Exergy as a measure ofresource use in LCA and other sustainability assessment methods
2012 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Increased waste valorization should lead to savings of natural resources. But different types of valorization can lead to different types of savings and there may therefore be a need for comparing different types of resources uses. Exergy use has been suggested as a measure for resource use in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and other sustainability assessment methods. It is an interesting approach since it can describe both energetic resources as well as metal ores and other materials that have a chemical exergy in the same units. The aim of this paper is to contribute to the discussion on different approaches to measure the use of resources in LCA and other environmental systems analysis tools by illustrating the use of the thermodynamic approach in case studies and comparing the results with other approaches. We will also discuss advantages and disadvantages of different approaches. The results show that the different methods produce strikingly different results when applied to case studies. This indicates the need to further discuss methods for describing resource use. The study also demonstrates the feasibility of the thermodynamic approach. It is suggested that the results are reasonable and that the thermodynamic approach is developed from a solid scientific basis. When compared to other methods it is interesting to note that the exergy approach captures most resources that are considered important by other methods. When analysing the results it becomes apparent that the composition of the ores can have an influence of the results. It is thus of interest to develop more ore-specific data. It would also be of interest to further develop exergy use as a method for assessing a broader range of resources including land and water.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-116102OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-116102DiVA: diva2:588752
4th International Conference on Waste and Biomass Valorisation.September 10-13, Porto, Portugal
QC 201306112013-01-152013-01-152013-06-11Bibliographically approved