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Life cycle assessment of desktop PCs in Macau
Song Q.; Wang Z.; Li J.; Yuan W.
Source PublicationInternational Journal of Life Cycle Assessment
AbstractPurpose: With the tremendous growth in the worldwide electronic information and telecommunication industries, there continues to be an increasing awareness of the environmental impacts related to the accelerating mass production, electricity use, and waste management of electrical and electronic products (e-products). Although Macau is a small region with a total land area of about 29.5 km2 and a population of 557,000 in 2011, there are two personal computers (PCs) for every household in Macau. Methods: This paper aims to describe the application of life cycle assessment (LCA) to investigate the environmental performance of PCs in Macau. An assessment of the PC (focusing on the desktop PC) was carried out using a detailed modular LCA based on the international standards of the ISO 14040 series. The LCA was constructed using SimaPro software version 7.2 and expressed with both the Eco-indicator'99 method and the Centrum voor Milieuwetenschappen method. Life cycle inventory information was compiled by Ecoinvent 2.2 databases, combined with literature and field investigations of the actual situations. Results and discussion: The established LCA study showed that the manufacturing and the use of such devices are of the highest environmental importance. In the manufacturing stage, the desktop contributes the most to the total environmental impacts (44.89 Pt), followed by the LCD screens (about 27.53 Pt), while the CRT screen, keyboard, and mouse are of minor importance. During the use phase, the environmental impact is due entirely to the consumption of electricity generated by coal, oil, natural gas, and hydropower. The electricity generated by coal is by far the most important, accounting for about 66 % of the total environmental impact, followed by oil and gas. Within the EoL treatment phase, using incineration, there will be little environmental impact. When adopting recycling technology in the EoL phase, apparent environmental benefits will be generated due mainly to avoiding emissions to water (arsenic ions and cadmium ions) and to air (SO 2) in the primary production phase. For the competing technologies of CRT and LCD screens, the environmental impacts are different in different phases, but the total impacts over their entire life cycle are similar. Conclusions: Results from a life cycle assessment can be used to compare the relative environmental impacts of competing technologies; it can also help designers and managers to focus efforts toward making environmental improvements to a particular technology.© 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
KeywordDesktop PC Electronics Environmental impacts Life cycle assessment Macau
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The Source to ArticleScopus
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Cited Times [WOS]:36   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document TypeJournal article
CollectionUniversity of Macau
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GB/T 7714
Song Q.,Wang Z.,Li J.,et al. Life cycle assessment of desktop PCs in Macau[J]. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment,2013,18(3):553.
APA Song Q.,Wang Z.,Li J.,&Yuan W..(2013).Life cycle assessment of desktop PCs in Macau.International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment,18(3),553.
MLA Song Q.,et al."Life cycle assessment of desktop PCs in Macau".International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 18.3(2013):553.
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