACT: Amine scrubbing, a mature post-combustion carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, could increase ambient concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) due to its ammonia emissions. To capture 2.0 Gt CO2/year, for example, it could emit 32 Gg NH3/year in the United States given current design targets or fifteen times higher (480 Gg NH3/year) at rates typical of current pilot plants. Employing a chemical transport model, we found that the latter emission rate would cause an increase of 2.0 μg PM2.5/m3 in nonattainment areas during wintertime, which would be troublesome for PM2.5-burdened areas, and much lower increases during other seasons. Wintertime PM2.5 increases in nonattainment areas were fairly linear at a rate of 3.4 μg PM2.5/m3 per 1 Tg NH3, allowing these results to be applied to other CCS emissions scenarios. The PM2.5 impacts are modestly uncertain (±20%) depending on future emissions of SO2, NOx, and NH3. The public health costs of CCS NH3 emissions were valued at $31-68 per tonne CO2 captured, comparable to the social cost of carbon itself. Since the costs of solvent loss to CCS operators are lower than the social costs of CCS ammonia, there is a regulatory interest to limit ammonia emissions from CCS.
    Environmental Science & Technology 03/2015; DOI:10.1021/acs.est.5b00550 · 5.48 Impact Factor


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Jul 11, 2014