Environmental Evaluation of Bio-Composites Using LCA

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Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
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2013
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Hermansson, Frida
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A bio--‐composite is a material based on a bio‐fibre and a polymer; either being bio-based or fossil based, and has been developed in order to e.g. decrease the use of limited substances, such as crude oil (used for plastic manufacturing). In order to investigate the environmental advantages and drawbacks of the bio--‐composites this environmental evaluation has been conducted using the life cycle assessment methodology. The goals of this study were to evaluate the main environmental impacts arising from the different phases of the bio--‐composites lifespan, to compare impacts deriving from the choice of polymer and to suggest methodological choices for the comparison of a short lifespan product to a long lifespan product. The results show that bio--‐composites with a lower input of polymer have a smaller environmental impact than bio--‐composites with a higher share and that a short lifespan application offsets the most impacts. Findings also show the importance of choosing a proper dimension for the reference flow when dealing with materials and use phases that depends on weight to fulfil a just evaluation of the materials.
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Hållbar utveckling, Annan miljöbioteknik, Sustainable Development, Other Environmental Biotechnology
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