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A global life cycle assessment of manganese mining processes based on EcoInvent database

Farjana, Shahjadi Hisan, Huda, Nazmul, Mahmud, M.A. Parvez, Lang, Candace
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.688 pp. 1102-1111
acidification, chromium, climate change, coal, computer software, cradle-to-gate, data collection, databases, electric energy consumption, emissions, energy, environmental impact, eutrophication, humans, manganese, mining, neoplasms, nonrenewable resources, particulates, refining, steel, toxicity
This paper presents the life cycle assessment (LCA) carried out on the manganese beneficiation and refining process. This cradle-to-gate analysis is carried out using SimaPro software version 8.5. The considered case is the manganese beneficiation and refining process, and the final product is 1 kg of refined manganese. The global average dataset is collected from the EcoInvent and AusLCI database, which are originated from literature source. The analysis methodologies considered in this study are the International Life Cycle Reference Data System (ILCD) method and Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) method. A comparative analysis is also presented which compared among ILCD, Australian Indicator, and Tool for Reduction and Assessment of Chemicals and Other Environmental Impacts (TRACI) methods to identify the best practice method for global analysis of mining processes. A detailed sensitivity analysis has been carried out considering different scenarios, to suggest possible solutions to reduce the environmental impacts associated with manganese beneficiation and refining processes. The analysis results reveal that particulate matter, climate change, categories of eutrophication, human toxicity (cancer and non-cancer effects), and acidification are some of the noteworthy impact categories. The analysis results also showed that coal consumption is significantly higher than other types of renewables and non-renewable energy consumption in manganese beneficiation and refining processes. The analysis results further reveal that using the chromium steel in manganese beneficiation process and ferromanganese consumption in the refining process has a significant effect over other materials involved in manganese beneficiation and refining operations. The obvious reason behind this result is ferromanganese utilization as an energy-intensive process, which in turn increases the environmental emissions. The analysis results also showed that, between the beneficiation and refining process, manganese refining has a much greater impact on the environment rather than the beneficiation process due to the fossil fuel and electricity consumption in refining operations.