Sustainability and eco-efficiency issues are today key values to be pursued in the management of industrial activities. Although the principles of eco-efficiency and sustainability are well known, the implementation of these concepts in the practice of industrial production and of process design requires the availability of support tools for specific decision. As a matter of fact, the selection among alternative process routes and the assessment of the environmental efficiency of a process call for the development of procedures and tools allowing a quantitative evaluation of these issues. Several approaches were proposed to the assessment of process sustainability. However, the main effort was dedicated to the evaluation of environmental impact, while less attention was dedicated to other aspects that should be considered in the holistic approach that is necessary in the evaluation of sustainability. The present study was focused on the development of a quantitative methodology for the assessment of eco-efficiency. A relevant effort was dedicated to the selection of a set of significant environmental impacts indexes and a normalization procedure was proposed. The extension of the methodology to some sustainability issues, as the assessment of inherent safety and of economic aspects, was also considered. The methodology was specifically developed in order to provide a tool for decision making in the selection of a waste disposal process among a number of possible alternatives. The proposed methodology strives to consider all the significant aspects involved in the alterative disposal routes for a particular type of waste. The assessment method takes also in consideration specific factors related to the site where the facility is/will be located. The results obtained were discussed considering two case-studies. Two specific waste disposal problems characterized by quite different topic issues were analyzed: the end-life management of plastic material containing brominated flame retardants in electronic scrap, and the disposal of exhaust solvents from the manufacture of paints.

Sustainability assessment of alternative waste disposal processes

TUGNOLI, ALESSANDRO;STRAMIGIOLI, CARLO;SANTARELLI, FRANCESCO;COZZANI, VALERIO
2006

Abstract

Sustainability and eco-efficiency issues are today key values to be pursued in the management of industrial activities. Although the principles of eco-efficiency and sustainability are well known, the implementation of these concepts in the practice of industrial production and of process design requires the availability of support tools for specific decision. As a matter of fact, the selection among alternative process routes and the assessment of the environmental efficiency of a process call for the development of procedures and tools allowing a quantitative evaluation of these issues. Several approaches were proposed to the assessment of process sustainability. However, the main effort was dedicated to the evaluation of environmental impact, while less attention was dedicated to other aspects that should be considered in the holistic approach that is necessary in the evaluation of sustainability. The present study was focused on the development of a quantitative methodology for the assessment of eco-efficiency. A relevant effort was dedicated to the selection of a set of significant environmental impacts indexes and a normalization procedure was proposed. The extension of the methodology to some sustainability issues, as the assessment of inherent safety and of economic aspects, was also considered. The methodology was specifically developed in order to provide a tool for decision making in the selection of a waste disposal process among a number of possible alternatives. The proposed methodology strives to consider all the significant aspects involved in the alterative disposal routes for a particular type of waste. The assessment method takes also in consideration specific factors related to the site where the facility is/will be located. The results obtained were discussed considering two case-studies. Two specific waste disposal problems characterized by quite different topic issues were analyzed: the end-life management of plastic material containing brominated flame retardants in electronic scrap, and the disposal of exhaust solvents from the manufacture of paints.
Proc. 5th European Meeting on Chemical Ind. & Environment
768
776
A. Tugnoli; C. Stramigioli; F. Santarelli; V. Cozzani
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/31374
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