Carbon Footprint Analysis of a Polymer Manufacturing Process

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Title: Carbon Footprint Analysis of a Polymer Manufacturing Process
Authors: Dormer, Aaron S.
Finn, Donal
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Date: 2011
Abstract: This paper describes a carbon footprint (CF) analysis of a manufacturing process based on large scale polymer food tray production using Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET). The methodology utilised, allows for the calculation of the CF, in accordance with PAS (Publically Available Specification) 2050, of a 16.6g recycled PET (rPET) tray, based on a cradle-to-grave life cycle. Using an Irish plastics manufacturer as the experimental basis for the research, primary activity data was measured for in-house processes while secondary data was used for upstream and downstream stages. The CF of a 16.6g rPET tray was found to be 23.42 g CO2e or trays. The raw material inputs and manufacturing processes were found to contribute 45% and 33% of the greenhouse gases emissions (GHGs),respectively. The end-of-life stage was found to contribute 18% of the GHGs, while the secondary packaging and transport stages contributed only 2% each. By manufacturing the tray with 85% recycled content, the CF was found to be 60% lower compared to a benchmark based on only virgin materialutilisation. By increasing the end-of-life recycling rate from 22.5% to 32%, the CF was found to be reduced by 2%. Transport was found to have a minimal effect on CF.
Type of material: Conference Publication
Publisher: International Manufacturing Conference
Copyright (published version): 2011 the authors
Keywords: Carbon Footprint Analysis
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Conference Details: 28th International Manufacturing Conference, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland, 30th August - 1st September
Appears in Collections:Mechanical & Materials Engineering Research Collection

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