Integration of MFA and LCA methodologies: the anthropogenic aluminium cycle in Italy

Ciacci, Luca (2013) Integration of MFA and LCA methodologies: the anthropogenic aluminium cycle in Italy , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Chimica industriale, 25 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/5524.
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MFA and LCA methodologies were applied to analyse the anthropogenic aluminium cycle in Italy with focus on historical evolution of stocks and flows of the metal, embodied GHG emissions, and potentials from recycling to provide key features to Italy for prioritizing industrial policy toward low-carbon technologies and materials. Historical trend series were collected from 1947 to 2009 and balanced with data from production, manufacturing and waste management of aluminium-containing products, using a ‘top-down’ approach to quantify the contemporary in-use stock of the metal, and helping to identify ‘applications where aluminium is not yet being recycled to its full potential and to identify present and future recycling flows’. The MFA results were used as a basis for the LCA aimed at evaluating the carbon footprint evolution, from primary and electrical energy, the smelting process and the transportation, embodied in the Italian aluminium. A discussion about how the main factors, according to the Kaya Identity equation, they did influence the Italian GHG emissions pattern over time, and which are the levers to mitigate it, it has been also reported. The contemporary anthropogenic reservoirs of aluminium was estimated at about 320 kg per capita, mainly embedded within the transportation and building and construction sectors. Cumulative in-use stock represents approximately 11 years of supply at current usage rates (about 20 Mt versus 1.7 Mt/year), and it would imply a potential of about 160 Mt of CO2eq emissions savings. A discussion of criticality related to aluminium waste recovery from the transportation and the containers and packaging sectors was also included in the study, providing an example for how MFA and LCA may support decision-making at sectorial or regional level. The research constitutes the first attempt of an integrated approach between MFA and LCA applied to the aluminium cycle in Italy.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Ciacci, Luca
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze chimiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Aluminium, aluminum, stocks and flows, in-use stock, carbon footprint, carbon profile, metal recycling
Data di discussione
12 Aprile 2013

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