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E-LCA of Two Microwave Absorbers Obtained from Slag of Copper Primary Production
- Elisabetta Zerazion, Martina Pini, Consuelo Mugoni, Cristina Siligardi, Paolo Veronesi, Anna Maria Ferrari
- Waste and biomass valorization 2019 v.10 no.3 pp. 733-745
- ceramics, copper, decision making, environmental assessment, environmental impact, environmental performance, life cycle assessment, melting, primary productivity, raw materials, silicon carbide, slags, waste reduction
- PURPOSE: This research investigates the environmental performance of two products obtained using slag derived from copper primary production (copper slag, CS). The first is a tile produced as a traditional stoneware ceramic plate (CS tile) and the second product is a glass–ceramic sample obtained by melt quenching method (CS bulk sample). The products are intended for use in industrial plants as auxiliary heating elements aimed at absorbing microwave. METHODS: The environmental assessment was carried out using LCA methodology, and the obtained outcomes were compared to the results calculated for a traditional tile containing silicon carbide (SiC tile). RESULTS: The analyses show that the innovative products have an environmental load of 74% for the CS tile and 54% for the CS bulk sample lower than the environmental impact calculated for the traditional SiC-based material tile. The latter presents a high environmental load due to the incidence on the total impact of the raw materials production. In fact, LCA analysis proves that copper slag production has an impact of 96% lower with respect to the SiC production. CONCLUSIONS: This study identifies a possible waste reduction strategy in accordance with the European end-of-waste criteria, but these results should be supported by a site analysis in order to provide an appropriate context for decision making.