Special Issue "Resources Management: Life Cycle Assessment"
A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2010)
Prof. Dr. Jo Dewulf
Research Group ENVOC, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
Phone: +32 (0)9 264 59 49
Fax: +32 (0)9 264 62 43
Interests: environmental and clean technology, thermodynamics and sustainable engineering, exergy, resource consumption in technology development
With the triple bottom line of sustainability (People - Profit - Planet), environmental sustainability has been largely focused since the 1980 through the study of effects of manmade emissions onto natural systems. Classical Life Cycle Assessment has been of huge importance here by taking into account several environmental impacts due to emissions: global warming, ozone layer depletion, eutrophication, acidification, aquatic toxicity, ... Now in the 2000s, we are in an era where the second pressure of our industrial society onto the natural environment gets more and more tangible: the depletion of natural resources. Indeed, with an ever lasting worldwide population growth resulting in an ever lasting growing resource demand, and the awareness of the finity of a number of natural resources, today natural resources are key in fulfilling the needs of the population now and in the future. Definitely, proper resource management is a central issue and it is a challenge to learn from Life Cycle Assessment. The special issue envisages new scientific findings that clarify and substantiate the discussion on how techniques such as life cycle assessment can contribute to better resource management.
Prof. Dr. Jo Dewulf
- life cycle assessment
- resource efficiency
- resource management
Article: Natural Resources Management: Life Cycle Assessment and Forest Certification and Sustainability Issues
Sustainability 2010, 2(2), 604-623; doi:10.3390/su2020604
Received: 22 December 2009 / Accepted: 9 February 2010 / Published: 21 February 2010| Download PDF Full-text (389 KB)
Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 919-944; doi:10.3390/su2040919
Received: 21 January 2010; in revised form: 1 March 2010 / Accepted: 17 March 2010 / Published: 5 April 2010| Download PDF Full-text (506 KB)
Commentary: Comments on ‘Straka, T.J.; Layton, P.A. Natural Resources Management: Life Cycle Assessment and Forest Certification and Sustainability Issues. Sustainability 2010, 2, 604–623’
Sustainability 2010, 2(8), 2617-2620; doi:10.3390/su2082617
Received: 13 June 2010 / Accepted: 17 August 2010 / Published: 18 August 2010| Download PDF Full-text (94 KB)
Sustainability 2010, 2(8), 2621-2625; doi:10.3390/su2082621
Received: 18 July 2010 / Accepted: 17 August 2010 / Published: 18 August 2010| Download PDF Full-text (117 KB)
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Title: The Allocation Issue and its Influence on Final LCA Results: Overview and Application to Biorefinery Systems
Authors: Francesco Cherubini and Sergio Ulgiati
Affiliation: Dipartimento di Scienze per l\'Ambiente, Università degli Studi "Parthenope", Centro Direzionale, Isola C4, 80143 Napoli, Italy; E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel. 081-5476666; 338-8053807
Abstract: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology is worldwide recognized as one of the most effective analytic tools for estimating the sustainability profile of a product/service. LCA studies take into account the energy and material flows along a whole production chain, “from cradle to grave”, and quantify the potential environmental impacts. When comparing LCA studies reported by different authors and sources on the same topic, final results may considerably differ, even for apparently similar systems. Besides other parameters (e.g. system boundaries, location, data quality and age), the allocation procedure used in the assessment is a key factor that leads to such diverging results. Allocation in LCA is carried out to attribute shares of the total environmental impact to the different products of a system. In order to highlight the important role played by allocation choices, we discuss the case of biorefinery systems, where multiple energy and material products are co-produced. In the scientific community, the issue of the most suitable allocation procedure is still under debate. This paper elaborates on this topic, with an overview of the most used procedures. The latter are then applied to selected biorefinery systems in order to investigate their influence on final LCA results. We discuss in the paper (and apply to the investigated biorefinery systems) several allocation strategies: (a) avoiding allocation through substitution method (as recommended by the ISO standards), (b) allocation based on physical characteristics of co-products (mass, energy, exergy), (c) market-oriented allocation and, finally, (d) a new allocation method based on assigning the environmental burdens to coproducts according to the respective shares of total GHG emissions of their fossil counterparts (taken as replaced reference system). These procedures are applied and results compared. Based on the results of the study, the paper provides general conclusions and recommendations on how to handle the allocation issue in LCA.
Type of Paper: Review
Title: Natural Resources Management: Life Cycle Assessment and Forest Sustainability Issues
Authors: Scott P. Wills and Thomas J. Straka
Affiliation: Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Clemson University, Box 340317, Clemson, SC 29634-0317, USA; E-Mail: email@example.com
Abstract: Forest sustainability and forest certification are important natural resources management and environmental issues. The effectiveness of some forest certification programs has been questioned by several environmental groups. Life cycle analysis is a common technique used to evaluate these programs and its use in evaluating forest sustainability issues is reviewed and discussed. Life cycle analysis is a tool to evaluate the environmental and social impacts attributed to a product or service, like wood as a building material. Inputs (like raw material extraction) and outputs (like pollution) are measured over the life process, with a goal is to minimize negative environmental impacts.
Type of Paper: Review
Title: Water footprinting: How to Address Water Use in Life Cycle Assessment?
Authors: Markus Berger and Matthias Finkbeiner
Affiliation: Technische Universität Berlin, Department of Environmental Technology, Chair of Sustainable Engineering, Office Z1, Strasse des 17. Juni 135, 10437 Berlin, Germany; E-Mails: firstname.lastname@example.org (M.B.); email@example.com (M.F.)
Abstract: As freshwater is a vital yet often scarce resource the life cycle assessment community has put great efforts in method development to properly address water use. The International Organization for Standardization has recently even launched a project aiming at creating an international standard for ‘water footprinting’. This paper provides an overview of a broad range of methods developed to enable accounting and impact assessment of water use. The critical review revealed that methodological scopes differ regarding types of water use accounted for, inclusion of local water scarcity, as well as differentiation between watercourses and quality aspects. As the application of the most advanced methods requires high resolution inventory data the trade-off between ‘precision’ and ‘applicability’ needs to be addressed in future studies and in the new international standard.
Keywords: water use, life cycle assessment, water footprint
Last update: 19 May 2010