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Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16408-16421; doi:10.3390/su71215822

Identification of Significant Impact of Silicon Foundry Sands Mining on LCIA

1
Department of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Technical University in Zvolen, T.G. Masaryka 24, Zvolen 960 53, Slovakia
2
Department of Environmental Management, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Matej Bel University, Tajovského 40, Banská Bystrica 974 01, Slovakia
3
ZLH Plus a.s., Zlievarenská 533, Hronec 976 45, Slovakia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Received: 18 October 2015 / Revised: 23 November 2015 / Accepted: 2 December 2015 / Published: 11 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Abstract

This paper presents a case study based on a LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) research program of the silicon foundry sand (SFS) due to the large quantity of produced waste foundry sand (WFS). The foundry waste is a high priority sector within the growing European foundry industry. It is necessary to understand the full life cycle of the foundry waste in order to correctly identify magnitude and types of impacts it has on the environment. System boundary includes the processes: mining, modification, packing, storage and transport to foundry. Inventory analysis data were analyzed and finally converted to the functional unit, which has been defined as one ton of SFS. The resulting environmental impact of SFS production in endpoint is: consumption of natural resources 70.9%, ecosystem quality 18.2% and human health 10.9%. The following portions, with respective percentages, have the greatest overall effect on these results: diesel fuel consumption 32.4% and natural gas consumption 28.7%, electricity usage 17.2%, transport 12.2%, devastation caused by the SFS 5.35% and oil (engine, gear and hydraulic) consumption 4.14%. The highest contributor to the diesel fuel consumption is the SFS exploitation. The overall effect of desiccation was 35.8% and was caused by high consumption of resources and electricity. View Full-Text
Keywords: life cycle assessment; sand; mining; foundry; environmental engineering life cycle assessment; sand; mining; foundry; environmental engineering
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mitterpach, J.; Hroncová, E.; Ladomerský, J.; Balco, K. Identification of Significant Impact of Silicon Foundry Sands Mining on LCIA. Sustainability 2015, 7, 16408-16421.

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