Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Japan
Online ISSN : 1881-0519
Print ISSN : 1880-2761
ISSN-L : 1880-2761
Volume 8 , Issue 2
Showing 1-17 articles out of 17 articles from the selected issue
  • 2012 Volume 8 Issue 2 Pages Toc_1-Toc_4
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 15, 2019
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Special Issue: Element Strategy
Commentary and Discussion
  • Kohmei HALADA
    2012 Volume 8 Issue 2 Pages 112-119
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 15, 2019

    Current new stage of the resource risk is discussed. The risk is going no more the risk in future but that at today or tomorrow. There are two reasons namely demand of technological innovation and the explosive increase of global demand. This effect the sustainability not only that of the national economic, but also of human’s activity and of global environment. In order to understand the impact related global environment, “resource-end weight” gives explicit information for design of materials and products. For mitigation of the risk, four practices are proposed; reduce, reuse, recycle and substitute. Substitution is important approach to solve the problem. While conventional substitution was tried after the shortening of the resource, expected substitution should investigate to widen the utilization of common material precedingly. For the further trial to sustainable resource management, “good products from familiar resources” is required.

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  • Takashi NAKAMURA
    2012 Volume 8 Issue 2 Pages 120-127
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 15, 2019

    We are living in natural environment with artificial circumstances. We can’t return to old historical lives. How we can success to do harmonious coexistence between keeping environment and economic growth, which is a trade off relation very often. One of answers is 3Rs(Reduce, Reuse and Recycling)of artificial waste which can’t retuned to original state by themselves. 3Rs can reduce the consumption the primary resources, save energy and control of diffusion of harmful elements to nature, if they have done on the right way. A strategy of mineral resources and supporting technologies for it in Japan is shown in the presentation to achieve a sustainable growth. Most natural mineral resources are imported in Japan, since there are no natural mineral resources except limestone. Not only commodity metals like iron and copper but minor rare metals are very important in Japan to keep providing high technological electronics applicants like PC and cellular phones. Some of mineral resources can be imported from very limited countries, for example, rare earth elements(REE)are imported only from China. It also causes a difficulty of stable supply of metal resources. So, to overcome uncertainness of supply of minerals and metals, Japanese government has taken a following strategy have taken as follow:
      (1)Exploration and exploitation of metal resources
      (2)Further promotion of recycling of metals
      (3)Development of substitutes for minor rare metals
      (4)Stockpile of minor rare metals for emergency
    A new project is proposed to develop a simulation model which can estimate total energy consumptions for the supply of all materials considering supply chains of resources including recycle uses.

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  • Mikio KOBAYASHI, Takaya HAMAI
    2012 Volume 8 Issue 2 Pages 128-135
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 15, 2019

    Rare metals are essential for advanced industries, but, in Japan, almost all natural resources of rare metals are imported. Therefore, to ensure stable supplies of rare metals is very important. In this paper the current conditions of the resources related to rare earths, tungsten, lithium, cobalt and platinum group metals are explained. So far, in cases of rare earths and tungsten the resources have been mainly based on the import from China. The import routes of the resources of lithium, cobalt and platinum are also limited. Therefore, to increase the countries from which the resources are imported will be necessary with the promotion of recycling, development of alternative materials and enhancing of stockpiling.

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  • Hideo HOSONO
    2012 Volume 8 Issue 2 Pages 136-142
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 15, 2019

    We propose a ‘ubiquitous element strategy’ for materials research which aims at realizing functionalities utilizing abundant elements. Creation of innovative oxide materials and devices based on conventional ceramics is a challenge belong to this strategy. This article describes the concept of ubiquitous element strategy and gives some highlights of our recent research on the synthesis of electronic and thermionic functions.

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    2012 Volume 8 Issue 2 Pages 143-150
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 15, 2019

    Objective. Platinum group metals (PGMs) have been focused on as typical minor elements. In this paper, the reserves, supply, and demand of PGMs are introduced to clarify the present status of PGMs. Several applications of PGMs are also represented to illustrate their importance in various industries and in daily life and society.
    Results and Discussion. PGMs have superior physical and chemical properties such as high melting temperatures, good oxidation and corrosion resistance, good catalytic properties, and stability to chemical environments. Thus, PGMs are used in a wide range of application fields such as emission gas purification catalysts in automobiles, catalysts for producing chemical products and for purifying petroleum, electric devices such as magnetic recording materials in hard disks, medical materials, and high-temperature structural and coating materials in the glass and aeronautical industries. On the other hand, the supply of platinum, a representative element of the platinum group metals, is approximately 200 ton per year and PGM resources are concentrated in the Bushveld complex of South Africa, with 75% of PGMs originating from South Africa. The low production and resource concentration in South Africa causes drastic price fluctuations and the unstable supply of PGMs. To maintain a stable supply of PGMs and ensure their effective use, research to extend material life, reduce PGM use, and find alternative materials its being performed. The recycling of PGMs is also very important not only to maintain a stable supply but also to protect the earth from the severe environmental damage caused by mining. The amount of recycling of PGMs has progressively increased since 2004.
    Conclusions. This paper clarifies the present status of PGMs from the point of view of reserves, supply, demand, and various applications to illustrate their importance in daily life and their problems. To maintain a sustainable and stable supply of PGMs, their reduced use, replacement with alternative materials and recycling are very important.

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  • Junichi KASAI
    2012 Volume 8 Issue 2 Pages 151-160
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 15, 2019

    Objective. The objective of this paper is to specify the technological challenges of strategic materials development.
    Results and Discussion. In order to derive the challenges, historical backgrounds since late 1980s have been discussed and summarized: 1)New direction towards environmental conscious products in 1990s is shown with examples of LCA, LCC, and TMR. 2)Basic Act for the Promotion of the Recycling-Oriented Society has become enacted in 2000, and a series of Recycling Laws for various products have been effective following to the Basic Act. These laws were triggers for the public to focus on the Recycling-Oriented Society. In the mid 2000s, risks in shortage of natural resources have become obvious and a lot of discussions have been made. Science and technologies can provide real answers to solve those resource risks.
    Conclusions. The most essential answer to the resource risks is to utilize rich elements from the earth, such as Si, Ca, Al, Fe, O… and C. Collateral answers, reducing the consumption of critical elements and recycling, should be implemented earlier. In order to accomplish the answers, new “Materials Science” must be restructured by cooperation among scientists and engineers from various fields.

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  • Norihiro ITSUBO
    2012 Volume 8 Issue 2 Pages 161-169
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 15, 2019

    Many of LCIA methods for assessing environmental impacts caused by resource consumption have been proposed since early 1990s, but there are few consensus internationally. One of the reasons of this insufficiency is that there are very few research paying attention to the impact on ecosystem caused by resource mining, although a huge amount of ecosystem were lost by land use change. This article surveyed current status of LCIA studies of resource consumption and introduced a method evaluating damage on ecosystem caused by resource mining. The calculation procedure and example of damage factor are also explained. Damage factor, an output of LIME2 enables LCA practitioners to apply this to case studies measuring potential damage on biodiversity. Several advanced companies have already attempted this and published their calculated results to validate their environmental performances.
    Finally, the authors surveyed current situation and raised problems in LCIA method for resource consumption. Establishment of assessment method of environmental impacts on ecosystem and human health caused by unexpected leakage of overburden and mining tailing and development of method measuring social impacts of resource mining in developing countries are required.

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General Articles
Research Article
  • Masanao KANETOH, Hiroyuki YAGI
    2012 Volume 8 Issue 2 Pages 170-180
    Published: 2012
    Released: May 09, 2015
    Objective. Aomori Prefecture published its comprehensive “Biomass use strategy” in March 2004. Since then, biomass projects have been implemented in Chunan Region, Aomori Prefecture. But now few projects are being started in the region for the following reasons. First, the prefectural government has not formulated a master plan for stimulating business and residential development in the region. Second, there is no system for simulating or comparing the benefits from projects from the different biomass interests. Previous studies have developed a technological information infrastructure(TII) for simulating the system of biomass utilization needed for the region. But it is difficult for TII to evaluate the performance of the systems from economical, environmental and social perspectives and from many levels from individual entities to the entire region. If there were a model that could evaluate these performances from each perspective, it would then become much easier for the biomass interests to discuss and select a better system using these evaluations. The purpose of this study is to create a model that can evaluate the performance of the biomass policies and projects in the region from these three perspectives.
    Results and Discussion. This study developed a new model for performance evaluation using examples from existing evaluation tools, such as Material Flow Analysis/Life Cycle Assessment, environmental accounting and input-output tables. In addition, this model complements the evaluation function of the TII. First, we developed an evaluation map that represents the management resources flowing or stockpiling among the relevant entities within the region and outside it. Then we proposed a decision making card to be used for the different biomass interests. The card is used to quantify the flows or stocks which have been made visible by the map, and thus provide a basis for identifying a better system of biomass utilization.
    Conclusions. The prefectural government together with businesses and residents can use the evaluation map and decision making card as a tool to make policymaking and project planning more effective and efficient by simulating a system of biomass utilization that uses performance data from all three perspectives. This tool is also useful for businesses and residents in making policy recommendations and evaluating projects.
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  • Wenyu ZHANG, Dinil PUSHPALAL
    2012 Volume 8 Issue 2 Pages 181-199
    Published: 2012
    Released: May 09, 2015
    Objective. Cement industry is one of the key sources of air pollution and it is an energy intensive industry. Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) is one of the basic steps in life cycle assessment methodology (LCA). At first, based on the method of LCA, this paper presents a comparative study of the LCIA of different life cycle inventories (LCI) for the cement industry of whole China for year 2008. This also discusses LCA for 22 individual provinces, 5 autonomous regions and 4 municipalities in China for the year 2008. Second, a regional based comparative study of life cycle impact (LCIA) of different air pollutants and CO2 was conducted using CML methodology developed by Leiden University. Finally, based on the results of the LCIA, the policies of pollution reduction for Chinese cement industry were proposed.
    Results and Discussion. In average emissions of CO2, SO2, NOx, CO, CH4, NMVOC(non-methane volatile organic compounds), PM(particulate matter), N2O, As, Cd, Cr, Hg, Ni, Pb, V and Zn were 831, 1.36, 1.65, 0.49, 0.27, 0.19, 3.15, 1.30 × 10−3, 4.74 × 10−4, 1.49 × 10−6, 2.08 × 10−5, 2.10 × 10−5, 3.52 × 10−5, 2.26 × 10−4, 3.56 × 10−4, 3.13 × 10−4 kg per ton of cement. The total environmental value of seven impact categories of the whole China related to cement manufacturing was in order of GWP>HT>AP>NP>POCP>ECT>ECA (GWP: global warming potential, HT: human toxicity, AP: acidification potential, NP: nutrification potential, POCP: photochemical ozone creation potential, ECT: ecotoxicological classification factor for terrestrial ecosystems, ECA: ecotoxicological classification factor for aquatic ecosystems). Moreover, the total environmental value of seven impact categories for 22 individual provinces, 5 autonomous regions and 4 municipalities in China was also analyzed in this paper. The environmental value of seven impact categories for Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region, Chongqing municipality, Qinghai province, Guizhou province, Hunan province, Guangxi province, Anhui province, Jiangxi province was in order of HT>GWP>AP>NP>POCP>ECT>ECA. For other remaining regions in China, it was in order of GWP>HT>AP>NP>POCP>ECT>ECA.
    Conclusions. This paper has collected the inventory data for cement industry in different regions in China and then estimated unit emission factors separately for each region. Finally, CML methodology was used to evaluate the total environment impact and the following conclusions have been drawn. (1) There is a large technological gap among the cement industry of Chinese regions. (2) Reduction potential of CO2, SO2, NOx and PM is very large. (3) Global warming and human toxicity have given the worst impact on environment. Therefore, the authors recommend that China should impose the regulations and detailed reduction targets for the regional cement industry in the future. Those regulations might encourage the Chinese cement producers to develop technologies for CO2 reduction such as waste heat recovery, alternative raw materials, and alternative fuels. In order to reduce the toxic effects on the human body due to PM, SO2, NOx, CO and heavy metals, China should increase the use of dust collectors and desulfurization equipments, and technologies of energy conservation. CO2 and air pollution reduction in cement industry is still a great challenge for China.
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  • Norihiro ITSUBO, Ryouta II, Yoshikazu MORIMOTO, Ken HORIGUCHI, Motoaki ...
    2012 Volume 8 Issue 2 Pages 200-212
    Published: 2012
    Released: May 09, 2015
    Objective. Interests in the environmental assessment for events are increasing rapidly. Total emission of carbon dioxide have assessed in several large-scale events such as G8 summit in Toya lake, FIFA world cup in Germany and winter Olympic in Torino to perform carbon offset. The authors raised the several problems in the previous studies and carried out LCCO2 for Tokyo marathon. The result of this study proved that the expansion of the scope of LCA was critically important, because many types of products used in the event such as stands, temporary lavatory, fence, commemorative products influenced the total amount of CO2 emission.
    Materials and Methods. In the case of exhibitions, the collection of fundamental data might be harder than the case of the other types of event, because investigators have to contact a number of related people such as exhibitors, guests, organizer and representatives of event hall. Various types of products like creations, exhibits, equipment, and distribution media have to be covered in environmental assessment. This study evaluated total CO2 emission for “Eco-products 2010”. Inventory database was prepared in advance. The transition of CO2 emission was evaluated with the comparison with the calculated results for the past two years.
    Results and Discussion. Inventory analysis was carried out using CO2 intensities (i.e. CO2-kg/kg, CO2-kg/kWh, CO2-kg/1Million Japanese Yen) and activities units (e.g. kg, kWh, JY). CO2 intensities which involve direct and indirect CO2 emissions were prepared using input output analysis. All of the activities units were obtained by questionnaire to organizer, guests, and exhibitors. The total amount of CO2 emission including direct and indirect emissions was calculated as 4,610 ton. The environmental burdens of exhibitors occupied a half of total amounts. Creations, rental goods, staff’s activities and distribution media were key items which influence CO2 emissions emitted by exhibitors. The contribution of guests used by participants exceeded 40% of total emission. Most of this amounts come from transportation. The emissions from organizer and event site were relatively small. The transitions of CO2 emissions were depending on the related groups. Classification of total emission to each group would facilitate to understand their environmental performance and support the reduction of CO2 emissions by themselves.
    Conclusions. LCA for large-scale exhibition was carried out using CO2 intensity given by input output analysis. This approach enabled us to obtain the calculated result quickly. Temporary result was released to the public on the day of the event. Final result was obtained after the fixed data were provided to the practitioners. Through this process, it became possible to share environmental information among various stakeholders like guests and organizer effectively.
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