Environmental assessment of industrial chemical and primary sector processes from a life cycle perspective

Volanti, Mirco (2021) Environmental assessment of industrial chemical and primary sector processes from a life cycle perspective, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Chimica, 33 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/9558.
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During the PhD program in chemistry at the University of Bologna, the environmental sustainability of some industrial processes was studied through the application of the LCA methodology. The efforts were focused on the study of processes under development, in order to assess their environmental impacts to guide their transfer on an industrial scale. Processes that could meet the principles of Green Chemistry have been selected and their environmental benefits have been evaluated through a holistic approach. The use of renewable sources was assessed through the study of terephthalic acid production from biomass (which showed that only the use of waste can provide an environmental benefit) and a new process for biogas upgrading (whose potential is to act as a carbon capture technology). Furthermore, the basis for the development of a new methodology for the prediction of the environmental impact of ionic liquids has been laid. It has already shown good qualities in identifying impact trends, but further research on it is needed to obtain a more reliable and usable model. In the context of sustainable development that will not only be sector-specific, the environmental performance of some processes linked to the primary production sector has also been evaluated. The impacts of some organic farming practices in the wine production were analysed, the use of the Cereal Unit parameter was proposed as a functional unit for the comparison of different crop rotations, and the carbon footprint of school canteen meals was calculated. The results of the analyses confirm that sustainability in the industrial production sector should be assessed from a life cycle perspective, in order to consider all the flows involved during the different phases. In particular, it is necessary that environmental assessments adopt a cradle-to-gate approach, to avoid shifting the environmental burden from one phase to another.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Volanti, Mirco
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Life Cycle Assessment
Data di discussione
15 Aprile 2021

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