Evaluation environnementale des options de recyclage selon la méthodologie d’analyse de cycle de vie : établissement d’une approche cohérente appliquée aux études de cas de l’industrie chimique

Abstract : Modeling of recycling – and allocation in general – is a heavily debated topic in the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) domain. This thesis aimed to find a coherent scientific approach to model recycling in LCA that provides relevant information to companies. Existing allocation procedures are captured by mathematical formulas and linked to an LCA goal and an attributional or consequential approach in a systematic framework. A review of official guidelines showed that none of them provides recommendations on allocation that is consistent with this framework. A partitioning approach was identified for attributional LCA (a-LCA). This approach is based on subjective assumptions, which are made explicit by axioms. In consequential LCA (c-LCA), the market-price ratio between the recycled and substituted primary material is introduced as a new indicator to identify whether additional recycling substitutes the production of primary materials or avoids waste treatment. The processes that are affected by a changing demand for a product are identified by a causal loop diagram, which also includes stockpiling as a new element in c-LCA. The application of the allocation procedures is demonstrated by a case study of the recycling of rare earth elements (REEs) from used fluorescent lamps. The a-LCA indicated that recycled REEs are more sustainable than primary REEs. The c-LCA showed that recycling is environmentally beneficial as long as the REEs are used in fluorescent lamps that substitute less energy-efficient halogen lamps. This demonstrates that both LCA approaches provide different but useful information for companies. Suggestions are given for policy measures when the market situation does not stimulate environmentally beneficial behavior. It is recommended, among other options, to extend the causal loop diagram of c-LCA to include additional mechanisms, such as rebound effects.
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Dieuwertje Schrijvers. Evaluation environnementale des options de recyclage selon la méthodologie d’analyse de cycle de vie : établissement d’une approche cohérente appliquée aux études de cas de l’industrie chimique. Chimie analytique. Université de Bordeaux, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017BORD0555⟩. ⟨tel-01532008⟩

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