Eco-conception approach: LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) and simplified LCA
What is LCA and simplified LCA
As you probably already know, Fairmat offers a virtuous carbon fiber recycling solution. But to be able to claim this statement, we undertook an analysis of its recycling method. So, we have chosen to begin with a simplified Life Cycle Analysis. We are telling you more about our choice.
Definition of the Life Cycle Assessment
According to Ademe, Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is the most successful tool in the global and multi-criteria assessment of environmental impacts. Indeed, this standardized method measures the quantifiable effects of products or services on the environment.
Thus, the LCA makes it possible to assess the environmental impacts of a process based on quantitative criteria. It is based on the following steps:
> definition of the field of study and the life cycle scope; thus, we speak of functional unity and boundaries
> the inventory of the incoming (raw materials, energy, etc.) and outgoing flows (water, heat, CO2, etc.) necessary for the whole cycle of life.
> Assessment of impacts via recognized and quantified environmental indicators (acid rain, global warming, depletion of resources, etc.)
The results are then analyzed to identify recommendations for improvement and submitted to an external critical review. So it can be an iterative approach to evaluate the modification of a product to the environment.
Focus on simplified Life Cycle Assessment
The simplified LCA can evaluate its process more quickly as a first approach. So based on results from other LCA studies, it is a light and fast version of stroke that can induce bias in assumptions. That’s why it is essential to use tools with a view to transparency concerning the results obtained.
Advantages and limits of LCA and simplified LCA
Life Cycle Assessment
– relevant method
– comprehensive analysis
– regulatory use
– carried out by experts for experts
– complex data collection
– heavy data process
– complicated analysis
Simplified Life Cycle Assessment
– easier data collection
– production accessible to all audience
– simplified analysis
– key trends identified
– requires good knowledge of the product and its design
– not suitable for regulatory documents
– uncertainties in the results
– averaged data sets
Therefore it is essential to introduce a simplified LCA or LCA to support the approaches to eco-design of composites.
At Fairmat, we already have a simplified Life Cycle Assessment. It was realized with Greenflex in June 2022. Stay tuned to know more about it.