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FLEXO Magazine : Sustainable Spring 2009
lifecycle inventories) for the individual components. Lifecycle inventory data for these eco-profiles were from several sourc- es, including BASF-specific production sites, and the quality of data was considered medium-high to high. None of the eco-profile data was considered to be of low data quality. The energy production mix was based on the Midwestern United States (MI, IN, OH, KY, WV), and analysis indicated results did not change significantly for other US regions. A sensitivity analysis of the results indicates that the most relevant impacts of this study included the energy consump- tion, resource consumption, air emissions, and water emis- sions. More specifically, from an air emission standpoint, the global warming potential (GWP) and acidification potential (AP) were found to have the highest relevance on the results. RESULTS Costs. The results of the lifecycle cost analysis found that UV-Cured ink systems have the highest costs and the alterna- tive with the lowest lifecycle cost is the conventional water system. From Table 4, it can be seen that the film cost is the overwhelming driver of the total cost of each alternative. Item Costs Material Ink Cost Film Cost Total Material Costs Energy Electricity Cost Natural Gas Cost Total Energy Costs Manufacturing Production Labor Drum Handling and Logistics Total Manufacturing Costs Waste Hazardous Costs Non-Hazardous Costs Total Waste Costs Thermal Oxidizer Total Table 4. Lifecycle costs Units Water $/CB $22.70 $/CB $290.00 $/CB $313 $/CB $/CB $/CB $/CB $/CB $/CB $/CB $/CB $/CB $/CB $0.63 $0.10 $0.73 $4.26 $0.50 $4.76 $0.52 $0.05 $0.56 - Solvent UV-Cured $41.54 $290.00 $332 $0.58 $0.05 $0.63 $2.56 $0.71 $3.26 $0.73 $0.05 $0.78 $1.24 $/CB $318.75 $337.45 $63.91 $290.00 $354 $1.29 - $1.29 $2.90 $0.34 $3.24 $0.35 $0.05 $0.40 - $358.84 Primary Energy Consumption. Energy consumption mea- sured over the entire lifecycle show that water-based printing ink systems are the most advantageous alternative with regard to this particular environmental assessment measurement, using 345 MJ of energy per customer benefit. This is followed by the UV-Cured alternative, which uses 409 MJ of energy per customer benefit over the entire lifecycle. The least favorable alternative over the entire lifecycle, from an overall energy consumption standpoint, is the solvent based ink system, which uses about 676 MJ of energy per customer benefit. Furthermore, it can be seen from Figure 3 that the key driver for energy consumption for each alternative is the ink formulation. This can be attributed directly to the oil and gas consumption required to produce the inks. Global Warming Potential (GWP). The highest carbon foot- print occurred in the solvent-based printing ink alternative, with a measurement of over 29.2 kg of CO2 equivalents per customer benefit followed by the UV-cured system, with 27.3 kg of CO2 per customer benefit. The lowest carbon footprint with respect to the other alternatives results for the water- based printing ink system, which has an emission of 21.6 kg of CO2 equivalents per customer benefit. The result is about 26 percent reduction in the carbon footprint for the water-based alternative when compared to solvent-based, and about 6.5 percent reduction when compared to UV-cured. The main contributors to the GWP of each alternative in- emitted during the ink formulation, drive power, clude the CO2 and curing stages. Additionally, the solvent-based ink system contains a VOC abatement stage that has a measurable impact on GWP, which contributes to the fact that it is the least desirable alternative from a carbon footprint standpoint. Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP). Both the water and solvent-based ink systems results in a very minimal ozone depletion potential, measured at 1.05 mg CFC equivalents per CB. The UV-cured alternative on the other hand, has the potential to emit ozone depleting chemicals at the level of 9.69 mg CFC equivalents per customer benefit. The results indicate that main contributors to the ODP of each alternative can be attributed to the level of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) emitted during the ink formulation stage. Acidification Potential (AP). It can be seen from Figure 5 that overall, the water-based ink system has the lowest acidi- fication potential over the entire lifecycle, with emissions of 194g of SO2 option has the highest value, with 270g of SO2 equivalents per customer benefit. The UV-cured equivalent emissions per customer benefit, due in large part to the sig- nificant impact from the curing stage, which contributes 127g of SO2 other alternatives. The ink formulation, drive power, and curing stages are and SOx and SOx solvent-based system has an acidification potential of 231g of SO2 all key drivers for the acidification potential of each of the alternatives studied, which can primarily be attributed to the NOx equivalents per customer benefit. Additionally, the equivalents per customer benefit, which falls between the emitted during each stage. In addition, the NOx emitted during the VOC abatement stage of the solvent-based ink system also have a measurable impact on AP, contributing to the fact that it is a less desirable alterna- tive, from an acidification standpoint, compared to the water- based system. Photochemical Ozone Creation Potential (Smog). The lowest emissions for ground level ozone formation potential occur in the water-based ink system alternative, with 4.80g of ethene equivalents emitted per customer benefit. The UV-cured alternative follows with the second highest level of emissions, 5.98g of ethene equivalents per customer ben- efit, and the largest photochemical ozone creation potential occurs in the solvent-based ink system, with a measurement of 9.03g of ethene equivalents per customer benefit. Similar as was the case for ozone depletion potential, it is the ink formulation in particular that by far contributes the most to potential smog formation. This is specifically attributable to the methane and non methane-VOC’s released during the ink production process. www. f l e x oma g . c om S P R ING/SUMME R 20 0 9 Su s t a i n a b l e F LEXO 1 3