Life Cycle Assessment of an automated paper testing system A key product in the paper industry’s future

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Examensarbete för masterexamen
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2021
Författare
Lidfeldt, Matilda
Mårtensson, Sara
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Sammanfattning
Climate change has led to an increased usage of renewable paper products, resulting in a greater demand for high-quality products. Therefore, the need for paper testing machines will increase as well. In this master thesis, a life cycle assessment was conducted on ABB Process Industries’ product L&W Autoline in size small with the three most commonly used modules. L&W Autoline is used in pulp and paper mills to measure the quality of the paper produced. The LCA was an attributional one, from cradle to grave. It measured the impact categories; climate change, depletion of abiotic resources, eutrophication, acidification, terrestrial ecotoxicity, fossil and nuclear (non-renewable energy resources) and water (renewable energy resources). The results from this study can be used internally to improve the product and gain knowledge in the supply chain. The report also fills a knowledge gap regarding capital goods. The results showed that the environmental impacts of the production phase are dominant when L&W Autoline is used in Sweden. The main contributors in the production phase are aluminium and the circuit boards, despite the circuit boards’ small weight relative to the total weight of L&W Autoline. The report contains two sensitivity analyses; one that compared the use phase between China and Sweden and another that compared the gold coating on the circuit boards. The results from the two countries showed that the use phase was dominant when used in China. The sensitivity analysis showed that it depends on the electricity mix in the different countries where China’s consists of more hard coal than Sweden’s, which mainly consists of nuclear and hydroelectricity. Therefore, it is crucial to make the L&W Autoline energy efficient, primarily when used in countries with a fossil-based electricity mix. The results from the sensitivity analysis regarding the gold coating in the circuit boards showed a significant decrease in environmental impact for both impact categories investigated. Therefore, the final recommendations are that ABB further investigates the origin, acquisition and production of the materials, especially for gold in the circuit boards and aluminium.
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Life cycle assessment, ABB, Pulp and paper industry, Machinery, OpenLCA, Capital equipment
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