Enhancing product sustainability with Life Cycle Assessment and relevant technologies

Wu, Y., 2017. Enhancing product sustainability with Life Cycle Assessment and relevant technologies. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Abstract

Promoting sustainable products and resource efficiency have become two major policy objectives in Europe, and resource efficiency has become an important political objective on the agenda of the European Commission. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) acts as an efficient framework to evaluate product environmental performances and improve resource efficiency.

An integrated approach implemented by three ICT systems are developed to support sustainable production. A sustainable production support toolbox has been developed that contains state-of-art tools regarding LCA software and database tools, environmental management schemes, the EU regulations and directives and stands associated with sustainable production. The applicable requirements, scope and advantages have been examined to develop the tools selection considerations. Compared with the existing toolbox, the distinguished novelty of the developed toolbox is that it can integrate into the product development process, the feasibility and utility of which has been demonstrated by reporting a sustainable flooring product development process.

A framework for converting the existing ecoinvent database into a SQL supported database has also been developed, in order to use the ecoinvent database to serve web applications. The data format (i.e. EcoSpold) of the ecoinvent database is a custom XML format, and Python XML processing library has been applied to employ SAX approach to extract the massive data values and information from the EcoSpold files. The demonstrated framework iii and adopted approaches successfully convert the ecoinvent database into a SQL database management tool. Moreover, a Java GUI application has been developed to invoke the SQL based LCI database and the aggregated LCI datasets from the web-based product environmental assessment system. A web-based product environmental performance assessment system has been developed to achieve powerful, flexible and efficient online LCA calculations, by converting a desktop LCA software and applying a High-Performance Calculation Library. Moreover, a mobile client application has been developed to help consumers to evaluate purchased products sustainability performance and implement sustainable consumption. This developed tool is a novel web system that can perform powerful web and mobile based LCA calculations. The performance of the web system has been examined by applying a LCA on the shampoo product. A dedicated LCA on shampoo product has been conducted by using the SimaPro. The LCI datasets are provided by its manufacturer, a UK based company, and also fulfilled by applying ecoinvent database. This case study presents an in-depth modelling and analysis on shampoo product lifecycle with the aid of real manufacturing data. The analytical results also show that the lifecycle stage of major environmental impacts is in the shampoo utilisation stages.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Wu, Y.
Date: May 2017
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 27 Mar 2018 13:06
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2018 13:07
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/33117

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