Life cycle assessment of capital goods related to waste incineration

Line Kai-Sørensen Brogaard, Thomas Højlund Christensen

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Abstract

The environmental impacts from the life cycle of products and systems were evaluated using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as a tool. Today most LCAs of waste management systems only considers the impacts from the operation of the system but neglects the environmental impacts from construction, maintenance and demolition of capital goods. Capital goods are defined as buildings, machinery, trucks and infrastructure at the facility. A LCA was performed using two modelling programmes: Simapro and EASEWASTE. This paper assesses the importance of including capital goods when performing LCAs of waste incineration with efficient energy recovery. The environmental costs of the capital goods related to an incinerator was assessed and compared to the operation of the incinerator. The environmental loads from the capital goods were found to be insignificant compared to the benefits from the energy recovery from the operation of the system. The reason for this is the significant savings on all impacts categories from energy substitution. The study also found that the resource consumption for the capital goods is not negligible when assessing the life cycle of an incineration plant.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings Sardinia 2011, Thirteenth International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium
Place of PublicationItaly
PublisherCISA, Environmental Sanitary Engineering Centre
Publication date2011
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event13th International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium - S. Margherita di Pula, Cagliari, Italy
Duration: 3 Oct 20117 Oct 2011
Conference number: 13

Conference

Conference13th International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium
Number13
Country/TerritoryItaly
CityS. Margherita di Pula, Cagliari
Period03/10/201107/10/2011

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