Life Cycle Engineering of Plastics: Technology, Economy and Environment book cover

Life Cycle Engineering of Plastics: Technology, Economy and Environment

"This book adds much to the already evolving field of Design for Environment; but it goes far beyond most works on this subject by surrounding the central notions of life cycle assessment with a scientific body of knowledge and with a more practical slant reflecting the reality of the organizations in which product development occurs. Through a focus on plastic products, the authors show the importance of making ties between basic technical knowledge and the process of life cycle engineering. Their approach offers a practical, deliberate way to make ecologically and economically sensible decisions about product reuse and recycling and other critical dimensions of product life behavior. They demonstrate a positive approach to designing products that fits into a sustainable economy through down-to-earth cases. While the book focuses on the life cycle engineering of plastics, it is only a short step to other materials and products.

Beyond contributing to the technology of life cycle engineering, this text adds to the growing body of knowledge that argues for an fundamentally new way of thinking about economic and social activity--a new paradigm for sustainable social and industrial problem solving. Industrial ecology is such a new system for thinking about and implementing sustainability that draws its core set of ideas from the ecological world. Industrial ecology brings to the surface the idea of interdependence among members of a community-- natural or economic, and notes the material cycles that are central to a stable ecosystem. The life cycle engineering framework, coupled with sound scientific knowledge of materials behavior as articulated in this book, makes a giant step towards bringing the model of industrial ecology into everyday practice."

From the Preface by John R. Ehrenfeld
Director, MIT Technology, Business and Environment Program
Center for Technology, Policy, and Industrial Development

Audience
For industrialists and researchers interested in environmental issues surrounding the recycling industry.

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Published: January 2001

Imprint: Elsevier

ISBN: 978-0-08-043886-3

Reviews

  • "'...readable and well written in an interesting style."
    Edward D. Weil, Polytechnic University, New York, POLYMER NEWS

Contents

  • Preface. Preamble. Acknowledgements. Introduction to life cycle engineering. What is life cycle engineering. The growth of plastics. The life cycle engineering of plastics. Who should be involved? The polymer life cycle. What is a polymer? What are plastics? Durability and reliability of plastic products. Degredation and ageing of polymers. Process induced degradation. Service-induced degradation. Physical ageing. Viscoelastic effects. Life-time prediction. Long-term prediction of thermo-oxidative degradation. Superpositions and shift factors. Prediction of fatigue failure. Material know-how and life cycle engineering. Plastics recovery and recycling. The vital recycling chain. Collection and sorting for recycling. Identification and sorting systems. Economics of collection and sorting. Conclusions. Waste management routes. Mechanical recycling. Revitalisation. Feedstock recycling. Energy recovery. Environmentally-degradable polymers. Applications for recycled plastics. Factors affecting market acceptance. Emerging markets for recycled plastics. Responsibility in the recycling chain. Life cycle assesment. Introduction. Goal definition and scoping. Purpose. Scope. Determining the functional unit. Data quality assessment. Inventory analysis. Generating the process tree. Entering the process data. Applying the allocation rules. Creating the inventory table. Impact assesment. Classification. Characterisation. Evaluation. Improvement analysis. Conclusions and pointers. Life cycle engineering in product development. Resource optimisation. The product development process. Integrated product development. Computer-based "green" design tools. Reduction of material intensity. Material selection. Weight reduction. Material reduction through design. Product life extension. Modularity and maintainability. Repair, remanufacturing and reuse. Material life extension. Material optimisation. Design for recycling. Perspectives. Organisational aspects of life cycle engineering. The importance of networking. The importance of communication. Environmental management. The ICC Business Charter for Sustainable Development. BS 7750. The EEC Environmental Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). ISO 14000. Core elements in EMS and environmental reporting. Cost and utility of environmental management. EMS in small and medium sized companies. Towards greener management/a summary. Case studies. Packaging restructuring. Pharmacia and Upjohn. Packaging development. Packaging recycling. Attitudes of hospital personnel. The vital recycling chain. Industrial networking for competitivenes. Plastics in the automotive industry. Volvo Car Corporation. AB Konstruktions-Bakelit. DuPont de Nemours International S.A. Future automotive recycling networks. Afterword. Acronyms. Index

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