Allocation in LCA of flax fibres for the reinforcement of composites
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The ISO 14040 series of standards describe the principles and framework for the conduct of life cycle assessment (LCA). The system defines four phases: (i) definition of the goal and scope of the LCA, (ii) the life cycle inventory analysis (LCI), (iii) the life cycle impact assessment (LCIA), and (iv) the life cycle interpretation. The standards do not describe the LCA technique in detail, nor do they specify methodologies for the individual phases of the LCA. Dependent of the goal and scope, there can be very different outcomes from the analysis. This paper considers how the outcomes might change for the specific case of flax fibres for the reinforcement of composites. The study compares allocation of environmental burdens to two different primary products: (i) flax seed as a nutritional supplement with fibre generated from the waste stream, or (ii) flax fibre as the primary product.
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