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Life Cycle Impact Assessment of Bioplastic Containers and Petroleum based Containers

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Melissa Montalbo-Lomboy

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Life Cycle Impact Assessment of Bioplastic Containers and Petroleum based Containers

  1. 1. National Science Foundation Industry & University Cooperative Research Center Life Cycle Impact Assessment of Bioplastic Containers and Petroleum based Containers Melissa Montalbo-Lomboy 3rd Annual Bioplastics Container Cropping Systems Conference
  2. 2. CB2 OUTLINE:  Introduction to LCA  Part 1: Cradle-to-gate models  Goal, Scope of study, system boundaries, assumptions  Life cycle inventory  Impact Assessment Results  Part 2: Cradle-to-grave models (partial results)  Goal, Scope of study, system boundaries, assumptions  Life cycle inventory  Impact Assessment Results  Summary 2
  3. 3. CB2 INTRODUCTION: LCA 3  Life Cycle Assessment – tool used to determine the environmental impact of a product, process or service.  ISO 14040:2006 – standard for LCA  LCA compares environmental performance of products in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, pollution generation, waste generation, energy consumption, water consumption and other resource consumption. www.scienceinthebox.com
  4. 4. CB2 INTRODUCTION: Parts of an LCA STEP 1:  Define goals and scope of study  Define assumptions  Define system boundaries STEP 2:  Life Cycle Inventory (LCI)  Catalogs all the various material, energy and water inputs needed to produce the system  Inventories the emissions and waste generated in the process 4 http://www.greenspec.co.uk/life-cycle-assessment-lca/
  5. 5. CB2 INTRODUCTION: Parts of an LCA 5 Step 3: Impact Assessment  Assess the environmental impacts from the life cycle inventory (LCI).  Impact assessment method - TRACI (Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and other environmental Impacts) by the EPA - CML-IA and Eco-indicator 99(developed by Leiden University, Netherlands) - ILCD (International reference Life Cyle Data system) developed by European Commission Joint Research Center  Impact categories - global warming potential, eutrophication potential, acidification potential, human health particulates air, non-renewable energy usage Step 4: Interpretation of Results  Evaluates the reliability of the LCA results  Sensitivity Analysis  Scenario Analysis
  6. 6. CB2 OVERALL OBJECTIVES: To develop a cradle-to-gate life cycle impact assessment of various bioplastic containers and compare it to commonly used petroleum based containers. To study the various end-of-life scenarios of a cradle-to-grave life cycle impact assessment of petroleum based and bioplastic plant containers. 6
  7. 7. CB2 PART 1: CRADLE-TO-GATE MODELS 7
  8. 8. CB2 GOAL OF THE LCA STUDY 8 To determine the environmental impact of various bioplastic container used in horticulture applications. The environmental performance is compared to that of a commercially used polypropylene container.
  9. 9. CB2 SCOPE OF THE STUDY 9  Cradle-to-gate study:  PP containers: extraction of petroleum  injection molding of plant containers  Bioplastic containers: planting and harvesting  injection molding of plant containers  Functional unit:  100 plant containers Different weight based on the actual prototype Same weight based on the average weight of all the containers tested  Impact Categories:  TRACI 2.1 impact characterization method  Global warming potential, Eutrophication potential, Acidification potential, Fossil Fuel Resources, Human Health Particulates Air
  10. 10. CB2 SCOPE OF THE STUDY 10 Gabi LCA Software: • Commercial LCA software developed by ThinkStep in Germany Databases: • Gabi database • NREL (National Renewable Energy Lab) LCI database • Published Literatures • Communications with the Industry
  11. 11. CB2 LCA Model Assumptions 11 Formulations (per plant container) Weight (g) (Different weight) Weight (g) (Same weight) 1. Polypropylene (PP) 26.9 38 2. Polylactic Acid (PLA 100) 39 38 3. PLA-Soy Protein Adipic (PLA-SPA (60-40)) 41.2 38 4. PLA-Neroplast (PLA-Lignin (90-10)) 39.4 38 5. PLA-BioRes DDGS (PLA-BioRes (80-20)) 40.7 38 6. PLA-lignin-Polyamide (PLA-Lignin-PAM(85-10-5)) 39.4 38 7. PLA-SPA-BioRes (50-30-20) 41.9 38 8. Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA 100) 39.3 38 9. PHA-Distillers Dried Grains (PHA-DDGS (80-20)) 39.3 38 10. Paper Fiber 30.1 38 11. Paper Fiber coated with Polyurethane 32.8 38
  12. 12. CB2 SYSTEM BOUNDARIES – PP plant containers 12 Manufacture of Polypropylene Granulate Transportation Injection Molding Process and Cooling water Electricity Energy Materials and Other Chemicals Emissions Energy Usage
  13. 13. CB2 SYSTEM BOUNDARIES – Bioplastic plant containers 13 Manufacture of Material 1 Transpor- tation Injection Molding Process and Cooling water Electricity Energy Materials and Other Chemicals Emissions Energy Usage Manufacture of Material 2 Transpor- tation Extrusion/ Compoun- ding
  14. 14. CB2 ASSUMPTIONS 14 • All raw materials are assumed to be transported using a diesel driven truck with a 3.3 tons payload capacity and travelled a distance of 300 miles. Transportation: • It is assumed that they were obtained from groundwater and treated using ion exchange process. • Extrusion – 40 kg per 1 kg compounded pellets; Injection molding – 1 kg per container Process and cooling water: • It represents the average U.S. electricity supplied to final consumers. It includes electricity produced in energy carrier specific power plants or combined heat and power plants. • Extrusion – 2.33 MJ/kg compounded pellets; Injection molding – 4.89 MJ/kg pellets Electricity – extrusion and injection molding:
  15. 15. CB2 SOURCES OF LCI 15 References: 1. Electricity Gabi database 2. Water and cooling water Gabi database 3. Diesel for transportation Gabi database 4. PLA – Ingeo Gabi database – Nature Works dataset 5. PHA – Metabolix Kim and Dale (2005) 6. Soy Meal Dalgaard, et al. (2008) 7. Soy Protein Isolate Dupont – LCA 8. Lignin – Neroplast Communication with New Polymer Systems Inc. 9. Paper Fiber Gabi database 10. Polyurethane coating Gabi database 11. BioRes and DDGS NREL database 12. Polyamide Gabi database
  16. 16. CB2 RESULTS: 16 100 plant containers Global Warming Potential (kg CO2 equiv.) Fossil Fuels Resources (MJ) Different Wt Same Wt Different Wt Same Wt 1. Polypropylene 9.173 12.749 31.617 44.317 2. PLA 100 10.053 9.804 20.312 19.802 3. PLA-SPA (60-40) 12.454 11.529 20.539 18.987 4. PLA-Lignin (90-10) 11.319 10.929 22.024 21.256 5. PLA-BioRes (80-20) 12.140 11.366 20.908 19.553 6. PLA-Lignin-PAM(85-10-5) 12.761 12.319 24.698 23.834 7. PLA-SPA-BioRes (50-30-20) 10.369 9.443 17.994 16.362 8. PHA 100 11.647 11.281 262.872 254.196 9. PHA-DDGS (80-20) 12.723 12.322 213.683 206.634 10. Paper Fiber 2.819 3.559 5.491 6.932 11. Paper Fiber coated with Polyurethane 3.667 4.248 7.972 9.236 lowest highest
  17. 17. CB2 RESULTS: 17 100 plant containers Acidification Potential (kg SO2 equiv.) Eutrophication Potential (kg N-equiv.) Human Health Particulate (kg PM2.5-equiv.) Different Wt Same Wt Different Wt Same Wt Different Wt Same Wt 1. Polypropylene 0.0226 0.0314 0.0013 0.0017 0.0016 0.0022 2. PLA 100 0.0556 0.0542 0.0057 0.0056 0.0039 0.0038 3. PLA-SPA (60-40) 0.0819 0.0757 0.0045 0.0041 0.0035 0.0033 4. PLA-Lignin (90-10) 0.0633 0.0611 0.0060 0.0058 0.0045 0.0043 5. PLA-BioRes (80-20) 0.0679 0.0635 0.0069 0.0065 0.0048 0.0045 6. PLA-Lignin-PAM(85-10-5) 0.0733 0.0708 0.0093 0.0089 0.0053 0.0051 7. PLA-SPA-BioRes (50-30-20) 0.0766 0.0696 0.0052 0.0047 0.0036 0.0033 8. PHA 100 0.2206 0.2133 0.0070 0.0067 NA NA 9. PHA-DDGS (80-20) 0.1953 0.1889 0.0075 0.0073 NA NA 10. Paper Fiber 0.0055 0.0069 0.0021 0.0026 0.0002 0.0002 11. Paper Fiber coated with Polyurethane 0.0150 0.0174 0.0025 0.0029 0.0008 0.0010 lowest highest No data for PHA prod’n
  18. 18. CB2 IMPACT CONTRIBUTIONS: GWP 18 100.0% 3.2% 1.9% 0.3% 25.9% 68.7% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 120% ImpactContributions(%) PP - GWP 100.0% 8.3% 0.4% -4.1% 47.4% 0.1% 47.9% 0.05% -20% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 120% ImpactContributions(%) PHA-DDGS (80-20) - GWP 100.0% 13.6%8.3% 0.3% 42.1% -12.3% 0.05% 47.9% -20% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 120% ImpactContributions(%) PLA-Lignin-PAM(85-10-5) - GWP PHA  Wet milling (1 kg CO2 / kg PHA)  Fermentation (3.2 kg CO2 / kg PHA) PLA  Lactic acid prod’n (1.6 kg CO2 / kg PLA)  Lactide prod’n (0.54 kg CO2 / kg PLA)
  19. 19. CB2 IMPACT CONTRIBUTION: Fossil Fuel Resources 19 PHA  Fermentation – over 60% contribution  High electricity consumption PLA  Lactic acid prod’n (19.4 MJ / kg PLA)  Lactide prod’n (9.5 MJ / kg PLA)
  20. 20. CB2 RANKING: Same Weight Containers 20 Global Warming Potential • 1. PLA-SPA- BioRes (50-30-20) • 2. PLA 100 • 3. PLA-Lignin (90- 10) Fossil Fuel Resources • 1. PLA-SPA- BioRes (50-30-20) • 2. PLA-SPA (60- 40) • 3. PLA-BioRes (80-20) Acidification Potential • 1. PLA 100 • 2. PLA-Lignin (90- 10) • 3. PLA-BioRes (80-20) Eutrophication Potential • 1. PLA-SPA (60- 40) • 2. PLA-SPA- BioRes (50-30-20) • 3. PLA 100 Human Health Particulate • 1. PLA-SPA- BioRes (50-30-20) • 2. PLA-SPA (60- 40) • 3. PLA 100
  21. 21. CB2 SUMMARY: Cradle-to-gate (Part 1) The difference in weight of containers provided an advantage to PP in all category except for fossil fuel resources. PP had lower impact compared to bioplastic formulation in Acidification Potential, Eutrophication Potential and Human Health Particulates. Best bioplastic formulations – PLA-SPA-BioRes (50-30-20) 21
  22. 22. CB2 PART 2: CRADLE-TO-GRAVE MODELS (Partial Results) 22
  23. 23. CB2 GOAL OF THE LCA STUDY 23 To determine the environmental impact of various end of life scenarios on bioplastic plant containers. The environmental performance is compared to that of a commercially used polypropylene container.
  24. 24. CB2 SCOPE OF THE STUDY 24  Cradle-to-grave study:  PP containers: extraction of petroleum  end-of-life of plant containers  Bioplastic containers: planting and harvesting  end-of-life of plant containers  Functional unit:  100 plant containers Same weight based on the average weight of all the containers tested  Impact Categories:  TRACI 2.1 impact characterization method  Global warming potential, Eutrophication potential, Acidification potential, Fossil Fuel Resources, Human Health Particulates Air
  25. 25. CB2 SCOPE OF THE STUDY 25 Gabi LCA Software: • Commercial LCA software developed by ThinkStep in Germany Databases: • Gabi database • NREL (National Renewable Energy Lab) LCI database • Published Literatures • Communications with the Industry
  26. 26. CB2 ASSUMPTIONS 26 • All raw materials are assumed to be transported using a diesel driven truck with a 3.3 tons payload capacity and travelled a distance of 300 miles. Transportation: • It is assumed that they were obtained from groundwater and treated using ion exchange process. • Extrusion – 40 kg per 1 kg compounded pellets; Injection molding – 1 kg per container Process and cooling water: • It represents the average U.S. electricity supplied to final consumers. It includes electricity produced in energy carrier specific power plants or combined heat and power plants. • Extrusion – 2.33 MJ/kg compounded pellets; Injection molding – 4.89 MJ/kg pellets Electricity – extrusion and injection molding:
  27. 27. CB2 LCA Model Assumptions 27 Formulations (per plant container) Weight (g) (Same weight) 1. Polypropylene 38 2. PLA 100 38 3. PLA-SPA (50-50) 38 4. PHA-DDGS (80-20) 38 5. PLA-lignin(80-20) 38 6. PLA-DDGS (80-20) 38 7. PHA-lignin (80-20) 38 8. Paper Fiber Uncoated 38 9. Recycled PLA 38
  28. 28. CB2 END-OF-LIFE OPTIONS 28 Hsein and Tan (2010) Environmental impacts of conventional plastic and biobased carrier bags Int. J. Life Cycle Assess 15:338-345. Kratsch, et al. (2015) Performance and biodegradation in soil of novel horticulture containers made from bioplastics and biocomposites HortTechnology 25(1): 119-131. Landfill: • Represents U.S. specific landfilling of plastic waste Incineration: • Represents U.S. industry average technology for incineration of municipal solid waste • Generates electricity and steam from the thermal energy in the combustion of the waste • Use the electricity in injection molding Composting: • Composting degradation data from Dr. Schrader’s experiment • Emissions data from Hsein and Tan (2010) Remain in Soil: • Soil degradation data from Kratsch, et al. (2015) • The rest of the undegraded plastic will remain in soil
  29. 29. CB2 SOURCES OF LCI 29 References: 1. Electricity Gabi database 2. Water and cooling water Gabi database 3. Diesel for transportation Gabi database 4. PLA – Ingeo Gabi database – Nature Works dataset 5. PHA – Metabolix Kim and Dale (2005) 6. Soy Meal Dalgaard, et al. (2008) 7. Soy Protein Isolate Dupont – LCA 8. DDGS NREL database 9. Landfilling Gabi database 10. Incineration Gabi database 11. Composting Schrader, et al.; Hsein and Tan 12. Soil Degradation Kratsch, et al.
  30. 30. CB2 SYSTEM BOUNDARIES – PP plant containers 30 Manufacture of Polypropylene Granulate Transpor -tation Injection Molding Process and Cooling water Electricity Energy Materials and Other Chemicals Emis- sions Energy Usage Use of Plant Container Water and Fertilizer Soil Degra- dation Remain in Soil Landfill Incinera- tion Compos- ting
  31. 31. CB2 SYSTEM BOUNDARIES – Bioplastic plant containers 31 Manufacture of Material 1 Injection Molding Process and Cooling water Electricity Energy Materials and Other Chemicals Emissions Energy Usage Manufacture of Material 2 Extru -sion/ Com- poun -ding Use of Plant Container Water and Fertilizer Soil Degra- dation Remain in Soil Landfill Incinera- tion Compos- ting
  32. 32. CB2 RESULTS: Global Warming Potential 32 100 plant containers Global Warming Potential (kg CO2 equiv.) Landfill Incineration Composting Remain in Soil 1. Polypropylene 13.1198 15.7507 12.9505 12.9505 2. PLA 100 10.1742 12.8050 10.3725 10.0049 3. PLA-SPA (50-50) 12.9812 14.4226 13.6752 12.8884 4. PHA-DDGS (80-20) 13.5779 14.9985 14.2618 13.4864 Best end-of-life • Remain in soil • Carbon remains in soil and does not contribute to greenhouse gas End-of-life options • Close difference between each other - 0.72%-21.6% Plant Containers • PLA 100 has the least GWP impact
  33. 33. CB2 RESULTS: Fossil Fuel Resources 33 100 plant containers Fossil Fuel Resources (MJ) Landfill Incineration Composting Remain in Soil 1. Polypropylene 44.9251 43.9046 44.5856 44.5856 2. PLA 100 20.4098 19.3893 20.0703 20.0703 3. PLA-SPA (50-50) 19.0912 18.5320 18.9052 18.9052 4. PHA-DDGS (80-20) 207.0860 206.5349 206.9027 206.9027 Best end-of-life • Incineration • Electricity recovery that was supplied to injection molding End-of-life options • Close difference between each other - 0.1%-3% Plant Containers • PLA-SPA (50-50) has the lowest FFR impact
  34. 34. CB2 IMPACT CONTRIBUTIONS: Global Warming Potential 34 Process water 2.58% Tap water 0.84% Truck 1.56% Diesel 0.26% Electricity 12.68% Incineration 26.03% Nitrogen 0.37% Phosphorus 0.00% PP 55.64% Potassium 0.03% PP-INCINERATION Process water 3.14% Tap water 1.03% Truck 1.89% Diesel 0.32% Electricity 25.46% Nitrogen 0.45% Phosphorus 0.01% PP 67.67% Potassium 0.04% PP - COMPOSTING Process water 3.14% Tap water 1.03% Truck 1.89% Diesel 0.32% Electricity 25.46% Nitrogen 0.45% Phosphorus 0.01% PP 67.67% Potassium 0.04% PP - SOIL Process water 3.10% Tap water 1.01% Truck 1.87% Diesel 0.31% Electricity 25.13% Landfill 1.29% Nitrogen 0.45% Phosphorus 0.01% PP 66.80% Potassium 0.04% PP-LANDFILL
  35. 35. CB2 IMPACT CONTRIBUTIONS: Global Warming Potential 35 Process water 3.99% Tap water 1.31% Truck 0.04% PLA 59.96% Diesel 0.01% Electricity 32.40% Landfill 1.66% Nitrogen 0.58% Phosphorus 0.01% Potassium 0.05% PLA - LANDFILL Process water 3.17% Tap water 1.04% Truck 0.03% PLA 47.64% Diesel 0.005% Electricity 15.60% Incineration 32.01% Nitrogen 0.46% Phosphorus 0.01% Potassium 0.04% PLA-INCINERATION Composting 3.54% Process water 3.92% Tap water 1.28% Truck 0.03% PLA 58.81% Diesel 0.01% Electricity 31.78% Nitrogen 0.57% Phosphorus 0.01% Potassium 0.05% PLA-COMPOSTING Process water 4.06% Tap water 1.33%Truck 0.04% PLA 60.97% Diesel 0.01% Electricity 32.95% Nitrogen 0.59% Phosphorus 0.01% Potassium 0.05% PLA-SOIL
  36. 36. CB2 SUMMARY: Cradle-to-grave (Part 2) Based on the current models, the best end-of-life options are  Remain in Soil – no GWP emissions for undegraded plastic  Incineration – with electricity and steam generation Based on the current models, the best end-of-life options are  PLA 100 and PLA-SPA (50-50) – has the least impact for GWP and FFR, respectively 36
  37. 37. National Science Foundation Industry & University Cooperative Research Center Thank you. QUESTIONS?
  38. 38. CB2 IMPACT CATEGORIES 38 Acidification Potential • increasing concentration of hydrogen ion within a local environment. They can cause damage to building materials, paints, lakes and rivers. Eutrophication Potential • enrichment of an aquatic ecosystem with nutrients that accelerate biological productivity. It has negative impact to freshwater lakes and streams. Global Warming Potential • calculation of the potency of greenhouse gases relative to CO2, which an contribute to global warming. Human Health Particulate • small particulate matter in ambient air which have the ability to cause negative human health including respiratory illness and death. Fossil Fuel Resources • quantifies the depletion of fossil fuel resources.
  39. 39. CB2 RESULTS: Acidification and Eutrophication Potential 39 100 plant containers Acidification Potential (kg SO2- equiv.) Landfill Incineration Composting Remain in Soil 1. Polypropylene 0.0349 0.0304 0.0322 0.0322 2. PLA 100 0.0578 0.0533 0.0551 0.0551 3. PLA-SPA (50-50) 0.0828 0.0803 0.0814 0.0813 4. PHA-DDGS (80-20) 0.1912 0.1888 0.1899 0.1898 100 plant containers Eutrophication Potential (kg N- equiv.) Landfill Incineration Composting Remain in Soil 1. Polypropylene 0.0032 0.0022 0.0022 0.0022 2. PLA 100 0.0070 0.0060 0.0060 0.0060 3. PLA-SPA (50-50) 0.0045 0.0039 0.0040 0.0040 4. PHA-DDGS (80-20) 0.0083 0.0077 0.0077 0.0077
  40. 40. CB2 RESULTS: Human Health Particulates 40 100 plant containers Human Health Particulate (kg PM-2.5 – equiv.) Landfill Incineration Composting Remain in Soil 1. Polypropylene 0.0034 0.0027 0.0028 0.0028 2. PLA 100 0.0049 0.0042 0.0044 0.0044 3. PLA-SPA (50-50) 0.0040 0.0036 0.0037 0.0037 4. PHA-DDGS (80-20) 0.0031 0.0027 0.0028 0.0028

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