LCA of recycling chains: influence of transport modelling
Communication avec acte
Transport is an inherent activity of recycling chains. In LCA studies of e-waste recycling, the transport during the end-of-life management is either not considered or the distances are estimated and are not in accordance with reality. When transport is comprised in LCA boundaries, depending to the type of product then material, there is no consensus of its influence on the results. Some authors stressed that logistic chain accounts for a significant amount of impacts, but there are studies that concluded that the impacts are negligible in comparison to treatment activities. In this context, the goal of the study was to identify the contribution of transport (varying both distance and loading rate) in LCA results of e-waste recycling. A tablet treated in France was used as a case study. Life cycle inventory is based on the inventories available in Ecoinvent database and adapted with literature and primary data. In order to assess, spatialize and quantify the distances between the different stakeholders of the recycling chain, transport inventory was performed with a geographic information system (GIS) and LCA coupling approach. Impact assessment results were calculated at midpoint level with several impact categories. Depending on the impact category, transport contributes between 10 to 30% of the total impacts related to end-of-life treatment. This result stresses the need for assessing more realist scenarios for e-waste treatment.
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