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Goronovski, A., Joyce, P. J., Björklund, A., Finnveden, G. & Tkaczyk, A. H. (2018). Impact assessment of enhanced exposure from Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) within LCA. Journal of Cleaner Production, 172, 2824-2839
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Impact assessment of enhanced exposure from Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) within LCA
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2018 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 172, p. 2824-2839Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The potential impact of ionising radiation from enhanced exposure to Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) to humans and the environment is not currently accounted for sufficiently in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Here we present midpoint and endpoint characterisation factors resulting from the implementation of impact assessment models for human health and ecosystems for NORM exposure. These models build upon existing fate, exposure and effect models from the LCA and radiological literature. The newly developed models are applied to a theoretical study of the utilisation of bauxite residue, a by-product of alumina processing enriched in natural radionuclides, in building materials. The ecosystem models have significant sensitivity to uncertainties surrounding the differential environmental fate of parent and daughter radionuclides that are produced as a part of decay chains, and to assumptions regarding long term releases from landfill sites. However, conservative results for environmental exposure suggest that in addition to landfill of materials, power consumption (burning coal and mining uranium) is a potentially significant source of radiological impact to the environment. From a human perspective, exposure to NORM in the use phase of building materials is the dominant source of impact, with environmental releases of nuclides playing a comparatively minor role. At an endpoint level, the impact of NORM exposure is highly significant in comparison to other impact categories in the area of protection of human health. The dose increase is of an order of magnitude comparable to lifestyle factors. The results highlight the importance within LCA of having sufficient impact assessment models to capture all potential impacts, such that issues of burden shifting between impact measures can be captured, interpreted and resolved in the optimisation of product systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Ltd, 2018
Keyword
Bauxite residue, Burden shifting, Construction materials, LCA impact category, NORM, Agronomy, Economics, Elongation, Environmental impact, Environmental management, Fertilizers, Gas emissions, Grain growth, Greenhouse gases, Information management, Nitrogen, Nitrogen compounds, Nitrogen fertilizers, Proteins, Sustainable development, Urea, Energy indexes, GHG emission, Grain quality, N fertilizers, Triticum, Grain (agricultural product)
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-223168 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.11.131 (DOI)000423002200135 ()2-s2.0-85038867547 (Scopus ID)
Note

Export Date: 13 February 2018; Article; CODEN: JCROE; Correspondence Address: Goronovski, A.; University of Tartu, Institute of Physics, Ostwaldi 1, Estonia; email: goronovski@gmail.com. QC 20180228

Available from: 2018-02-28 Created: 2018-02-28 Last updated: 2018-02-28Bibliographically approved
Tasala Gradin, K., Poulikidou, S., Björklund, A. & Luttropp, C. (2018). Scrutinising the electric vehicle material backpack. Journal of Cleaner Production, 172, 1699-1710
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Scrutinising the electric vehicle material backpack
2018 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 172, p. 1699-1710Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Conventionally the use phase of a road vehicle contributes to more than 70% of the total environmental impact in terms of energy use or emissions of greenhouse gases. This figure is no longer valid concerning electric vehicles and a shift to other life cycle stages and impacts is expected and should be re-evaluated. The goal of this study is to assess the environmental performance of two prototype vehicle drivetrains; an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, from a life cycle perspective. The assessment is performed in a qualitative manner using the Environmentally Responsible Product Assessment (ERPA) matrix. The two vehicles in this study have similar car body construction, providing an excellent opportunity to highlight the significance of material differences in their drivetrains. The internal combustion vehicle demonstrated a better environmental performance in three out of five lifecycle stages (pre-manufacture, product manufacture, and disposal). In all of these stages, the impact of the electric vehicle is determined by the burden of the materials needed for this technology such as rare earth elements (REE) and by the lack of recycling possibilities. The study demonstrated a need to close the material cycle when it comes to Critical Raw Materials (CRM) such as REE which can only be achieved when the technology but also the incentives for material recovery are provided, i.e. by promoting the development of cost-efficient recycling technologies. Moreover, the need for relevant metrics and assessment indicators is demonstrated to be able to compare the two technologies fairly.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2018
Keyword
environmentally Responsible Product, Assessment, Internal combustion engine vehicle, Electric vehicle, Critical raw materials, Rare earth elements, Drivetrain
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-222427 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.12.035 (DOI)000423002200037 ()2-s2.0-85038830921 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20180218

Available from: 2018-02-28 Created: 2018-02-28 Last updated: 2018-02-28Bibliographically approved
Arushanyan, Y., Björklund, A., Eriksson, O., Finnveden, G., Soderman, M. L., Sundqvist, J.-O. & Stenmarck, A. (2017). Environmental Assessment of Possible Future Waste Management Scenarios. Energies, 10(2), Article ID 247.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental Assessment of Possible Future Waste Management Scenarios
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2017 (English)In: Energies, ISSN 1996-1073, E-ISSN 1996-1073, Vol. 10, no 2, article id 247Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Waste management has developed in many countries and will continue to do so. Changes towards increased recovery of resources in order to meet climate targets and for society to transition to a circular economy are important driving forces. Scenarios are important tools for planning and assessing possible future developments and policies. This paper presents a comprehensive life cycle assessment (LCA) model for environmental assessments of scenarios and waste management policy instruments. It is unique by including almost all waste flows in a country and also allow for including waste prevention. The results show that the environmental impacts from future waste management scenarios in Sweden can differ a lot. Waste management will continue to contribute with environmental benefits, but less so in the more sustainable future scenarios, since the surrounding energy and transportation systems will be less polluting and also because less waste will be produced. Valuation results indicate that climate change, human toxicity and resource depletion are the most important environmental impact categories for the Swedish waste management system. Emissions of fossil CO2 from waste incineration will continue to be a major source of environmental impacts in these scenarios. The model is used for analyzing environmental impacts of several policy instruments including weight based collection fee, incineration tax, a resource tax and inclusion of waste in a green electricity certification system. The effect of the studied policy instruments in isolation are in most cases limited, suggesting that stronger policy instruments as well as combinations are necessary to reach policy goals as set out in for example the EU action plan on circular economy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI AG, 2017
Keyword
waste management, life cycle assessment (LCA), environmental assessment, scenario assessment, waste policy assessment
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-205135 (URN)10.3390/en10020247 (DOI)000395469200101 ()2-s2.0-85030786958 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20170412

Available from: 2017-04-12 Created: 2017-04-12 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved
Karlsson, C., Miliutenko, S., Björklund, A., Mörtberg, U., Olofsson, B. & Toller, S. (2017). Life cycle assessment in road infrastructure planning using spatial geological data. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 22(8), 1302-1317
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Life cycle assessment in road infrastructure planning using spatial geological data
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2017 (English)In: The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, ISSN 0948-3349, E-ISSN 1614-7502, Vol. 22, no 8, p. 1302-1317Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of the study was to outline and demonstrate a new geographic information system (GIS)-based approach for utilising spatial geological data in three dimensions (i.e. length, width and depth) to improve estimates on earthworks during early stages of road infrastructure planning. Methods: This was undertaken by using three main methodological steps: mass balance calculation, life cycle inventory analysis and spatial mapping of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy use. The mass balance calculation was undertaken in a GIS environment using two assumptions of geological stratigraphy for two proposed alternative road corridors in Sweden. The estimated volumes of excavated soil, blasted rock and filling material were later multiplied with the GHG emission and energy use factors for these processes, to create spatial data and maps in order to show potential impacts of the studied road corridors. The proposed GIS-based approach was evaluated by comparing with actual values received after one alternative was constructed. Results and discussion: The results showed that the estimate of filling material was the most accurate (about 9 % deviation from actual values), while the estimate for excavated soil and blasted rock resulted in about 38 and 80 % deviation, respectively, from the actual values. It was also found that the total volume of excavated and ripped soils did not change when accounting for stratigraphy. Conclusions: The conclusion of this study was that more information regarding embankment height and actual soil thickness would further improve the model, but the proposed GIS-based approach shows promising results for usage in LCA at an early stage of road infrastructure planning. Thus, by providing better data quality, GIS in combination with LCA can enable planning for a more sustainable transport infrastructure.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2017
Keyword
Energy, Geology, GHG emissions, GIS, LCA, Mass balance, Road, Stratigraphy
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-197305 (URN)10.1007/s11367-016-1241-3 (DOI)000405292800012 ()2-s2.0-85010809681 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council FormasStandUp
Note

QC 20170118

Available from: 2016-12-01 Created: 2016-12-01 Last updated: 2017-08-02Bibliographically approved
Tasala Gradin, K., Poulikidou, S., Björklund, A. & Luttropp, C. (2016). Comparative streamlined LCA of Internal Combustion and Electric drivetrains.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Comparative streamlined LCA of Internal Combustion and Electric drivetrains
2016 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Conventionally the use phase of a road vehicle contributes to more than 70% of the total environmental impact in terms of energy use or emissions of greenhouse gases. This figure is no longer valid concerning electric vehicles and a shift to other life cycle stages and impacts is expected and should be revaluated. The goal of this study is to assess the environmental performance of two prototype vehicle drivetrains; an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, from a life cycle perspective. The assessment is performed in a qualitative manner using the Environmentally Responsible Product Assessment (ERPA) matrix. Having a similar car body construction, the two vehicles provided excellent opportunities to highlight the significance of material differences in their drivetrains. The internal combustion vehicle demonstrated a better environmental performance in three out of five lifecycle stages (pre-manufacture, product manufacture, and disposal). In all of these stages the impact of the electric vehicle is determined by the burden of the materials needed for this technology such as rare earth elements (REE) and the lack of recycling possibilities. The study demonstrated a need to close the material cycle when it comes to Critical Raw Materials (CRM) such as REE which can only be achieved when the technology but also the incentives for material recovery are provided i.e. by promoting the development of cost efficient recycling technologies. Moreover, the need for relevant metrics and assessment indicators is demonstrated in order to be able to fairly compare the two technologies.

Keyword
Environmentally Responsible Product Assessment; Internal combustion engine vehicle; Electric vehicle; Critical Raw materials; Rare earth elements; Drivetrain
National Category
Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-192534 (URN)
Note

QCR 20161103

Available from: 2016-09-14 Created: 2016-09-14 Last updated: 2016-12-22Bibliographically approved
Poulikidou, S., Schneider, C., Björklund, A., Kazemahvazi, S., Wennhage, P. & Zenkert, D. (2015). A material selection approach to evaluate material substitution for minimizing the life cycle environmental impact of vehicles. Materials & design, 83, 704-712
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A material selection approach to evaluate material substitution for minimizing the life cycle environmental impact of vehicles
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2015 (English)In: Materials & design, ISSN 0264-1275, E-ISSN 1873-4197, Vol. 83, p. 704-712Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Weight reduction is commonly adopted in vehicle design as a means for energy and emissions savings. However, selection of lightweight materials is often focused on performance characteristics, which may lead to sub optimizations of life cycle environmental impact. Therefore systematic material selection processes are needed that integrate weight optimization and environmental life cycle assessment. This paper presents such an approach and its application to design of an automotive component. Materials from the metal, hybrid and polymer families were assessed, along with a novel self-reinforced composite material that is a potential lightweight alternative to non-recyclable composites. It was shown that materials offering the highest weight saving potential offer limited life cycle environmental benefit due to energy demanding manufacturing. Selection of the preferable alternative is not a straightforward process since results may be sensitive to critical but uncertain aspects of the life cycle. Such aspects need to be evaluated to determine the actual benefits of lightweight design and to base material selection on more informed choices.

Keyword
Lightweight design, Material selection, Life cycle assessment, Sandwich structures, Self-reinforced composites
National Category
Materials Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-173255 (URN)10.1016/j.matdes.2015.06.079 (DOI)000359329000080 ()2-s2.0-84941312731 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20150911

Available from: 2015-09-11 Created: 2015-09-09 Last updated: 2017-09-08Bibliographically approved
Ahlgren, S., Björklund, A., Ekman, A., Karlsson, H., Berlin, J., Börjesson, P., . . . Strid, I. (2015). Review of methodological choices in LCA of biorefinery systems: key issues and recommendations. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, 9(5), 606-619
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Review of methodological choices in LCA of biorefinery systems: key issues and recommendations
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2015 (English)In: Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, ISSN 1932-104X, E-ISSN 1932-1031, Vol. 9, no 5, p. 606-619Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The current trend in biomass conversion technologies is toward more efficient utilization of biomass feedstock in multiproduct biorefineries. Many life-cycle assessment (LCA) studies of biorefinery systems have been performed but differ in how they use the LCA methodology. Based on a review of existing LCA standards and guidelines, this paper provides recommendations on how to handle key methodological issues when performing LCA studies of biorefinery systems. Six key issues were identified: (i) goal definition, (ii) functional unit, (iii) allocation of biorefinery outputs, (iv) allocation of biomass feedstock, (v) land use, and (vi) biogenic carbon and timing of emissions. Many of the standards and guidelines reviewed here provide only general methodological recommendations. Some make more specific methodological recommendations, but these often differ between standards. In this paper we present some clarifications (e.g. examples of research questions and suitable functional units) and methodological recommendations (e.g. on allocation).

National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Industrial Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-165886 (URN)10.1002/bbb.1563 (DOI)000362748200022 ()2-s2.0-84941735953 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20151103

Available from: 2015-04-30 Created: 2015-04-30 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
Umair, S., Björklund, A. & Ekener Petersen, E. (2015). Social impact assessment of informal recycling of electronic ICT waste in Pakistan using UNEP SETAC guidelines. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 95, 46-57
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social impact assessment of informal recycling of electronic ICT waste in Pakistan using UNEP SETAC guidelines
2015 (English)In: Resources, Conservation and Recycling, ISSN 0921-3449, E-ISSN 1879-0658, Vol. 95, p. 46-57Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

New and improved Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is being produced every day. With every new product on the market, an older product becomes obsolete. These obsolete products are being added to the world's fastest growing waste stream, ICT electronic waste (e-waste). This is formally recycled in developed countries, stockpiled, landfilled or shipped to developing countries, such as Pakistan, here it is recycled informally through crude processes (e.g. manual dismantling, burning, dumping and dipping in acids to extract gold and other precious metals). This study assessed the social impacts of informal e-waste recycling in Pakistan using data obtained in a detailed on-site inventory of the processes directly involved in informal e-waste recycling. The inventory and assessment were conducted according to United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) guidelines on Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA). The results presented in this paper fill an important data gap and can be integrated with data on other stages of ICT product lifecycle to produce a full SLCA of such products.

Keyword
Electronic waste, Informal recycling, Social Life Cycle Assessment, Pakistan
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-164004 (URN)10.1016/j.resconrec.2014.11.008 (DOI)000350706800004 ()2-s2.0-84920148522 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20150423

Available from: 2015-04-23 Created: 2015-04-13 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
Karlsson, C., Miliutenko, S., Björklund, A., Mörtberg, U., Olofsson, B. & Toller, S. (2015). Towards a better planning process: Can geological data be useful?. In: : . Paper presented at KTH Energy Dialogue, 26 November 2015, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards a better planning process: Can geological data be useful?
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2015 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Other academic)
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-187761 (URN)
Conference
KTH Energy Dialogue, 26 November 2015, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Note

QCR 20160530

Available from: 2016-05-29 Created: 2016-05-29 Last updated: 2016-05-30Bibliographically approved
Poulikidou, S., Björklund, A. & Tyskeng, S. (2014). Empirical study on integration of environmental aspects into product development: processes, requirements and the use of tools in vehicle manufacturing companies in Sweden. Journal of Cleaner Production, 81, 34-45
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Empirical study on integration of environmental aspects into product development: processes, requirements and the use of tools in vehicle manufacturing companies in Sweden
2014 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 81, p. 34-45Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

An empirical study was conducted on integration of environmental aspects and requirements into four vehicle manufacturing companies in Sweden. The aim was to gain insights into how Design for Environment (DfE) is organised in these companies and, thus help bridge the gap between methodological development and practice. The processes for identifying and integrating environmental aspects into product development, the type of environmental requirements considered and the use of different types of DfE tools were investigated through semi-structured interviews.

Despite similarities regarding the type of environmental requirements considered and the major drivers for these, the companies studied have adopted different ways to identify and integrate environmental requirements into their product development process and use DfE tools to differing extents. Such variations reflect differences in the success and maturity levels of the DfE practices adopted. When compared to success factors mentioned in the existing literature, the study concluded that some components needed for efficient integration of environmental aspects into the product development process of all participating companies are lacking. Some of the companies had a greater need for measures that would increase systematic integration of environmental requirements during design decisions. Others first need to establish the processes (in terms of people and use of supporting tools) that could enable such integration.

Keyword
Design for environment, DfE tools, Ecodesign, Environmental requirements, Product development, Vehicle design
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-134802 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.06.001 (DOI)000341348600003 ()2-s2.0-84905571028 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20141003

Available from: 2013-11-28 Created: 2013-11-28 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-5535-6368

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