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Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Biomaterials and Bio-Composites for Automotive Components: A Comparison between Talc and Biochar Reinforced Polypropylene Composites

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Title: Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Biomaterials and Bio-Composites for Automotive Components: A Comparison between Talc and Biochar Reinforced Polypropylene Composites
Author: Tadele, Debela
Department: School of Engineering
Program: Engineering
Advisor: Defersha, Fantahun
Abstract: The concern about the environmental impact such as global warming has driven the automotive part manufacturer in a paradigm shift from conventional fossil sources to renewable sources. In this study, the life cycle of miscanthus biochar (MB), as well as biochar and talc reinforced composites, have been evaluated, and the results are compared. The conventional material was chosen to be a talc reinforced polypropylene (talc-PP) at a 70% PP to 30% talc, and alternative bio-composite has MB reinforced PP (MB-PP) at a 70% PP to 30% MB by weight. The global warming potential (GWP) of the life cycle of MB is found to be 114.63 kg CO2 eq/ton. Miscanthus cultivation is the main contributor in the life cycle of MB (93.3 kg CO2 eq/ton) followed by pyrolysis (16.2 kg CO2 eq/ton) and transportation (4.8 kg CO2 eq/ton). This study also shows that MB reinforced composite had the least environmental impacts across all categories approximately by 25% compared to talc reinforced polypropylene composite. The main question addressed in this thesis is whether there are general environmental advantages of the use of MB-PP over talc-PP composites.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/17419
Date: 2019-09
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International
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Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International