Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Life Cycle Analysis Expertise

Foundation CETENASA has applied in the framework of ELVAS the LCA methodology to compare new electromagnetic valve actuation system vs. traditional camshaft solution.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an objective methodology to evaluate the environmental impact associated with a product, process or activity. LCA studies a product throughout its life cycle (from cradle to grave), from the extraction of raw materials to the production, use and disposal.

The main steps carried out in this methodology are:
- To identify and quantify the use of materials and energy.
- To identify and quantify dumping to the environment.
- To determine the impact of the use of resources (materials and energy) on the environment.
- To determine the impact of dumping in the environment.
- To evaluate and implement strategies of environmental improvement.

One of the key aspects for the success in the LCA studies is related to the availability of qualified data for the materials and process involved in the life of a certain product. This point has been one of the major drawbacks for the LCA methodology. We have observed that data related to mechanical products and process are getting an important speed up in terms of quantity and quality, allowing to apply efficiently LCA in this framework. For electronics components and process environmental data quality is still some years behind mechanical data so it’s still quite difficult to evaluate environmental impact for them. As long as data bases for extensive electronic devices arises LCA will be an important methodology for generating specifications for new components and systems due to the high environmental repercussion of electronics.

The experience developed in this project allows Foundation CETENASA evaluate environmental aspects in technical specifications for new products.

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