Jump to Main Content
The life cycle assessment of energy and carbon emissions on wool and nylon carpets in the United States
- Sim, Jaehun, Prabhu, Vittaldas
- Journal of cleaner production 2018 v.170 pp. 1231-1243
- carbon, emissions, energy, environmental impact, home furnishings, life cycle assessment, market share, nylon, raw materials, recycling, textile industry, transportation, uncertainty, wool, United States
- The U.S. textile industry, which includes the carpet industry, is expected to continue to consume a large amount of energy and generate a large amount of carbon emissions. Since the environmental impacts of the carpet industry are expected to grow in the next decade, it is necessary to estimate the energy consumption and carbon emissions generated at each stage of the entire life cycle of carpet to mitigate these environmental impacts. Thus, this study conducts a life cycle assessment of energy and carbon emissions on two types of carpet -- a wool carpet and a nylon carpet -- from raw material production to recycling and disposal, along with transportation activities. In addition, this study utilizes a system dynamics approach to investigate the impacts of the uncertainty of market share on total energy consumption and total carbon emissions. The results of this study indicate that the production of 0.09 square meter of a carpet tile requires 20.42 MJ of energy and generates 6.35 kg CO2-e of emissions for the wool carpet, and consumes 25.42 MJ of energy and produces 4.80 kg CO2-e of emissions for the nylon carpet. To reduce energy consumption, the use stage of a wool carpet and the raw material production stage of a nylon carpet need to made more efficient, while to reduce carbon emissions, the raw material production stage of a wool carpet and a nylon carpet need to be improved.