Morten Birkved

Morten Birkved
University of Southern Denmark | SDU · Department of Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology and Environmental Technology

Professor

About

131
Publications
38,135
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3,530
Citations

Publications

Publications (131)
Article
Full-text available
The building industry accounts for about 40% of all climate impacts, stemming from construction and renovation processes, use of buildings and demolition, disposal and recycling of buildings and building materials. The Danish Parliament passed a Danish Climate Act in 2020 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030, and an action plan in 2021...
Article
Are we capable of addressing environmental consequences on societal scale of circular solutions for the Built Environment, or merely capable of addressing these impacts applying a narrow product/corporation perspective? Considering evaluations and quantifications of environmental implications associated with implementations of Circular Economy (CE)...
Preprint
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The Planetary Boundary for Climate Change has been surpassed, and humanity must therefore decide on a pathway back to the safe operating space below the Planetary boundaries to minimise the risk of deleterious or even catastrophic environmental change at continental to global scales. However, the control variables used in the concept do not link to...
Article
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The Circular Economy (CE) is gaining traction throughout all industries and nations globally. However, despite several attempts, no one-off solutions for assessing the benefits and pitfalls of CE have been established, and neither have any measures with which to determine decisions. In line with this general observation, the Built Environment (BE)...
Article
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The world has been grappling with the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic for more than a year. Various sectors have been affected by COVID-19 and its consequences. The waste management system is one of the sectors affected by such unpredictable pandemics. The experience of COVID-19 proved that adaptability to such pandemics and the post-pandemic era h...
Article
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The construction and real estate industry is, directly and indirectly, responsible for circa 40% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Therefore, it is relevant to look upon the building sector as a focus area for a transition from Linear Economy to Circular Economy (CE), as outlined by the EU Commission through European Green Deal as a growth...
Article
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The circular economy has become an important topic in the building industry, and life cycle assessment (LCA) is often used to quantify its benefits. Through chemical analysis, this article demonstrates that the current LCA is not yet well-adapted to assess the circular economy of building materials and components. It is shown that current inventory...
Article
Although there is great opportunity, the bioeconomy is not a silver bullet in the quest to solve various environmental problems. This assessment tests the no agricultural waste concept, an agricultural system where all residues are utilized within a value chain, to elucidate whether the concept does indeed improve environmental performance across v...
Article
A framework, SecµPlast, to include secondary microplastic (MP) formation due to photooxidation into current Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) from cradle-to-grave of products. The framework details how to incorporate secondary MP formation into the plastic's life cycle as related to the plastic's use phase, and location specific waste treatment and how...
Article
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Nutrient depletion in Tanzanian sisal production has led to yield decreases over time. We use nutrient mass balances embedded within a life cycle assessment to quantify the extent of nutrient depletion for different production systems, and then used circular economy principles to identify potential cosubstrates from within the Tanzanian economy to...
Preprint
Nutrient depletion in Tanzanian sisal production has led to yield decreases over time. We use nutrient mass balances embedded within a life cycle assessment to quantify the extent of nutrient depletion for different production systems, then used circular economy principles to identify potential cosubstrates from within the Tanzanian economy to anae...
Preprint
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The current enthusiasm for circular economy (CE) offers a unique opportunity to advance the impact of research on sustainability transitions. Diverse interpretations of CE by scholars, however, produce partly opposing assessments of its potential benefits, which can hinder progress. Here, we synthesize policy-relevant lessons and research direction...
Article
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Transitioning to a circular built environment can reduce the environmental impacts, resource consumption and waste generation emanating from buildings. However, there are many options to design circular building components, and limited knowledge on which options lead to the best environmental performance. Few guidelines exist and they build on conv...
Article
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Because of the near doubling of clothing purchased and the shift toward fast fashion in recent decades, clothing induces increasingly significant global environmental impacts throughout its entire life cycle. To measure the environmental impacts of clothing across the major life cycle phases of production, purchase, transportation, usage, and dispo...
Article
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To determine the environmental and economic performance of emerging processes for the valorization of red wine pomace, a techno-economic assessment (TEA) and a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) are combined at an early design stage. A case study of two polyphenol extraction methods at laboratory scale, solvent extraction (SE) and pressurized liquid extra...
Article
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full open access text here: https://www.mdpi.com/2413-8851/5/1/20 Abstract: The building sector is responsible for extensive resource consumption and waste generation, resulting in high pressure on the environment. A way to potentially mitigate this is by including environmental considerations during building design through the concept known as e...
Article
Circular Economy (CE) can help reduce the building industry's immense environmental impact. Life cycle assessment (LCA) can facilitate CE decision-making by identifying the largest environmental impact reduction opportunities throughout a building's life cycle, but it does not suffice in a design situation. Thus, aggregated LCA knowledge is needed....
Article
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Introduction. The building sector consumes 40% of resources globally, produces 40% of global waste and 33% of greenhouse gas emissions. The transition towards a Circular Economy (CE) in the built environment is vital to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of climate action and responsible consumption and production. Metrics are needed...
Article
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Transitioning the built environment to a circular economy (CE) is vital to achieve sustainability goals but requires metrics. Life cycle assessment (LCA) can analyse the environmental performance of CE. However, conventional LCA methods assess individual products and single life cycles whereas circular assessment requires a systems perspective as b...
Article
Full-text available
To determine the environmental and economic performance of emerging processes for the valorization of red wine pomace, a techno-economic assessment (TEA) and a life cycle assessment (LCA) are combined at an early design stage. A case study of two polyphenol extraction methods at laboratory scale, solvent extraction (SE) and pressurized liquid extra...
Article
Full-text available
The considerable environmental impacts, resource consumption and waste generation emanating from buildings are a cause of great concern and political attention. Interest in the circular economy (CE) concept of slowing, narrowing and closing material loops through CE strategies (reuse, repair, refurbish, recycle and recover) has grown in recent year...
Article
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An efficient use of biomass resources is a key element of the bioeconomy. Ideally, options leading to the highest environmental and economic gains can be singled out for any given region. In this study, to achieve this goal of singling out an ideal technology for a given region, biotechnologies are assessed by a combination of techno-economic asses...
Article
This study presents the environmental life cycle assessment of four low carbon design strategies applied in Danish, architectural practice. The subject of analysis is a set of five buildings erected within the same constrictions in terms of floor area, energy performance and construction costs. The tested design strategies were: use of recycled mat...
Article
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Despite advances in the data, models, and methods underpinning environmental life cycle assessment (LCA), it remains challenging for practitioners to effectively communicate and interpret results. These shortcomings can bias decisions and hinder public acceptance for planning supported by LCA. This paper introduces a method for interpreting LCA res...
Article
Management of the negative environmental impact of pesticides used in paddy fields requires the quantification of the emissions reaching relevant environmental compartments and the determination of the factors that influence such emissions. The present study is the first to develop a simulation model for estimating the fractions emitted to the air...
Article
The purpose of this study was to assess: what are the circular economy opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the meat processing sector to reduce their environmental impacts, using Life cycle assessment (LCA) as the analytical method to prevent burden shifting; whether current life cycle inventories and LCA studies adequatel...
Article
Durable goods last for years, decades, or even centuries. The environmental implications of the changing social, economic and material conditions in which these goods are embedded can be overlooked by conventional life cycle assessment that assumes a static world. In order to avoid these problems, methods such as Dynamic LCA (DLCA) are increasingly...
Article
Regenerative agriculture is being used by a small numbers of innovative farmers in Australia and elsewhere, and uses a range of holistic methods that works with the land and climate, such as short duration time controlled grazing with long rest periods for the paddock and higher proportions of above ground biomass, to improve soil health and farm p...
Article
The purpose of this study is to investigate absolute environmental sustainability in the built environment, by assessing whether contemporary environmentally optimized approaches to building design, with their associated consumption of resources and subsequent emissions, can be considered within the carrying capacity of Earth Systems. A life cycle...
Article
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This study is part of the EU funded project RiBuild and aims to create a web tool for supporting decisions relating to energy retrofits of historic buildings. The web tool provides a quantitative sustainability evaluation of hygro-thermally optimized insulation solutions through a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions indicator. The study presents LCAs of...
Article
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The building sector is of major concern when seeking to reduce the environmental impact of our society. A common tool often used in certification systems for quantification of environmental impacts is Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs). LCAs are traditionally used for relative comparisons, i.e. to assess whether one product or service performs better th...
Article
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As circular economy (CE) is becoming a growing focus in the building industry due to the industries large resource consumption, waste production and environmental impacts a better understanding of buildings material composition, resource consumption and resulting environmental performance becomes increasingly important in order to support the trans...
Article
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Circular business models are often enabled by means of product/service-systems (PSS). The common perception is that such business models have enhanced environmental performance when compared to conventional business models rooted in the linear economy. This article investigates the environmental potential of developing a use-oriented PSS business m...
Article
This study completed a cradle-to-retailer life cycle assessment of Danish export pork and provided a comparative assessment of six after cooling technologies for the supply of pork meat to three markets, Denmark, China and Australia. Nine different pork products delivered to retailers were assessed for fourteen midpoint impact categories. Given the...
Article
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Increasing building demands from a growing world population puts enormous pressure on natural resources. Management of resource consumption and environmental impacts is therefore vital to secure contemporary and future well-being and progress. Circular Economy (CE) is perceived as an industrial economy model potentially minimizing resource consumpt...
Article
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To reach the environmental goals set by EU, Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and national building regulations will demand reductions in building’s energy consumption. Energy consumption goals for buildings are pursued through high thermal performance building components (HTPBC). Paradoxically, building regulations have no requireme...
Article
Decision-making within the building industry often involves various criteria of very different natures. Some are qualitative, others quantitative, some are objective, others subjective, but ultimately, they should all be aggregated and handled holistically in order to support decision-making. This process can also be referred to as multicriteria de...
Article
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In order to compare the maximum potential environmental impact savings that may result from the implementation of innovative biorefinery alternatives at a regional scale, the Territorial Metabolism-Life Cycle Assessment (TM-LCA) framework is implemented. With the goal of examining environmental impacts arising from technology-to-region (territory)...
Article
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Purpose This paper seeks to identify the most environmental friendly way of conducting a refurbishment of Broendby Strand, with focus on PCB remediation. The actual identification is conducted by comparing four remediation techniques using urban metabolism fused with life cycle assessment (UM-LCA) in combination with information relating to cost an...
Article
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Purpose The purpose of the study is to quantify the environmental performance of Smart City Solutions at urban system level and thus evaluate their contribution to develop environmentally sustainable urban systems. Further, the study illustrates how this quantification is conducted. Methods The case city chosen in our modeling is Copenhagen, where...
Article
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Within the ReSOLVE framework, the concept of 'Looping' materials in an efficient way is a crucial theme to ensure environmental sustainability of circular economy. This paper investigates how current calculation practice of building LCA from the EN 15804/15978 standards affects the global warming potential (GWP) of building designs where material l...
Article
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As the construction industry consumes vast amounts of natural resources and in return produces large waste quantities, interest in circular economy has emerged as the means to reduce sector specific environmental impacts meanwhile ensuring continued economic growth. Life cycle assessment is a scientifically based and ISO standardized method for ass...
Article
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The building industry contributes to resource scarcity by consuming vast amounts of natural resources and produces in addition large amounts of waste, both contributing to a considerable portion of the environmental impacts induced by the demands of a growing world population. Manufacturing of most building materials require large amounts of materi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Within the ReSOLVE framework, the concept of 'Looping' materials in an efficient way is a crucial theme to ensure environmental sustainability of circular economy. This paper investigates how current calculation practice of building LCA from the EN 15804/15978 standards affects the global warming potential (GWP) of building designs where material l...
Article
Full-text available
This data article is the second component of the two-part study on the effects of high-resolution energy data on building life cycle assessments (LCAs) (Environmental performance assessment of the use stage of buildings using dynamic high-resolution energy consumption and data on grid composition, in press) [1]. The first part being the article ser...
Article
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The building industry is responsible for a large proportion of anthropogenic environmental impacts. Circular economy (CE) is a restorative and regenerative industrial economic approach that promotes resource efficiency to reduce waste and environmental burdens. Transitioning from a linear approach to a CE within the building industry will be a sign...
Article
The COP21 summit in Paris led to a policy commitment of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5–2.0 °C and this can be translated to a global annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emission budget that is shrinking rapidly throughout the 21st century. Here, we estimate the reductions in GHG emission intensities of technologies that will be required fo...
Article
During the use stage of buildings, their consumption of electricity has proved to influence considerably their environmental performance. The impacts associated with using electricity are directly related to the electricity grid that delivers the power and hence are also closely associated with the impacts induced by the production of each kWh deli...
Article
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Agricultural waste is a huge pool of untapped biomass resources that may even represent economic and environmental burdens. They can be converted into bioenergy and bio-based products by cascading conversion processes, within circular economy, and should be considered residual resources. Major challenges are discussed from a transdisciplinary persp...
Article
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Lignin is a heterogeneous, aromatic polymer and one of the main components of plant biomass. Current lignocellulosic biorefineries primarily focus on polysaccharide conversion from biomass, and separate and combust the...
Article
The purpose of our study is to analyse how urban lifestyles impact on the environment to offer knowledge based inspiration for effective environmental policies relating to contemporary Danish consumption patterns. The application of a Personal Metabolism (PM) coupled Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach supported by cluster analysis facilitated the...
Article
Buildings as products are complex structures with a long service life compared to most other products and they induce considerable environmental impacts throughout their life cycle. The Environmental Building Performance (EBP) depends on attributes like building design, selection of building materials, building location, as well as operation and ma...
Article
The Green biorefinery (GBR) is a biorefinery concept that converts fresh biomass into value-added products. The present study combines a Process Flowsheet Simulation (PFS) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to evaluate the technical and environmental performance of different GBR configurations and the cascading utilization of the GBR output. The GBR c...
Article
This study evaluates environmental impacts of an integrated mixed crop-livestock system with a green biorefinery (GBR). System integration included production of feed crops and green biomasses (Sys-I) to meet the demand of a livestock system (Sys-III) and to process green biomasses in a GBR system (Sys-II). Processing of grass-clover to produce fee...
Article
Green biorefinery (GBR) is a new biorefinery technology for the conversion of fresh biomass to value added products. In the present study, we combined a Process Flowsheet Simulation (PFS) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of a small scale decentralized GBR to screen environmental impact profiles for potential biomass feedstocks for GBR conversion. Fu...
Article
Product/Service-Systems (PSS) such as integrated solutions, performance-based contracts or sharing systems are often proposed as means to enable improved environmental sustainability. However, PSS are not necessarily environmentally benign compared to conventional systems. Quantitative environmental performance evaluations of PSS are hence needed....
Chapter
The inventory analysis is the third and often most time-consuming part of an LCA. The analysis is guided by the goal and scope definition, and its core activity is the collection and compilation of data on elementary flows from all processes in the studied product system(s) drawing on a combination of different sources. The output is a compiled inv...
Article
Educating engineering students in sustainability is becoming increasingly important since engineering is expected to play a vital role in solving the sustainability challenges facing us. At the Technical University of Denmark this awareness is visible in the strategy where sustainability is expected to be an integrated part of all study programmes....
Article
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To allow for the assessment of regional-scale geographically non-contiguous production system derived environmental impacts, a combined method of Territorial Metabolism – Life Cycle Assessment (TM-LCA) is proposed. By creating a two-pronged framework for the development of background system modelling, the TM-LCA method allows for process-based envi...
Article
In the construction sector, LCAs typically apply an approach based on fixed or partially fixed building lifespans/service lives/reference study period. The temporal scopes applied in building LCAs are hence typically not reflecting that the timeframes buildings can provide the service they are intended to provide, are (highly) dependent on numerous...
Article
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Residential building insulation is regarded as an easy solution for environmentally friendly building design. This assumption is based on the perception that the amount of thermal energy used to create insulation in most cases is much smaller than the amount of thermal energythat is needed for space heating without insulation over the lifespan of a...