An environmental assessment method for cleaner production technologies

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    and packaging profiles that describe all material and energy flows related

    for determining an integrated index for overall environmental assessment of cleaner production technologies.

    The presented method can be employed to evaluate environmental nuisance of implemented, modernised and modified technological pro-cesses and products as well to perform comparative analyses of alternative technologies. 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Keywords: Cleaner production; Technology environmental assessment; Profile unit indices; Integrated index for environmental assessment of cleaner productiontechnologies

    1. Introduction

    An environmental assessment, in particular a valuation ofenvironmental impact of technical facilities, is a relativelynew research subject. Previously, the related research studieson pollutant emission levels, volume of generated wastes ordischarged effluents, documented relationships between themanufacturing activity and deterioration of environmentalquality. As a result, increasingly pressures are being broughton companies and industrial regions to make dramatic im-provements in their environmental and economic performance,at the same time.

    Currently, there is an increasing awareness and acceptanceof environmental problems caused by human activities andtherefore, the urgent need to reduce the adverse environmental

    cleaner production strategy, to reduce such negative impacts,the author believes that an overall assessment of technologicalprocesses for their harmfulness to the environment to findrelationships between indices describing environmental nui-sance of industrial activities and the manufacturing processesis of great importance.

    Therefore, to improve implementation of the concepts andapproaches of Cleaner Production, i.e. application of the over-all preventive environmental management strategy for pro-cesses and products, it is necessary to develop tools thatenable one to quantitatively analyse relative environmentalimpacts for proecological measures to be taken to replace cur-rent practices.

    Several methods [1e13] are employed to perform such as-sessments, mainly those using the following procedures:An environmental assessment mtechno


    Department of Technology and Ecology of Products, Cracow U

    Received 4 February 2004; a

    Available online


    An environmental assessment method for cleaner production technosented.

    The proposed method is based on material and energy flows and uses

    Journal of Cleaner Productionimpacts of manufacturing processes and products. In order toassist corporate and regional leaders to make further progresswith implementing preventative approaches such as the

    E-mail address:

    0959-6526/$ - see front matter 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2005.11.019ethod for cleaner productionlogies


    iversity of Economics, Rakowicka 27, 31-510 Krakow, Poland

    ccepted 11 November 2005

    4 January 2006

    logies enabling quantitative analysis of environmental impact is pre-

    a set of profile indices, including raw material, energy, waste, productto the technology under investigation. The indices are used as a basis

    15 (2007) Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to evaluateplanned projects (including technological process);

    e Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), i.e. environmental impactassessment related to the whole life cycle of product (facil-ity), including all life cycle steps.

  • Both methods are based on assessment of predicted envi-ronmental impacts related to the evaluated product (facility).

    Regardless of facility to be assessed, both methods use thesame or similar tools, including, for example, checklists, ma-trix methods, networks, histograms or multi-criteria decision-making models [12,14].

    In both methods an assessment includes important compo-nents such as:

    e environmental characteristics of the technology, ande environmental characteristics of the product.

    These procedures are most often used separately and con-sist of individual assessments of hazards of the analysed tech-nological process or manufactured product.

    The concept of the new method for environmental assess-ment of cleaner production technologies enabling overall eval-uation of environmental hazards related to implementation oftechnological processes and impact of manufactured product ispresented in this paper.

    2. Assumption of the method for environmentalassessment of cleaner production technologies

    The proposed method for environmental assessment ofcleaner production technologies consists of evaluations of en-vironmental hazards while enabling quantitative analysis ofenvironmental loading expressed by material and energy flowsexchanged between the technological processes under investi-gation (including manufactured product) and the environment.The technological process is considered as a sequence of unitprocesses and operations required to manufacture the productunder consideration.

    The method is based on analysis of materials and energyflows and uses a set of profile indices describing quantitatively,all materials and energy flows related to the analysed technol-ogy. A flow chart of such technological process including pro-files of analysed material and energy flows is presented inFig. 1.

    To avoid any incorrect results of assessment, when prepar-ing the materials and energy characteristics (input andoutput balance), the materials and energy flows should


    Raw MaterialFlows

    (raw material profile)

    Energy Flows(energy profile)

    Waste Flows(waste profile)

    Product Flows(product profile)

    Packaging Used(packaging profile)

    T. Fija1 / Journal of Cleaner PFig. 1. Material and energy flows included into analysis of technological

    processes.not be expressed in absolute quantities and must be referredto the production volume in the analysed period. Thisprevents false conclusions to be drawn related, for instance,to considerable improvement in the environment, while de-creasing the production volume and reducing the pollutionlevel.

    When preparing the environmental characteristics for thetechnology under investigation the following items weretaken into account (according to the flow chart presented inFig. 1):

    e raw material profile;e energy profile;e waste profile;e product profile;e packaging profile.

    The raw material profile comprises raw material character-istics, including quantitative data related to all raw materialflows (primary raw materials, auxiliary raw materials, materi-als) assigned to the technology under consideration.

    The energy profile contains an energy assessment, includ-ing quantitative data related to consumption of all powerraw material flows (solid, liquid and gaseous fuels) and anykind of energy (heat, electricity) used in the process.

    The waste profile consists of the characteristics of wastegeneration by the technology, including quantitative data relat-ed to all waste flows (solid, liquid and gaseous wastes) gener-ated in the process.

    The product profile contains an environmental assessmentof products, including quantitative data related to productflows of adverse environmental impacts resulting from thetechnological process.

    The packaging profile comprises environmental character-istics of packaging materials used in the technological process,including quantitative data related to any kind of packaging,while considering its negative environmental impact.

    In each profile the analysed technology is described withprofile unit indices that determine the quantity of individualmass and energy flows per unit mass of manufactured products.

    3. Profile unit indices

    3.1. Raw material unit index

    In raw material profile the raw material unit index (Ws), de-fined in Table 1, is used.

    Index Ws includes all raw materials involved in the techno-logical process (except for energy raw materials and raw ma-terials recovered by recycling), including primary rawmaterials, auxiliary materials and water used for technologicalor cooling purposes.

    3.2. Energy unit index

    915roduction 15 (2007) 914e919In energy profile the energy unit index (We), defined inTable 2, is used. Index We includes total consumption of direct

  • renergy (directly used in the technological process), being thesum of primary energy (fuel energy) and derivative energy(processed) e electricity and heat. The consumption of all en-ergy raw materials (solid, liquid and gaseous fuels) related tothe technological process as well as electric power and heatenergy used in the process is expressed in weight of standardfuel from the following formula:

    1 t:p:u: 1Mt hard coalQw 29;3076MJ=kg; 1


    t.p.u. e ton of standard fuel,Mt e metric ton 1000 kg,Qw e calorific value of hard coal (standard fuel).

    The total consumption of energy (heat, electricity) used inthe technological process to manufacture product flows e ex-pressed in weight of standard fuel e is reduced by amount ofsecondary energy (wew), recovered and used in the process.

    3.3. Waste generation unit index

    In waste profile the waste generation unit index (Wo), in-cluding all types of wastes generated in the technological pro-cess, is defined in Table 3.

    Gaseous wastes include all dust and gas pollutants emittedinto the atmosphere containing dusts and gases such as: SO2,

    Table 1

    Set of formulas and factors taken into account when computing the raw mate-

    rial unit index

    Raw material unit index (Ws)

    Ws Pni1


    wsi msimcp



    wsi e partial raw material unit index for i-th primary raw material,

    msi e weight of i-th primary raw material used in the technological process,mcp e total weight of all products manufactured in the technological process.

    Table 2

    Set of formulas and factors taken into account when computing the energy unit


    Energy unit index (We)

    We Pni1

    wei wew;

    wei zeimcp


    wew zewmcp



    wei e partial energy unit index for i-th power raw material,

    wew e secondary energy unit index for energy recovered in the process,zei e consumption of i-th power raw material expressed in weight of standard


    z e amount of secondary energy expressed in weight of standard fuel,

    916 T. Fija1 / Journal of Cleaner Pew

    mcp e total weight of all products manufactured in the technological process.NOx, CO, CO2, hydrocarbons and other hazardous gaseoussubstances.

    The partial indices wosi, wocj and wogk are computed forweight of wastes discharged directly into the environment, af-ter considering waste neutralisation methods employed in theanalysed technological process.

    When computing Wo all types of wastes are taken into ac-count, including:

    e wastes generated in the technological process to manufac-ture product flows;

    e unprocessed raw materials and unused products;e auxiliary materials used, not designed for recycling;e energy wastes;e sewages.

    The relative toxicity indices for solid (kosi), liquid (kocj) andgaseous wastes (kogk), are derived from toxicity indices (k)based on charges for storage, discharge or emission of 1 Mtof pollutant (waste), defined and computed (for all groups,subgroups and kinds of pollutants listed in the catalogue ofwastes), presented as Appendices in Ref. [6].

    The relative toxicity indices for wastes are defined as theratio of toxicity index (k) for the given substance dischargedinto the environment to the maximum value of this index(kmax) obtained for three waste groups (air pollutants, waterpollutants and deposited solid wastes).

    3.4. Product unit index

    In product profile the product unit index (Wp), includingflows of manufactured products of adverse environmental im-pact (environmental unfriendly), is defined in Table 4.

    Index kpi used in formula defining the product unit indexexpresses an estimated hazard load related to the manufac-

    Table 3

    Set of formulas and factors taken into account when computing the waste gen-

    eration unit index

    Waste generation unit index (Wo)

    Wo Pni1wosi kosi


    wocj kocj


    wogk kogk

    kosi; kocj; kogk 1


    wosi mosimcp


    wocj mocjmcp


    wogk mogkmcp



    wosi e partial waste generation unit index for i-th solid waste,

    wocj e partial waste generation unit index for j-th liquid waste,wogk e partial waste generation unit index for k-th gaseous waste,

    kosi e relative toxicity index for i-th solid waste,

    kocj e relative toxicity index for j-th liquid waste,

    kogk e relative toxicity index for k-th gaseous waste,mosi e weight of i-th solid waste generated in the technological process,

    mocj e weight of j-th liquid waste generated in the technological process,

    mogk e weight of k-th gaseous waste generated in the technological process,mcp e total weight of all products manufactured in the technological process.

    oduction 15 (2007) 914e919tured product and its environmental impact. It can determine

  • percentage by weight for hazardous substances contained inthe manufactured product or percentage of weight for noxious,environmental unfriendly components (details) included intothe product.

    When computing index Wp all primary products and by-products manufactured in the technological process are takeninto account (except for by-products used in regeneration ofauxiliary raw materials or recycling) of adverse environmentalimpact (for safe, environmental friendly products kpi 0).

    The products of particular hazard to the environment and hu-man health contain a hazardous substance that, according to theact on chemical substances and preparations [15], includesexplosives, oxidants, highly flammable, toxicants, noxious sub-stances, caustics, irritants, allergens, carcinogens, mutagens,harmful to reproductive system and ecotoxic substances.

    In addition, there are following environmental unfriendlyproducts:

    e products that during its life cycle (use) turn into environ-mentally noxious wastes, and

    e products containing implemented technical solutions thathinder repairs and disassembling for extracting worn partsor recovery of worn parts and reuse for other uses after theproduct lost its useful properties.

    The list of environmental friendly products that should notbe taken into account when determining Wp includes amongother things:

    e products free of hazardous substances and reusable by re-cycling or regeneration after being completely useless;

    e products generating no secondary wastes;e products of extended service life, designed for long-term

    use due to enhanced durability or renewal;e reusable products (multiple use);e refillable products (multiple fill);

    Table 4

    Set of formulas and factors taken into account when computing the product

    unit index

    Product unit index (Wp)

    Wp Pni1

    wpi kpi

    kpi 0;.; 1


    wpi mpimcp


    kpi msuimpji



    wpi e partial product unit index for i-th product,

    kpi e environmental nuisance index for i-th product,

    mpi e weight of i-th kind of products manufactured in the technological


    mcp e total weight of all products manufactured in the technological process,

    msui e weight of environmentally noxious (hazardous) components in i-th unit


    mpji e weight of i-th unit product manufactured in the...


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