Assessing the Environmental Impact of Flax Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composite from a Consequential Life Cycle Assessment Perspective

Other literature type, Article English OPEN
Deng, Yelin ; Tian, Yajun (2015)
  • Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
  • Journal: Sustainability (issn: 2071-1050)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3390/su70911462
  • Subject: TJ807-830 | TD194-195 | Renewable energy sources | glass fibre | flax fibre | composite | GE1-350 | Environmental sciences | consequential life cycle assessment | Environmental effects of industries and plants

The study implements the consequential life cycle assessment (CLCA) to provide a market based perspective on how overall environmental impact will change when shifting glass fibres to flax fibres as reinforcements in composite fabrication. With certain assumptions, the marginal flax fibre supply is identified to be a combination of Chinese flax fibre (70%) and French flax fibre (30%). Due to inferior cultivars and coal-fired electricity in Chinese flax cultivation, the CLCA study reveals that flax mat-PP has 0.8–2 times higher environmental impact values than the glass mat-PP in most environmental impact categories over the production and end-of-life (EoL) phases. For purpose of providing potential trajectories of marginal flax fibre supply, additional scenarios: the “all French fibre”, and “all Chinese fibre” are evaluated formulating the lower and upper boundaries in terms of environmental impact change, respectively. A “the attributional fibre supply mix” scenario is supplied as well. All of these scenarios are useful for policy analysis.
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