Matériaux & Techniques
Volume 102, Number 5, 2014
Matériaux et société / Social value of materials (SAM8)
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Published online||24 October 2014|
Modeling of a glass mineral wool process in view of life cycle analysis
Laboratory of Chemical Engineering, Processes and sustainable
development, University of Liège, Belgium, B6, Allée de la chimie 3, 4000
2 Knauf Insulation Sprl, Head of Sustainability Products & Buildings, Axis Parc, Rue E. Francqui, 1435 Mont-St-Guibert, Belgium
Accepted: 24 July 2014
In line with the growing concern about the environmental impact of materials in the building sector, Knauf Insulation, a glass wool producer, is performing environmental impact assessment of its products through LCA. Knauf Insulation has several glass wool factories in Europe that produce various products, and for a specific market, the same product can be produced in several factories. As the plants that produce glass wool work with similar processes, a generic model for LCA usable for every plant and every glass wool product has been designed. The model, implemented in GaBi 6, is made as generic as possible by including, for each step, all the raw materials that can be used in one of the factories as well as all the energy sources. Parameters allow to define the amount of each raw material consumed, therefore the model can be adapted to any factory simply by setting these parameters accordingly. Moreover, the transport distances are also parameters and the origin of the energies (electricity or heat) can also be selected. This simplifies the data collection, since the template is the same for all the factories, it can be supported by data collection tools already existing. A part of the model is dedicated to weighting between factories, so a combination of factories can also be studied. This allows to study products sold on a specific market. The model can also be adapted to almost all Knauf Insulation products by using parameters where necessary: for example, several products have different binder contents, so a parameter defines the amount of binder. As some materials can be recycled between several parts of the process, special attention has been paid to recycling loops inside the model. The model is flexible enough to be used for environmental product declaration (EPD) as well as for Eco-Design purposes. The model building is described in the present article as well as the outlines of the production process (necessary for well understand the model) and the results and advantages of this model.
Key words: Life cycle analyse (LCA) / glass wool / insulation products / eco-design
© EDP Sciences, 2014
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