Life Cycle Assessment

CLASS QUESTIONS: Life Cycle Assessment

MIET2129 Semester 2 2017


Simon Lockrey, School of Architecture and Design, RMIT University


Due to be submitted: by end of Monday 17 September 2017, via MIET2129 Blackboard/Assignments

(worth 20% total marks)



Packaging glass production requires inputs of various materials, including sand, limestone and cullet (recovered glass from recycling), as well as electricity and natural gas inputs. Some of the materials used to produce glass, e.g. limestone, dissociate during production, generating direct air emissions. As example, limestone (CaCO3) dissociates to lime (CaO) and carbon dioxide (CO2)




  • Using:
    • Energy inputs (see assumptions below)
    • Scope 1, 2, and 3 emission factors
    • Emission factor for other material inputs and transport to production site
    • Direct emissions
    • Characterisation factors for direct emissions


Calculate production climate change impacts for glass production in:

  1. Victoria
  2. Germany


Provide full workings of all calculations. Report results in kg CO2-eq/tonne



  • What other life cycle stages should be included if considering environmental impacts over the full life cycle? Explain why these could be important.


  • When examining the life cycle impacts in this study, it is important to consider other environmental impacts beyond greenhouse gas emissions. Identify three other environmental indicators that can be readily assessed using LCA, including a justification for these selections.





Technology is the same for both regions


Energy inputs

  • Natural gas: 2.1 GJ / tonne
  • Electricity: 170.3 kWh / tonne


Victoria, Scope 1, 2, 3 factors:


Use the latest estimates from:


Assume “metro” for natural gas distribution via pipeline.


Electricity, Germany:

Scope 2: 0.627 kg CO2-eq / kWh

Scope 3: 0.018 kg CO2-eq / kWh


Natural gas, Germany:

Scope 1: 51.17 kg CO2-eq/GJ

Scope 3: 4.19 kg CO2-eq/GJ



Emission factor for other material inputs and transport to production site (e.g. sand, limestone etc.)

  • 9 kg CO2-eq/tonne


Direct air emissions:

  • Carbon dioxide: 250.4 kg / tonne
  • Methane: 1.09 x 10-4 kg / tonne
  • Nitrous oxide: 4.59 x 10-4 kg / tonne


Climate change characterisation factors


Substance Global Warming Potential

[IPCC 2007 factors, 100 year time horizon]

(kg CO2-eq/kg)

Carbon dioxide (CO2) 1
Methane (CH4) 25
Nitrous oxide (N2O) 298




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