Life cycle analysis framework for industrial decarbonisation

IDRIC Project MIP 1.3

Background

This project will evaluate the environmental impact of novel technologies (case studies) for enabling creative dynamic life cycle modelling, which will provide clear indicators of how much carbon can be stored in bio-based materials, crops and soils.

Prof Marcelle McManus

Prof Marcelle C McManus

Principal Investigator
Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies, Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Bath

Project Team

Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies, Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Bath:

Dr Ariane S. S. Pinto
Dr Lewis J. McDonald
Dr Sam Cooper

Aim

This project focuses on the use of LCA to identify and reduce carbon impact, and maximise potential for carbon capture, utilisation and storage, and providing an initial framework to enable the assessment of current and emerging technologies.

More Detail

To create and evaluate the framework we will partner with two other IDRIC projects (based in the South Wales Cluster): VFA factory and Bio-Balance for the test cases as each propose differing ways to meet net zero. Partnering will achieve value for money and enable life cycle system analysis of both projects. From the outset, our insights will aid decisions made within those systems in order to optimise GHG reduction for the VFA factory and bio-balance.

In parallel, we will begin to build case studies of nascent decarbonisation technologies and systems, from which we can learn more widely. Synergies and differences in the two case study projects will enable creative dynamic life cycle modelling, providing clear indicators of how much carbon can be stored in bio-based materials, crops and soils. Pulling on the information from these case study systems we will begin to build a framework for life cycle assessment and optimisation of industrial decarbonisation in bio-based systems. This will be further developed in collaboration with other IDRIC partners.

Meet the Team

 

Team 1

Dr Ariane S. S. Pinto

Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies, Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Bath

Team 1

Dr Lewis J. McDonald

Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies, Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Bath

Team 2

Dr Sam Cooper

Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies, Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Bath

Team 1

Dr Ariane S. S. Pinto

Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies, Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Bath

Team 1

Dr Lewis J. McDonald

Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies, Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Bath

Team 2

Dr Sam Cooper

Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies, Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Bath

Case Study / Progress

Challenges

Indeed, fast   decarbonisationrequires   innovative   and   novel   technologies. Additionally,  the  evaluation  of  Life  Cycle  Analysis  (LCA)  and  Techno-economic Assessment (TEA) of emerging technologies are essential to evaluate the potential feasibility of different production systems.

However, the availability of environmental impacts and their uncertainty are limited by the combination of different factors (e.g. technology, market maturity and the speed and location at which the decarbonisation can occur).

Planned Outputs

  • Undertaking  LCA  for  Bio-Balance  case  studies  using  wastes  and  co-products from industry to use by agriculture, eg waste heat and CO2in controlled environment cropping, use of green wastes for fertiliser.
  • Temporal  and  spatial  modelling  in  Life  Cycle  Assessment,  particularly  in emerging  technologies,  is  still  relatively  rarely  (and  poorly)  done.  This  will  integrate the  resource  flow  and  the  soil  carbon  modelling  to  enable  system  optimisation  and prioritisation.
  • Detailed  Life  Cycle  Assessments  (LCA)  and  Technoeconomic  Assessments (TEA)  will  be  undertaken  to  identify  hotspots,  opportunities  for  improvement  and optimisation within the VFA project.
  • Develop outline consequential LCA for VFA and Bio-Balance scenarios and case studies.

Investigate Further

Jones, R. J., R. Fernández-Feito, J. Massanet-Nicolau, R. Dinsdale and A. Guwy (2021). “Continuous recovery and enhanced yields of volatile fatty acids from a continually-fed 100L food waste bioreactor by filtration and electrodialysis.” Waste Management 122: 81-88.

Jones, R. J., J. Massanet-Nicolau, R. Fernandez-Feito, R. M. Dinsdale and A. J. Guwy (2021). “Recovery and enhanced yields of volatile fatty acids from a grass fermentation via in-situ solids separation and electrodialysis.” Journal of Cleaner Production296: 126430.

Pinto, A. S. S., A. M. Elias, F. F. Furlan, M. P. A. Ribeiro, R. C. Giordano and C. S. Farinas (2022). “Strategies to reduce the negative impact of inhibitors in biorefineries: A combined techno-economic and life cycle assessment.” Journal of Cleaner Production345: 131020.

Thomson, A., G. W. Price, P. Arnold, M. Dixon and T. Graham (2022). “Review of the potential for recycling CO2 from organic waste composting into plant production under controlled environment agriculture.” Journal of Cleaner Production 333: 130051.UK (2021). Agri-climate report 2021 (Official Statistics). D. f. E. F. R. A. Climate change and energy. United Kingdom UK Government.