Chapter

# Sustainability Considerations on the Valorization of Organic Waste

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## Abstract

As global waste production rates are expected to continue rising during the following decennium, the development and selection of sustainable waste management solutions becomes more and more pressing. This chapter focuses on environmental sustainability considerations for organic waste management, comparing the principles of the waste hierarchy to results obtained in comparative case studies following the life cycle assessment (LCA) method, and reviewing the competitiveness of existing organic waste valorization systems. It can be concluded that the waste hierarchy is not sufficient for decision making in the field of organic waste valorization and that LCA studies are needed in order to avoid misconceptions. Furthermore, the referenced studies show that certain biowaste-based products are capable of competing with conventional processes, but these results cannot be generalized and should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, as seemingly small differences can drastically change environmental impacts.

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... Losses and waste are classified into four categories along the supply chain: (i) primary and post-harvest production; (ii) processing and manufacturing; (iii) wholesale, food retail, service, and distribution; and (iv) consumption or household waste (WRAP 2009). For Six et al. (2016), biomass recovery can be divided into groups of direct use (unchanged), material recovery (biochemical extraction, conversion of biomass and useful products), and energy recovery (biogas/energy content). Developing countries, such as Brazil, face a higher rate of waste in the primary stages (FAO 2020;Henz and Porpino 2017;Júnior 2020). ...
Article
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The Brazilian agro-industrial chain generates about 291 million/tons/year of wastes, which, if inadequately destinated, could originate social and environmental risks. There is a growing need for the use of alternative raw materials to replace that originated from fossil resources in the Brazilian industry. Renewable materials play an important role on the sustainability of ecosystems and materials’ circularity. The issue has acquired importance in light of recent bio-based agro-fiber development potential applications. Considering sustainability guidelines, this study aimed to analyze the main Brazilian agro-industrial waste crops (temporary and permanent) as important sources of natural fibers and other raw materials. A systematic review of the literature (SRL) about Brazilian researches, based on concepts of industrial ecology, and the creation of a bibliometric analysis network were carried out. The agricultural biomass related to the main crops presents characteristics making them suitable to be applied for textiles, as natural fibers and polymers, in biosorbents for industrial effluents, and cellulose obtention and reinforcement material in composites. Thus, scientific investment in researches on materials and technology development are necessary to provide applications that could meet current and future demands and expand the scope of new materials for sustainability.
... Other typical agri-food waste management implies its use as animal feed or fertilizer supply, composting, and anaerobic digestion, yet recovery and valorization capacity of these residues remain quite limited [11]. Considering that five percent of global GGEs originate from organic waste decay and that agri-food residues contain macromolecules, such as carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids, as well as active compounds and pigments, strategies to obtain higher value-added materials from agri-food wastes and by-products are both urgent and conceivable [9,12]. Numerous researches have been done and reviewed in this regard, from agro-industrial waste and by-products as feedstock for biofuels and bioplastic synthesis [8,[13][14][15], direct biopolymers, and active compounds extraction from agri-food residues [9,16,17], are reinforcing materials for composite materials [10,[18][19][20][21][22][23][24]. ...
Article
The greater awareness of non-renewable natural resources preservation needs has led to the development of more ecological high-performance polymeric materials with new functionalities. In this regard, biobased composites are considered interesting options, especially those obtained from agro-industrial wastes and by-products. These are low-cost raw materials derived from renewable sources, which are mostly biodegradable and would otherwise typically be discarded. In this review, recent and innovative academic studies on composites obtained from biopolymers, natural fillers and active agents, as well as green-synthesized nanoparticles are presented. An in-depth discussion of biobased composites structures, properties, manufacture, and life-cycle assessment (LCA) is provided along with a wide up-to-date overview of the most recent works in the field with appropriate references. Potential uses of biobased composites from agri-food residues such as active and intelligent food packaging, agricultural inputs, tissue engineering, among others are described, considering that the specific characteristics of these materials should match the proposed application.
... In Argentina, approximately 6.4 kg of yerba mate per capita per year is consumed, generating 291 million kg of vegetable waste annually [19]. It is well established that organic waste can contain valuable nutrients and energy sources that can be reused, offering major benefits from an environmental, social, and economic perspective [20]. Consequently, yerba mate waste can be valorized as a sustainable source of chemical compounds. ...
Article
Silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) applications are strongly dependent on their stability against aggregation. In the present work, environmentally-friendly Ag-NPs were synthesized by a simple and efficient procedure, using discarded yerba mate extract (DYME) as a reducing and capping agent. The Ag-NPs thus obtained (DYME-Ag-NPs) were spectroscopically characterized by ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectrophotometry, dynamic light scattering (DLS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). These NPs were also evaluated for their adsorbent capacity through the adsorption isotherms using three organic substances, as well as for their antimicrobial properties on two bacterial strains. DYME-Ag-NPs were mostly spherical, monodispersed, with an average size of 24.07 ± 3.00 nm (DLS), and proved to be stable for 70 days without any noticeable aggregation or change in size under room temperature (20-25 °C). The adsorption efficiency for crystal violet, methylene blue, and safranin was calculated. The adsorption data derived from the isotherm analysis fitted a Langmuir isotherm model, revealing the presence of homogeneous adsorption sites, probably coming from the DYME. Using the diffusion method, we obtained a 99.99 % growth inhibition for Escherichia coli by using 10 µg/mL of Ag-NPs. However, no inhibition of Enterococcus faecalis growth was observed. We conclude that yerba mate waste may be used to obtain improved Ag-NPs highly stable and with a high surface area, which results in an enhanced adsorption capacity for organic compounds.
... Industrial wastes or dedicated crops originate most of the biomaterials used in constructions. In the current scientific literature, there is a vast array of works devoted to the exploitation of organic waste (Six et al., 2016;Jimenez et al., 2017;Du et al., 2018) but still lacks thoughtful investigations for what concerns pruning residues originated by urban trees. In fact, pruning residues' valorization has been mainly considered for nonornamental plants such as vines (Vitis L.) and olive trees (Olea europaea L.) (Vecino et al., 2017;Jesus et al., 2017;. ...
Chapter
The development and subsequent incorporation of the advanced materials and technologies in buildings, with a view to target energy savings, and to fulfill the energy requirements have been gaining impetus during the recent years. The inherent vision lying behind the state-of-the-art technological advancements taking place in the construction sector is to sustain the energy efficiency in both existing and newly developed buildings on a long run. Thermal energy storage (TES), achieved through the phase-change materials (PCMs), is one among a few energy-efficient technologies available. The energy demand at the end-user side can be greatly satisfied using the TES technologies. Using bio-based PCMs in buildings is considered to be an ever-growing as well as an emerging field of interest to wider scientific and engineering communities, worldwide. This chapter is devoted to provide an in-depth understanding of a variety of bio-based PCMs for accomplishing thermal storage and energy efficiency in buildings. The nucleus of this chapter is focused on the TES properties enhancement for a variety of bio-based PCMs through the incorporation of different functional materials thereby; energy efficiency in buildings can be achieved.
... Current disposal methods incur significant costs to Australian abattoirs and are increasingly regarded as nonenvironmentally friendly options ( McCabe et al., 2016a). By contrast, land application of organic wastes is relatively less expensive compared with traditional disposal methods (e.g., landfill) and is regarded as the best practicable environmental option in most circumstances, as it supports the waste management hierarchy ( Six et al., 2016). Australian abattoirs currently undertake one of several options to manage paunch waste, including: (1) removal of paunch and other solids offsite, (2) composting of material on-site and use on-site, and (3) composting of material on-site and use off-site. ...
Conference Paper
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The Australian Red Meat Processing Industry produces significant amounts of different by-products and animal wastes. One of these by-products is paunch; the stomach contents of the animal after slaughter. Between 25 and 40 kg of paunch (fresh weight) are produced per head of cattle, or approximately 4 to 6 kg paunch (dry weight). A medium-sized abattoir site processes approximately 500 head of cattle per day and produces between 60 and 90 m3 of paunch per week. This makes paunch a significant contributor (≈¼ million Mg per year) to the waste stream of Australian abattoirs. Globally, about 15 million Mg of paunch are produced by the red meat processing industry each year. Current disposal methods incur significant costs to Australian abattoirs and are increasingly regarded as non-environmentally friendly options. Recycling to farmland is relatively less expensive compared with traditional disposal methods (e.g., landfill) and is also regarded as the best practicable environmental option. Paunch waste is managed in several ways; including: (1) removal of paunch and other solids off-site, (2) composting of material on-site and use on-site, and (3) composting of material on-site and use off-site. The work reported in this study was undertaken to quantitatively assess key soil quality indicators at sites, which have received paunch as a soil amendment for several years (5 to 20 years). These quality indicators included soil physical, mechanical, chemical and hydraulic properties. Results are presented and discussed to inform management practices for soil receiving paunch as an organic amendment. Research areas that require further work, and are likely to increase the efficiency of paunch recycled to land, soil quality and nutrient recovery in crop biomass are also highlighted.
... The scientific community as investigated thoughtfully the valorization of general organic waste ( Six et al., 2016;Jimenez et al., 2017;Du et al., 2018), but not so much regarding pruning waste. There area some studies about the utilization of pruning waste produced by plants of agronomic interest such as vineyards and olive groves ( Vecino et al., 2017;Jesus et al., 2017;Pérez et al., 2018) as insulating mate- rials, but there are not evaluations about the potentialities of the of urban pruning waste. ...
Article
The management and care of urban greenery is essential to ensure the effective delivery of the ecosystem services it is capable of supplying. A sufficient and adequate care for urban greenery and in particular for urban forestry is an on-going challenge due to economic hardship of public administrations, to a lack of qualified personnel, and to a lack of a culture of valorization of public goods. To identify an opportunity to reuse any by-products resulting from pruning operations could signify economic benefits that could be invested in a better maintenance of urban arboreal patrimony, following a circular economy approach. This paper is the first step of a wider research that has the goal to delineate a strategy for the utilization of the pruning waste of the urban trees as thermal insulation materials. Particularly, in this paper is studied one of the most common tree species in urban greening and forestry: Tilia sp. Three tiles with different densities obtained mixing wood wool and PVA glue are realized and tested. The resulting thermal conductivity and specific heat varying respectively from 8.30 ± 0.54 to 8.60 ± 1.40 10-2 W/m*K, and from 2.26 ± 0.51 to 2.80 ± 0.65105 J/m3*K. Using these values, the paper developed a thermal simulation model, regarding the insulation of the roof of a residential building. The model aimed at comparing the thermal performance of the studied tiles, with two commercial materials produced with wood residues from the timber industry, and with the fibers of two vegetable crops, widely used as insulating materials. The linden tiles entailed an energy saving of 55% respect to the model without insulation, the other materials between 51 to 62%. The results show as the Tilia sp.’s pruning waste could be a good source material to create panels for thermal insulation.
... Current disposal methods incur significant costs to abattoirs and are increasingly regarded as nonenvironmentally friendly options. By contrast, land application of paunch is relatively less expensive compared with traditional disposal methods, and similar to other organic materials, is considered to be the best practicable environmental option in most circumstances, as it supports the waste management hierarchy (Liu and Haynes, 2013;Ksheem et al., 2015;Six et al., 2016). ...
... Current disposal methods incur significant costs to Australian abattoirs and are increasingly regarded as non-environmentally friendly options (McCabe et al., 2016a). By contrast, land application of organic wastes is relatively less expensive compared with traditional disposal methods and is considered the best practicable environmental option in most circumstances, as it supports the waste management hierarchy (Ksheem et al., 2015;Six et al., 2016). Australian abattoirs currently undertake one of several options to manage paunch waste, including: (1) removal of paunch and other solids off-site, (2) composting of material on-site and use onsite, and (3) composting of material on-site and use off-site. ...
Article
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In Australia, recycling of paunch waste to farmland has been suggested as a cost-effective and practicable environmental option, but little is known about its agronomic value. Experimental work was undertaken to assess potential risks due to weed seed contamination, determine the agronomic response of ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) to soil in-corporation of paunch, and investigate short-term greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Five types of paunch with compost ages between 2 and 16 weeks were compared with urea (46% N) and applied at field equivalent rates of 0 (control), 150, and 300 kg/ha N. The risk of weed contamination from paunch applied to soil appeared to be negligible; however, techniques that enable seed viability to be determined may be required to fully discard such risk. Average dry matter yield with paunch was ~30% higher than untreated grass, but ~35% lower than with urea. Dry matter yield in paunch-treated grass was between 2500 and 3250 kg/ha over five cuts conducted at 25-day intervals. Paunch N responses were between 1.12 and 3.25 kg DM kg-1 N depending on compost age, but lower than with urea N (~6.5 kg DM kg-1 N). Nitrogen use efficiency of paunch ranged between 3% and 20%, compared to about 35% with urea. Nitrogen fertilizer replacement value (NFRV) of paunch was highest in the 6-week-old compost (~60%) and ranged between 20% and 55% across all other organic materials. Short-term N2O emissions were similar (p > 0.05) with both mineral and organic amendments; however, CH4 emissions were higher (p < 0.05) from paunch compared with urea-treated soil. Overall, there appears to be potential for paunch-derived products to be used as a source of C and nutrients in crop production. Industry quality specifications for compost are available, but they need to be expanded to incorporate guidelines relevant to paunch. There is a requirement for the value proposition to industry to be determined, including reduced cost of paunch disposal via gate fees.
... Current disposal methods incur significant costs to abattoirs and are increasingly regarded as non-environmentally friendly options. By contrast, land application of paunch is relatively less expensive compared with traditional disposal methods, and similar to other organic materials, is considered to be the best practicable environmental option in most circumstances, as it supports the waste management hierarchy (Liu and Haynes, 2013;Ksheem et al., 2015;Six et al., 2016). Abattoirs currently undertake one of several options to manage paunch waste, including: (a) removal of paunch and other solids off-site, (b) composting material on-site and use on-site, and (c) composting material on-site and use off-site. ...
Conference Paper
In Australia, the red meat processing industry actively seeks approaches to improve the management of solid waste from processing operations and enhance the environmental performance. Recycling of paunch waste to farmland could be a cost-effective and practicable environmental option. However, little is known about the agronomic value of fresh and composted paunch, and the associated requirements for land application. Therefore, a short-term experimental work was undertaken to assess potential risks due to weed seed contamination and determine the agronomic response of ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) to soil incorporation of paunch. The risk of weed contamination from soil application of paunch appeared to be low; however, methods that account for viability of seeds may be required to fully discard such a risk. Soil application of paunch at field equivalent rates of 150-300 kg ha-1 of N increased dry matter yield by ≈30% on average compared with untreated grass, but was approximately 35% lower than a mineral fertilizer treatment applied at the same rates. Dry matter yield of paunch-treated grass was between 2000 and 3000 kg per ha over four consecutive cuts at 25-day intervals. Nitrogen use-efficiency of paunch was approximately 10% (range: 3% to 20%, depending on paunch type), and total N in harvested plant material showed values, which were between 2% and 3%. Overall, there appears to be potential for paunch-derived products to be used as a source of carbon and nutrients in crop production. Areas that merit a research priority within this space are also outlined in this paper. Such work is required to inform soil-, climate-and crop-specific land application rates, optimize agronomic performance, and minimize environmental concerns. There is also a requirement for the value proposition to industry to be determined, including reduced cost of disposal of material via gate fees and fertilizer replacement value.
Chapter
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In practice, there are many unknown aspects to design a model for the use of organic solid waste in the city of Bogotá; Technical, financial, environmental and social aspects are necessary to obtain a sustainable use model that involves trade recyclers organizations picker organizations. For this research, a theoretical model was proposed using secondary information sources and international reference experiences. Also shown at level of Latin America, studies that have been conducted on composting and other applications that can be given to solid organic waste. Based on the model, a series of strategies were generated so that recyclers by trade could access and take advantage of organic waste produced in homes and other generators. One of the strategies consisted of generating a comprehensive management plan for organic solid waste that included: generation of organic waste, separation at the source, collection, transport and use with composting and vermiculture systems. With these tools was carried out a pilot test of the model in operation, in a vulnerable area adjacent to the city landfill. There, the model was applied with an organization of waste pickers and 200 houses in four neighborhoods. The waste separated at the source by the 200 houses were characterized, collected and transported by the recyclers' organization to a treatment plant where they were transformed through composting and vermiculture processes into organic compost and vermicompost fertilizers. In the follow-up process, the response of both the recyclers and the 200 families to the model in operation was evaluated.
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Behind the life cycle of a product, from the cradle to the grave, there is a story to tell. Not only about its potential impact on the environment, but as well in terms of social and socio-economic impacts - or potential impacts - of its production and consumption on the workers, the local communities, the consumers, the society and all value chain actors. Today’s value chains are often complex, global and because of it, faceless. Shedding light on the human relationships impacted by the life cycle of goods and services helps to re-establish the connection and identify ways in which social conditions can be improved. Therefore, there is a need for guidelines to complement Environmental Life Cycle Assessment (E-LCA) and Life Cycle Costing (LCC), and by doing so contributing to the full assessment of goods and services within the context of sustainable development. These Guidelines present the Social and socio-economic Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA), a powerful technique to assess and report about these impacts and benefits of product life cycle from the extraction of the natural resources to the final disposal. It provides an adequate technical framework from which a larger group of stakeholders can engage to move towards social responsibility when assessing the life cycle of goods and services.
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Sustainable development has become an overarching policy target for the global policy arena. However, the international policy-making process and that of the individual countries remains largely sectoral in nature: a wide spectrum of international policies pursue narrow sectoral concerns and do not contribute fully enough to the achievement of broader sustain-ability targets. New policy tools such as Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) have therefore been adopted by the European Union to ensure that sectoral policies can be evaluated in relation to their wider sustainability impacts. However, what is really needed is a cross-sectoral approach to assessing sustainable development at an even higher, much more strategic level: Integrated Sustainability Assessment (ISA). ISA involves a long-term, comprehensive assessment of international and national policy pro-grammes against sustainability targets and criteria. In order to perform ISA at the international level, new assessment tools and methods are needed which are rooted in a new paradigm. Sus-tainable development is a complex, multi-dimensional phenomenon, with a breadth and depth that cannot be fully covered by the current portfolio of ISA tools. We therefore need a new generation of ISA tools, in par-ticular modelling tools that can (semi-)quantitatively assess the multiple dimensions of sustainable development, in terms of multiple scales, mul-tiple domains and multiple generations. Although a new paradigm is on the horizon and its contours are gradually becoming clearer, it will take a while before it can be used to develop practical ISA tools. Within the context of the European MATISSE project we therefore propose a two-track strategy: find new ways to use the current portfolio of ISA tools as efficiently and effectively as possible, while at the same time developing building blocks to support the next generation of ISA tools.
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Background, aim, and scope Composting is a viable technology to treat the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) because it stabilizes biodegradable organic matter and contributes to reduce the quantity of municipal solid waste to be incinerated or land-filled. However, the composting process generates environmental impacts such as atmospheric emissions and resources consumption that should be studied. This work presents the inventory data and the study of the environmental impact of two real composting plants using different technologies, tunnels (CT) and confined windrows (CCW). Materials and methods Inventory data of the two composting facilities studied were obtained from field measurements and from plant managers. Next, life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology was used to calculate the environmental impacts. Composting facilities were located in Catalonia (Spain) and were evaluated during 2007. Both studied plants treat source separated organic fraction of municipal solid waste. In both installations the analysis includes environmental impact from fuel, water, and electricity consumption and the main gaseous emissions from the composting process itself (ammonia and volatile organic compounds). Results and discussion Inventory analysis permitted the calculation of different ratios corresponding to resources consumption or plant performance and process yield with respect to 1 t of OFMSW. Among them, it can be highlighted that in both studied plants total energy consumption necessary to treat the OFMSW and transform it into compost was between 130 and 160 kWh/t OFMSW. Environmental impact was evaluated in terms of global warming potential (around 60 kg CO2/t OFMSW for both plants), acidification potential (7.13 and 3.69 kg SO2 eq/t OFMSW for CT and CCW plant respectively), photochemical oxidation potential (0.1 and 3.11 kg C2H4 eq/t OFMSW for CT and CCW plant, respectively), eutrophication (1.51 and 0.77 kg $${\text{PO}}_4^{3-}$$/t OFMSW for CT and CCW plant, respectively), human toxicity (around 15 kg 1,4-DB eq/t OFMSW for both plants) and ozone layer depletion (1.66 × 10−5 and 2.77 × 10−5 kg CFC−11 eq/t OFMSW for CT and CCW plant, respectively). Conclusions This work reflects that the life cycle perspective is a useful tool to analyze a composting process since it permits the comparison among different technologies. According to our results total energy consumption required for composting OFMSW is dependent on the technology used (ranging from 130 to 160 kWh/t OFMSW) as water consumption is (from 0.02 to 0.33 m3 of water/t OFMSW). Gaseous emissions from the composting process represent the main contribution to eutrophication, acidification and photochemical oxidation potentials, while those contributions related to energy consumption are the principal responsible for global warming. Recommendations and perspectives This work provides the evaluation of environmental impacts of two composting technologies that can be useful for its application to composting plants with similar characteristics. In addition, this study can also be part of future works to compare composting with other OFMSW treatments from a LCA perspective. Likewise, the results can be used for the elaboration of a greenhouse gasses emissions inventory in Catalonia and Spain.
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Goal, Scope and BackgroundA number of impact assessment methodologies are available to the LCA practitioner. They differ, and often there is not one obvious choice among them. The question therefore naturally arises: ‘Does it make any difference to my conclusions which method I choose?’ To investigate this issue, a comparison is performed of three frequently applied life cycle impact assessment methods. MethodsThe three life cycle impact assessment methods EDIP97 [1], CML2001 [2] and Eco-indicator 99 [3] are compared on their performance through application to the same life cycle inventory from a study of a water-based UV-lacquer. EDIP97 and CML2001 are both midpoint approaches and hence quite similar in their scope and structure, and this allows a comparison during both characterisation and normalisation. The third impact assessment method Eco-indicator 99 is an endpoint method and different in scope and structure from the other two. A detailed comparison can not be done but a comparative analysis of the main contributors to the Eco-indicator 99 results and the weighted and aggregated EDIP97 results is performed. Results and DiscussionFollowing a translation into common units of the EDIP97 and CML2001 output, differences up to two orders of magnitude are found for some of the indicator results for the impact categories describing toxicity to humans and ecosystems, and there is little similarity in the patterns of major contributors among the two methods. For human toxicity the CML2001 score is dominated by contribution from metals while the EDIP97 score is caused by a solvent and nitrogen oxides. For aquatic ecotoxicity, metals are the main contributors for both methods but while it is vanadium for CML2001, it is strontium for EDIP97. After normalisation, the differences are reduced but still considerable. For the other impact categories, the two methods show only minor differences. The comparison of the main contributors to the Eco-indicator 99 results and the weighted and aggregated EDIP97 results identifies nitrogen oxides as the main contributor for both methods. It is, however, much more dominant for Eco-indicator 99 while the EDIP97 score represents important contributions from a number of different substances, and furthermore, the analysis reveals that the aggregated scores for the two methods come from different impacts. It is thus difficult to extend the findings for these two methods to other inventories. ConclusionFor EDIP97 and CML2001, it mainly matters which method is used if the chemical impacts on human health and ecosystem health are important for the study. For the other impact categories, the differences are minor for these two methodologies. For EDIP97 and Eco-indicator 99, the patterns of most important contributors to the weighted and aggregated impact scores are rather different, and considering the known differences in the underlying framework and models, the results of the two methods may well go in opposite directions for some inventories even if the conclusion is the same for the inventory studied in this paper. Recommendations and OudookParticularly for the impact categories representing toxic impacts from chemicals, the study demonstrates the need for more a detailed analysis of the causes underlying the big differences revealed between the methods.
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This paper presents life-cycle-analysis (LCA) energy consumption (EC) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of China's current six biofuel pathways, which are: corn-derived ethanol (CE); cassava-derived ethanol (KE); sweet sorghum-derived ethanol (SE); soybean-derived bio-diesel (SB); jatropha fruit-derived bio-diesel (JB); and used cooking oil (UCO)-derived bio-diesel (UB). The tool utilized here is the WTW (Well-to-Wheels) module of Tsinghua-CA3EM model covering the entire lifecycle including: raw materials cultivation (or feedstock collection); fuel production; transportation and distribution; and application in automobile engines, compared with Conventional Petroleum-based gasoline and diesel Pathways (CPP). The results indicate: (1) the fossil energy inputs are about 1.0-1.5 times the energy contained in the fuel for the CE, SE and SB pathways, but 0.5-0.9 times for the KE, UB and JB pathways; (2) compared with CPP, the JB, KE and UB pathways can reduce both fossil fuel consumption and GHG emissions; the CE and SB pathways can only reduce fossil fuel consumption, but increase GHG emission; the SE pathway increases not only fossil fuel consumption but also GHG emission; and (3) the main factors inducing high EC and GHG emission levels include: high EC levels during the fuel production stage and high fertilizer application rates during the planting of raw feedstocks. Conclusions are that of the aforementioned biofuel pathways in (the) People's Republic of China: (1) only the JB, KE and UB pathways have energy-saving merits as indicated by the LCA energy inputs and outputs; (2) compared with CPP, all but the SE pathway reduces fossil fuel consumption. However, the SB and CE pathway increase GHG emission; (3) all six displace petroleum by utilizing more coal; and (4) feedstock productivity levels must be increased, and there must be a reduction in fertilizer utilization and EC consumption during the cultivation and transportation stages in order to achieve the goals of energy balance and GHG emission reduction.
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Goal, Scope and Background In recent years several different approaches towards Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA) have been developed. The purpose of this review is to compare these approaches in order to highlight methodological differences and general shortcomings. SLCA has several similarities with other social assessment tools, although, in order to limit the expanse of the review, only claims to address social impacts from an LCA-like framework are considered. Main FeaturesThe review is to a large extent based on conference proceedings and reports, which are not all easily accessible, since very little has been published on SLCA in the open literature. The review follows the methodological steps of the environmental LCA (ELCA) known from the ISO 14044 standard. ResultsThe review reveals a broad variety in how the approaches address the steps of the ELCA methodology, particularly in the choice and formulation of indicators. The indicators address a wide variety of issues; some approaches focus on impacts created in the very close proximity of the processes included in the product system, whereas others focus on the more remote societal consequences. Only very little focus has been given to the use stage in the product life cycle.Another very important difference among the proposals is their position towards the use of generic data. Several of the proposals argue that social impacts are connected to the conduct of the company leading to the conclusion that each individual company in the product chain has to be assessed, whereas others claim that generic data can give a sufficiently accurate picture of the associated social impacts. DiscussionThe SLCA approaches show that the perception of social impacts is very variable. An assessment focusing on social impacts created in the close proximity of the processes included in the product system will not necessarily point in the same direction as an assessment that focuses on the more societal consequences. This points toward the need to agree on the most relevant impacts to include in the SLCA in order to include the bulk of the situation.Regarding the use of generic data as a basis for the assessment, this obviously has an advantage over using site specific data in relation to practicality, although many authors behind the SLCA approaches claim that reasonable accuracy can only be gained through the use of site specific data. However, in this context, it is important to remember that the quality of site specific data is very dependent on the auditing approach and, therefore, not necessarily of high accuracy, and that generic data might be designed to take into account the location, sector, size and maybe ownership of a company and thereby in some cases give a reasonable impression of the social impacts that can be expected from the company performing the assessed process. Conclusions This review gives an overview of the present development of SLCA by presenting the existing approaches to SLCA and discussing how they address the methodological aspects in the ISO standardised ELCA framework. The authors found a multitude of different approaches with regard to nearly all steps in the SLCA methodology, thus reflecting that this is a very new and immature field of LCA. Recommendations and PerspectivesSLCA is in an early stage of development where consensus building still has a long way. Nevertheless, some agreement regarding which impacts are most relevant to include in the SLCA in order to cover the field sufficiently seems paramount if the SLCA is to gain any weight as a decision support tool. Furthermore, some assessment of the difference between site specific and generic data could give valuable perspectives on whether a reasonable accuracy can be gained from using generic data or whether the use of site specific data is mandatory and, if so, where it is most important.
Article
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Facing the increase of environmental concern in the water treatment field, stakeholders need reliable decision support tools to assess environmental performances of urban and industrial wastewater systems. To discuss how life cycle assessment (LCA) can be applied to wastewater treatment projects, such an assessment has been performed through a case study on a full-scale plant. Methodological issues that had to be dealt with are briefly exposed. Five life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) methods have been used: CML 2000, Eco Indicator 99, EDIP 96, EPS and Ecopoints 97. Consistent assessment between these methods has been obtained for greenhouse effect, resources depletion and acidification. Eutrophication is correctly estimated if one looks at the potential impact of a treatment scenario but not at the characterization of the eutrophication state of a specific receiving stream. Work is needed concerning human toxicity as large discrepancies are noticed between the impact assessment methods.
Article
As circumstances of operating and maintenance activities for landfilling and composting in Tehran metropolis differ from those of cities in developed countries, it was concluded to have an environmental impact comparison between the current solid waste management (MSW) strategies: (1) landfill, and (2) composting plus landfill. Life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to compare these scenarios for MSW in Tehran, Iran. The Eco-Indicator 99 is applied as an impact assessment method considering surplus energy, climate change, acidification, respiratory effect, carcinogenesis, ecotoxicity and ozone layer depletion points of aspects. One ton of municipal solid waste of Tehran was selected as the functional unit. According to the comparisons, the composting plus landfill scenario causes less damage to human health in comparison to landfill scenario. However, its damages to both mineral and fossil resources as well as ecosystem quality are higher than the landfill scenario. Thus, the composting plus landfill scenario had a higher environmental impact than landfill scenario. However, an integrated waste management will ultimately be the most efficient approach in terms of both environmental and economic benefits. In this paper, a cost evaluation shows that the unit cost per ton of waste for the scenarios is 15.28 and 26.40 US\$, respectively. Results show landfill scenario as the preferable option both in environmental and economic aspects for Tehran in the current situation.
Article
Proper management and recycling of huge volumes of food waste is one of the challenges faced by Singapore. Semakau island - the only offshore landfill of the nation - only accepts inert, inorganic solid waste and therefore a large bulk of food waste is directed to incinerators. A remaining small percent is sent for recycling via anaerobic digestion (AD), followed by composting of the digestate material. This article investigates the environmental performance of four food waste conversion scenarios - based on a life cycle assessment perspective - taking into account air emissions, useful energy from the incinerators and AD process, as well as carbon dioxide mitigation from the compost products derived from the digestate material and a proposed aerobic composting system. The life cycle impact results were generated for global warming, acidification, eutrophication, photochemical oxidation and energy use. The total normalized results showed that a small-scale proposed aerobic composting system is more environmentally favorable than incinerators, but less ideal compared to the AD process. By making full use of the AD's Recycling Phase II process alone, the Singapore Green Plan's 2012 aim to increase the recycling of food waste to 30% can easily be achieved, along with reduced global warming impacts.
Article
This paper traces the development of the life cycle costing (LCC) technique in the United States and classifies documented LCC literature by both model type and application. LCC was originally developed as a formal analysis tool by the US Department of Defense. It has now been successfully applied in the industrial and consumer segments. The scope and practice of LCC has been changing over the past few years. Literature in the field supports the idea that the LCC concept has evolved over the years to include facets of system effectiveness in addition to costs. It is also evident that LCC has developed more as a result of specific applications rather than hypothetical models. General system characteristics which contribute to the success of the LCC technique are also identified.
Article
Organic wastes are utilized in agriculture mainly for improving the soil physical and chemical properties and for nutrient sources for growing crops. The major source of organic waste used in agriculture is animal manure, but small amounts of food processing and other industrial wastes (along with municipal wastes) are also applied to land. In the last 35 years, and especially in the last 10 years, there have been increasing environmental regulations affecting farms that have resulted in more animal manure treatment options, and thus affecting characteristics of residues that are subsequently applied to land. Farms are being assessed for nutrient balances, with the entire nutrient and manure management system evaluated for best management alternatives. Because of inadequate available land on the animal farm in some cases, organic wastes must be treated and/or transported to other farms, or utilized for horticultural or other uses. This paper discusses the various factors and challenges for utilizing organic wastes in agriculture.
Article
The waste hierarchy is being widely discussed these days, not only by cost-benefit analysts, but a growing number of life cycle assessments (LCA) have also begun to question it. In this article, we investigate the handling of waste paper in Denmark and compare the present situation with scenarios of more waste being recycled, incinerated or consigned to landfill. The investigations are made in accordance with ISO 14040-43 and based on the newly launched methodology of consequential LCA and following the recent guidelines of the European Centre on Waste and Material Flows. The LCA concerns the Danish consumption of paper in 1999, totalling 1.2 million tons. The results of the investigation indicate that the waste hierarchy is reliable; from an environmental point of view recycling of paper is better than incineration and landfilling. For incineration, the reason for the advantage of landfilling mainly comes from the substitution of fossil fuels, when incinerators provide heat and electricity. For recycling, the advantage is related to the saved wood resources, which can be used for generating energy from wood, i.e., from renewable fuel which does not contribute to global warming.
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