Production of fine and speciality chemicals: procedure for the estimation of LCIs
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Goal, Scope, Background
To improve the environmental performance of chemical products or services, especially via comparisons of chemical products, LCA is a suitable evaluation method. However, no procedure to obtain comprehensive LCI-data on the production of fine and speciality chemicals is available to date, and information on such production processes is scarce. Thus, a procedure was developed for the estimation of LCIs of chemical production process-steps, which relies on only a small amount of input data.
A generic input-output scheme of chemical production process-steps was set up, and equations to calculate inputs and outputs were established. For most parameters in the resulting estimation procedure, default values were derived from on-site data on chemical production processes and from heuristics. Uncertainties in the estimated default values were reflected as best-case and worst-case scenarios. The procedure was applied to a case study comparing the production of two active ingredients used for crop protection. Verification and a sensitivity analysis were carried out.
Results and Discussion
It was found that the impacts from the mass and energy flows estimated by the procedure represent a significant share of the impacts assessed in the case study. In a verification, LCI-data from existing processes yielded results within the range of the estimated best-case and worst-case scenarios. Note that verification data could not be obtained for all process steps. From the verification results, it was inferred that mass and energy flows of existing processes for the production of fine and speciality chemicals correspond more frequently to the estimated best-case than to the worst-case scenario. In the sensitivity analysis, solvent demand was found to be the most crucial parameter in the environmental performance of the chemical production processes assessed.
Mass and energy flows in LCIs of production processes for fine and speciality chemicals should not be neglected, even if only little information on a process is available. The estimation procedure described here helps to overcome lacking information in a transparent, consistent way.
Recommendations and Outlook
Additional verifications and a more detailed estimation of the default parameters are desirable to learn more about the accuracy of the estimation procedure. The procedure should also be applied to case studies to gain insight into the usefulness of the estimation results in different decision-making contexts.
- Boustead I (1999): Eco-Profiles of Plastics and Related Intermediates. Association of Plastics Manufacturers in Europe (APME), Brussels
- Stalmans M, Berenbold H, Berna JL, Cavalli L et al. (1995): European Life-Cycle Inventory for Detergent Surfactants Production. Tenside Surf Det 32, 84–109
- Frischknecht RE, Bollens U, Bosshart S, Ciot M et al (1996): ökoinventare von Energiesystemen (LCIs of Energy Systems). Swiss Federal Office of Energy, Bern, 3rd ed.
- Simapro 4.0 (2001): Pré consultants B.V., Amersfoort, The Netherlands
- Jödicke G, Zenklusen O, Weidenhaupt A, Hungerbühler K (1999): Developing environmentally sound processes in the chemical industry: a case study on pharmaceutical intermediates. J Cleaner Prod 7, 159–166 CrossRef
- Kniel GE, Delmarco K, Petrie JG (1996): Life cycle assessment applied to process design: Environmental and economic analysis and optimization of a nitric acid plant. Env Prog 15, 221–228 CrossRef
- Jimenez-Gonzalez C, Kim S, Overcash MR (2000): Methodology for developing gate-to-gate life cycle inventory information. Int J LCA 5, 153–159 CrossRef
- Blickenstorfer C (1999): Analyse des Energieverbrauchs eines Mehrprodukte — Batch — Betriebes: Fallbeispiel Reaktivfarbstoffproduktion. (Analysis of Energy Use in Multipurpouse — Batch — Production: Case-Study on the Production of Reactive Dyestuffs). Dissertation, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Laboratory of Technical Chemistry, Zürich
- Grant CD (2001): Energy Management in Chemical Industry. In: Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. New York. John Wiley & Sons, 6th ed.
- Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry (2001): John Wiley & Sons, New York, 6th ed.
- Bretz R, Frankhauser P (1996): Screening LCA for a large number of products. Int J LCA 1, 139–146 CrossRef
- Shonnard DR, Hiew DS (2000): Comparative environmental assessments of VOC recovery and recycle design alternatives for a gaseous waste stream. Environ Sci Technol 34, 5222–5228 CrossRef
- Bretz R, Frankhauser P (1997): Life-cycle assessment of chemical production processes: A tool for ecological optimization. Chimia 51, 213–217
- Heinzle E, Weirich D, Brogli D, Hoffmann VH et al. (1998): Ecological and economic objective functions for screening in integrated development of fine chemical processes. 1. Flexible and expandable framework using indices. Ind Eng Chem Res 37, 3395–3407 CrossRef
- Simond O (2001): Personal Communication. CIMO S.A.
- Hischier R, Baitz M, Bretz R, Frischknecht R et al. (2003): SETAC LCA Working Group Data Availability and Data Quality, Subgroup 3: Recommended List of Exchanges (in print)
- Colomb G (2001): Emission Abatement at the Chemical Plant in Monthey. CIMO SA, Monthey, Switzerland (confidential)
- Kirk RE, Othmer DE (eds.) (1991): Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. John Wiley & Sons, New York
- Weissermel K, Arpe H-J (1998): Industrial Organic Chemistry. Wiley-VCH, Weinheim
- Tomlin CDS (ed.) (1997): The Pesticide Manual. British Crop Protection Council, 11th ed.
- Beilstein CrossFire plus Reactions (2000). MDL Information Systems GmbH, Frankfurt, 5th ed.
- Production Data for an Active Ingredient for Crop Protection and its Precursor (2001): Syngenta Crop Protection SA, Basel, Switzerland (confidential)
- Standard Operation Procedure in Pilot Scale for the Production of an Active Ingredient for Crop Protection (1990): Syngenta Crop Protection SA, Basel, Switzerland (confidential)
- Utility Demands of Three Multipurpose-Batch Production Buildings, from the Years 1998–2001 (2001): CIBA Speciality Chemicals SA, Basel, Switzerland (confidential)
- Frischknecht R (1999): Umweltrelevanz natürlicher Kältemittel; ökobilanzen von Wärmepumpen und Kälteanlagen, Anhang zum Schlussbericht. (Relevance of Natural Cooling Agents; LCIs of Heat Pumps and Cooling Installations). Swiss Federal Office of Energy, Bern, Switzerland
- Coers KJ (2002): Personal Communication. Syngenta Crop Protection, Basel, Switzerland
- Technical Guidance Document in Support of Commission Directive 93/67/EEC on Risk Assessment for New Notified Sub- stances and Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1488/94 on Risk Assessment for Existing Substances (1996): European Commission, Luxembourg
- Hofstetter TB, Capello C, Hungerbühler K (2003): Environmentally Preferable Treatment Options for Industrial Waste Solvent Management: A Case Study of a Toluene-Containing Waste Solvent. Transactions of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, Part B 81, 189–202
- Guinée JB, Gorrée M, Heijungs R, Huppes G et al. (2001): CML-Guide to Life Cycle Assessment. Centre of Environmental Studies, Leiden University (CML), Leiden
- Morgan MG, Henrion M (1990): Uncertainty. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
- Data on Utility Inputs into and Emissions from the Chemical Waste Incinerator and the Wastewater Treatment Plant at the Monthey Production Site (2000): CIMO SA, Monthey, Switzerland
- Cost Sheets on Production Processes for Fine and Speciality Chemicals (2002): Syngenta Crop Protection, Basel, Switzerland (confidential)
- Cost Sheets on Production Processes for Fine and Speciality Chemicals (2002): SF-Chem, Basel, Switzerland (confidential)
- Standard Operation Procedure for the Pilot Production of a Speciality Chemical (1987): Syngenta Crop Protection, Basel, Switzerland (confidential)
- Database of Mass and Energy Balances of Chemical Production Processes (1996): Syngenta Crop Protection, Basel, Switzerland (confidential)
- Busson J (1998): Position Paper on Responsible Care. International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA). http:// www.icca-chem.org
- Production of fine and speciality chemicals: procedure for the estimation of LCIs
The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment
Volume 9, Issue 2 , pp 101-113
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links
- Chemical production process
- fine chemicals
- life cycle inventory analysis (LCI)
- product comparison
- speciality chemicals
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Safety and Environmental Technology Group, CH-8093 Zürich, ETH Honggerberg, Switzerland
- 2. Department of Water Resources and Drinking Water, Swiss Federal Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (EAWAG), CH-8600, Dübendorf, Switzerland