Assessment and optimization of chemical industrial processes from a life cycle perspective

by Daniele and#60;1987and#62 Cespi

Institution: Università di Bologna
Year: 2015
Keywords: CHIM/12 Chimica dell'ambiente e dei beni culturali
Record ID: 1224667
Full text PDF: http://amsdottorato.unibo.it/6855/1/Cespi_Daniele_Tesi.pdf


During the PhD program in chemistry, curriculum in environmental chemistry, at the University of Bologna the sustainability of industry was investigated through the application of the LCA methodology. The efforts were focused on the chemical sector in order to investigate reactions dealing with the Green Chemistry and Green Engineering principles, evaluating their sustainability in comparison with traditional pathways by a life cycle perspective. The environmental benefits associated with a reduction in the synthesis steps and the use of renewable feedstock were assessed through a holistic approach selecting two case studies with high relevance from an industrial point of view: the synthesis of acrylonitrile and the production of acrolein. The current approach wants to represent a standardized application of LCA methodology to the chemical sector, which could be extended to several case studies, and also an improvement of the current databases, since the lack of data to fill the inventories of the chemical productions represent a huge limitation, difficult to overcome and that can affects negatively the results of the studies. Results emerged from the analyses confirms that the sustainability in the chemical sector should be evaluated from a cradle-to-gate approach, considering all the stages and flows involved in each pathways in order to avoid shifting the environmental burdens from a steps to another. Moreover, if possible, LCA should be supported by other tools able to investigate the other two dimensions of sustainability represented by the social and economic issues.