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Exergy as a measure ofresource use in LCA and other sustainability assessment methods
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies.
2012 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

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
National Category
Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-116102OAI: diva2:588752
4th International Conference on Waste and Biomass Valorisation.September 10-13, Porto, Portugal

QC 20130611

Available from: 2013-01-15 Created: 2013-01-15 Last updated: 2013-06-11Bibliographically approved

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Finnveden, Göran
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