Title: Use of recycled natural fibres in industrial products: A comparative LCA case study on acoustic components in the Brazilian automotive sector
Authors: DOS SANTOS PEGORETTI ThaísMATHIEUX FABRICEEVRARD DamienBRISSAUD DanielDE FRANÇA ARRUDA José Roberto
Citation: RESOURCES CONSERVATION AND RECYCLING vol. 84 p. 1-14
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Publication Year: 2014
JRC N°: JRC75523
ISSN: 0921-3449
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921344913002760
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC75523
DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2013.12.010
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: This paper summarizes the results and the lessons learnt from an LCA case study comparing acoustic automotive components. Three alternative acoustic components produced by the Brazilian automotive sector are considered: dual-layer polyurethane (DL-PU) panel, recycled textile absorption-barrier-absorption (ABA-cotton) panel and recycled textile DL (DL-cotton) panel. DL-PU is a “status-quo” alternative, composed mainly of synthetic plastics and the two other alternatives are mainly made of recycled cotton fibres. Using the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method, the three following phases of the panels’ life cycle are examined: production, use and end-of-life. For the latter, two end-of-life scenarios are analysed: landfill and incineration with energy recovery. For the LCA model, some Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) datasets have been adapted from the data available in the EcoInvent database in order to adjust to the Brazilian context. LCA results show that, within the entire life cycle, the DL-cotton option, which combines two layers of recycled fibres of different densities, is overall the best alternative from an environmental perspective. This result is therefore independent from the end-of-life scenario. This is mainly due to the lower weight of this component, which is extremely important for the transportation aspects, but also due to its lower consumption of fossil resources, to the energy saving during its production and to the avoidance of textile disposal that would happen otherwise. The obtained results confirm the available literature dealing with the use of renewable fibres in industrial products. The particular behaviour of recycled fibres compared to virgin ones (in terms of shared contribution of agricultural production and of avoidance of landfilling) is highlighted in this paper, thanks to the application of the “50/50” allocation rule. LCA results are discussed in terms of their potential use in an R&D context. Further research needs are also derived from the case study, including the potential benefits of developing multi-objective optimization methods that include environmental impact to be used in the design of such a component.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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