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Steam Gasification of Waste Tyre: Influence of Process Temperature on Yield and Product Composition

S. Portofino1*, A. Donatelli2, P. Iovane2, C. Innella2, R. Civita2, M. Martino2, D.A. Matera2, A. Russo2, G. Cornacchia2, S. Galvagno1

1ENEA, Centro Ricerche Portici, UTTP
2ENEA, Centro Ricerche Trisaia, UTTRI

Rimini, 11/04/2010


The world production of tyre waste amounts to 7 millions of tons, 3 millions of which are generated in Europe. For this waste stream the landfill is the most practiced way of disposal in many Countries. In order to perform a correct management of this huge quantity of waste, many options were considered. Among these, thermal technologies seem to be an encouraging way to attain energy and/or matter recovery. Pyrolysis and Gasification are very interesting application to produce high added value by-products. Present work relates to experimental tests and obtained results of Scrap Tyre gasification with steam, with the aim of evaluating the influence of the process temperature on the products yields and compositions.

Integrating Economic Mechanisms into Life Cycle Analysis: What to Consider and How

Alessandra Zamagni1,4*, Roberto Buonamici1, Paolo Masoni1, Davide Quaglione3, Andrea Raggi2, Alessandro Sarra3

1ENEA, Centro Ricerche Bologna
2Dipartimento Scienze Aziendali, Statistiche, Tecnologiche e Ambientali, Università G. d’Annunzio, Pescara
3Dipartimento di Economia e Storia del Territorio, Università G. d’Annunzio, Pescara
4Dipartimento di Scienze, Università G. d’Annunzio, Pescara

4th International Seminar on Society & Materials, SAM4
Nancy, 28/04/2010


A research project has been recently started to evaluate the environmental performances of an innovative tyre recycling system by means of the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology, comparing the new technology with a more conventional solution involving the use of tyres as fuel in a cement kiln. The technology analysed, developed under the 7th Framework Programme project “TyGRE” (High added value materials from waste tyre gasification residues) consists of the gasification treatment of waste tyres and the utilization of the carbon-rich char fraction obtained, together with glass cullet, for the synthesis of ceramic materials (SiC) and the energy recovery of syngas. For a more accurate and comprehensive environmental assessment of the new technology, it is important to identify and analyse the markets affected (e.g.: waste tyres, cement, glass, SiC, as first order markets), the involved quantities and the related substitution mechanisms. Indeed, the introduction of a new technology in a market sets off multiple dynamics with the surrounding systems, at the environmental, economic and social level. If dealt with in its wholeness, this problem would pose several methodological challenges; nevertheless, even if we narrow the question to the environmental analysis, problems are still far to be solved from both the conceptual and computational viewpoints. A pure environmental assessment would leave the surrounding system in which a product/process is embedded out of consideration. However, in some circumstances this simplification is not acceptable. Working on the environment-economy interface, the question “Which is the environmental impact of technology X?” would be rephrased into “Which are the environmental consequences due to the introduction of technology X in the market?”. This paper described an analysis performed within the Life Cycle Sustainability Analysis (LCSA) framework, which was proposed in the 6th Framework Programme project CALCAS (Co-ordination Action for innovation in Life-Cycle Analysis for Sustainability). LCSA is a structure that works with a plethora of disciplinary models and guides selecting the proper ones, given a specific sustainability question. A three-phase work method has been developed for the application of the framework: i) Framing the question, i.e. identification of question and object of the analysis; ii) Selection of appropriate methods and models to perform the analysis; iii) Application of the methods and interpretation of results. This paper discusses the general approach to the Life Cycle Sustainability Analysis, focusing on its first step, i.e. framing the question, and suggesting an approach to structure this phase, in which both qualitative and quantitative analyses should be used. Our research suggests that in this phase an iterative approach should be used, which combine experts’ judgment with analytical tools. Regarding the latter, more than one tool could provide useful insights: for this reason, during the project different analytical approaches will be tested. It appears also necessary to translate the approach to the framing of the question into practical guidelines, easily extendible to other systems besides the technological ones.

Synthesis of Ceramic Materials from Waste Residues

Sabrina Portofino*, Sergio Galvagno, Anna De Girolamo Del Mauro, Enzo Calò

ENEA, Unità Tecnica Tecnologie Portici (UTTP)

12th International Ceramic Congress, CIMTEC 2010
Montecatini Terme, 6/6/2010


In the frame of a wide research program devoted to the matter recovery from waste by means of thermal processes, particular efforts have been put into the study of biomasses and waste residue of peculiar composition, which could be used as precursors of ceramic materials. Rice shells are waste biomasses coming from the purification process of rice, which show a high carbon and silica content. The exploitation of these peculiarity promoted a series of experimental activities, aimed at the production of ceramic materials through high temperature carbothermal synthesis reactions. The synthesis products were characterized by X Ray Diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and the data confirmed the production of ceramic silicon nitride (Si3N4) at high yield and purity, under the adopted process parameters.

Definition of Social Indicators: a Case Study of an Innovative Technology

Alessandra Zamagni1*, Patrizia Buttol1, Oscar Amerighi2, Bruna Felici2, Roberto Buonamici1, Paolo Masoni1

1ENEA, C.R. Bologna, LCA&Ecodesign Unit
2ENEA, Ufficio Studi, Rome

SETAC Europe 17th LCA Case Study Symposium
Budapest, 28/2/2011


Social life cycle assessment (S-LCA), as defined in the UNEP/SETAC Guidelines, is increasingly emerging as a method for evaluating social performance of products/systems. Much has been done at the methodological level, as testified by publications in the last years. Questions related to relevance and feasibility of S-LCA, scope of the analysis, selection and formulation of indicators, and data collection have been the most debated topics. However, still a few applications exist, and none of them related to a technology. The authors dealt with the problem of applying the S-LCA framework to an innovative technology. They identified the following critical points: i) the perspective to be adopted; ii) the representativeness and appropriateness of indicators among those defined in the methodological sheets. Regarding the first aspect, scientific papers published so far demonstrate that a company perspective is at the core of the methodology: social impacts are mainly related to the way a particular company interacts with its stakeholders. Social impacts in terms of consequences on the system in which the technology is embedded are evaluated only to a less extent. Regarding the second point, the indicators defined in the methodological sheets, for both specific and generic analysis, are not always applicable. In fact, those for a specific analysis consider the company perspective, and those for a generic analysis do not allow catching the peculiarity of the technology. The paper focuses on this second aspect, and it is aimed at presenting and discussing a preliminary selection of indicators for an innovative technology.

Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment and New Technologies

Paolo Masoni1*, Oscar Amerighi2, Patrizia Buttol1, Alessandra Zamagni1,3

1ENEA C.R. Bologna, LCA & Ecodesign Laboratory
2ENEA, Research & Strategy Central Unit, Rome
3Department of Science, University “G. d’Annunzio”, Pescara

6th SETAC World Congress 2012, 20/5/2012


Performing a sustainability assessment of new technologies is a complex task, as showed by the definition itself, which refers to two big issues: Technologies and Sustainability. Technologies can be classified in many ways, depending on the different typologies, development levels, effects and impacts on sectors, territories, markets, etc. The relation with sustainability is twofold, because technology can be considered both as the cause of many environmental problems and as the key to solve them. In fact, technologies are nowadays considered the main actor of the present industrial, economical and social evolution and the main cause of the high speed of current changes. Sustainability and sustainable development are very controversial and disputed at scientific and society level. Indeed, sustainable development cannot be considered simply a goal, but rather a social process where shared sustainability principles are taken as the starting point for assessing decisions through an interactive learning process. Being sustainability a global concept, inevitably calls for a system-wide analysis, a perspective that is at the core of the life cycle approach. A framework for life cycle sustainability analysis has been proposed, namely LCSA, which requires the application of LCA, Life Cycle Costing (LCC) and Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA) under specific consistency requirements. The framework has been applied to the assessment of an innovative technology, in order to test its applicability. In this paper, pros and cons of the LCSA approach are highlighted, and questions for further research are pointed out.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 226549 call FP7-ENV-2008-1


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