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See detailRecent Evolutions and Trends in the Use of Computer Aided Chemical Engineering for Educational Purposes at the University of Liège
Léonard, Grégoire ULiege; Belboom, Sandra ULiege; Toye, Dominique ULiege et al

in Computer Aided Chemical Engineering (2017)

The present paper addresses the evolution and perspectives in the teaching of CAPE methods in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Liège. The transition that happened in the 90ies ... [more ▼]

The present paper addresses the evolution and perspectives in the teaching of CAPE methods in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Liège. The transition that happened in the 90ies with the arrival of commercial software is highlighted, as the learning outcomes evolved from the ability of building programs to solve chemical engineering problems towards the ability to use complex commercial software and to understand their limitations. Moreover, CAPE methods were extended to non-dedicated CAPE courses, which is illustrated here by the goals and challenges of their use in courses like “Reactor Engineering” and “Life Cycle Analysis”. It was observed that students sometimes assume that CAPE softwares provide straightforward and trustworthy solutions without the need of understanding their mathematical bases and assumptions. Thus, solutions to make students aware of these limitations are proposed, including the creation of an integrated project focussing on complex multi-disciplinary issues, evidencing the need for critical input from the operator. [less ▲]

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See detailUse of a bio-based binder in the building sector
Gerbinet, Saïcha ULiege; Briard, Vincent; Pigeolet, Jean-Pierre et al

Poster (2017, May 15)

A binder is a material or a substance that holds materials together, like a glue. In the building sector, binders have several applications: they can be used in producing wood panels such as MDF to paste ... [more ▼]

A binder is a material or a substance that holds materials together, like a glue. In the building sector, binders have several applications: they can be used in producing wood panels such as MDF to paste together the wood particles and give the panels their stabil-ity. They are also used in insulation materials, such as glass wool or stone wool to bind the fibers together. Traditional binders are mostly fossil-based (phenol-formaldehyde, urea-formaldehyde, etc.), and previous Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) [1-3] show that these binders, even if they are a minor component on a mass basis, can have a major contribution to the environmental impact of the material, especially in wood panels. In addition, the use of these binders has raised some sanitary questions, especially con-cerning indoor air quality. Therefore alternative binders are being investigated, namely bio-based binders. In this presentation, we focus on the ECOSE binder, developed by Knauf Insulation, a global building insulation manufacturer. It has the particularity of being based on plant starch and it is currently used in glass wool products, while other applications are being developed. We underline that using biomass as raw materials instead of fossil-based ma-terials could have several benefits on the environment, especially fossil resources deple-tion and CO2 emissions, but that this is not necessarily the case for all environmental as-pects, for instance land use, even if only the direct land use is included in this study. The presentation will first underline the differences in term of environmental impact be-tween the traditional binder and ECOSE applied in glass mineral wool. Indeed, a compar-ison on a mass basis is not totally relevant: two binders can have different application conditions; therefore, we can only compare them at the application level. But the main focus of the presentation will be on the hypothesis made in the modeling of the biomass part and their influence on the results. For example, the influence of the use of bio-based raw materials instead of traditional ones will be studied, but also the influence of the dis-tance between farm and factory where the starch is produced. The use of local data will be compared with the use of databases. All these results will highlight the difficulties in studying bio-based products and to compare them with fossil-based ones. The use of LCA and a complete analysis of the results are essential to better understand the chal-lenges related to binder technology modification. ________________________________________ 1. Rivela, B., et al., Life cycle inventory of particleboard: A case study in the wood sector. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 2006. 11(2): p. 106-113. 2. Wilson, J.B., Particleboard: A Life-Cycle Inventory of Manufacturing Panels from Resource through Product, in CORRIM: Phase II Final Report. 2008, Department of Wood Science and Engineering, Oregon State University. 3. Silva, D.A.L., et al., Environmental performance assessment of the melamine-urea-formaldehy (MUF) resin manufacture: a case study in Brazil. Journal of Cleaner Production, 2015. 96. [less ▲]

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See detailGlucose production: influence of the datasets and of the long term emissions on LCA results
Gerbinet, Saïcha ULiege; Belboom, Sandra ULiege; Léonard, Angélique ULiege

Poster (2017, May 08)

The aim of this study is to have a good understanding of the environmental impact of glucose production. Glucose is generally produced from corn or wheat. Since agricultural processes are known to be ... [more ▼]

The aim of this study is to have a good understanding of the environmental impact of glucose production. Glucose is generally produced from corn or wheat. Since agricultural processes are known to be difficult to evaluate by LCA, the results obtained with two different LCA databases, Gabi and EcoInvent, are compared in this work. The production of glucose from raw materials can be divided in two steps: the agricultural step allowing the cereal production, and the conversion step including the extraction of the starch from the plant and its hydrolysis into glucose. Preliminary results underline the high impact of the agricultural step, so a special attention has been paid to these data. Specific Belgian data collected by the Walloon Agricultural Research Centre (CRA-W) (2014) [1] have been used as primary data (yield, amount of fertilizers, etc.), either using EcoInvent or Gabi datasets background data to model fertilizers, diesel consumption, etc. A third model was built using only data available in Ecoinvent for corn and wheat cultures. For the conversion steps, literature data have been used along with some industrial data. Based on these multiple sources, it is possible to compare the LCA results for the production of 1 kg of glucose for three different cases. The results underlined that the differences between the two databases are smaller than the differences between specific data (Belgium data) or non-specific data (Ecoinvent) for the agricultural steps. Nevertheless, in some impact categories, the differences between the two databases remain high. The presentation will underline where these differences are coming from. This leads to also analyze the differences between background data such as energy generation or fertilizer production. Moreover, special attention has been put on the influence of long-term emissions, in the Ecoinvent database. As these emissions have a large influence in some impact categories, we have to clarify if we should include them or not in view of comparison with GaBi database. Moreover, the Ecoinvent model and the GaBi models have been realized in two different software (Simapro and GaBi, respectively), therefore, some checks have been performed to see if some differences can be induced by the software. In conclusion, this presentation will underline which is the sensibility of the results to parameters not controlled by the LCA practitioner, such as the datasets hypotheses, the software differences, etc. 1. Walloon Agricultural Research Centre (CRA-W), ALT4CER project. 2014. [less ▲]

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See detailLife Cycle Assessment of freight transport in Belgium
Merchan Arribas, Angel ULiege; Belboom, Sandra ULiege; Léonard, Angélique ULiege

in Cools, Mario; Limbourg, Sabine (Eds.) Proceedings of the BIVEC-GIBET Transport Research Days 2017 (2017, May)

BRAIN-TRAINS is a project supported by the Belgian Federal Government that deals with the possible development of rail freight intermodality in Belgium, analysing the current situation of the intermodal ... [more ▼]

BRAIN-TRAINS is a project supported by the Belgian Federal Government that deals with the possible development of rail freight intermodality in Belgium, analysing the current situation of the intermodal freight transport from an interdisciplinary perspective. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology has been chosen to analyse the environmental impact of freight transport in Belgium. In a first stage we have carried out the LCA of rail freight transport, inland waterways transport and road freight transport independently. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the first results obtained from the study of the environmental impacts of inland freight transport using the LCA methodology. [less ▲]

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See detailBRAIN-TRAINS: Integrating the LCA methodology in and interdisciplinary project
Merchan Arribas, Angel ULiege; Belboom, Sandra ULiege; Léonard, Angélique ULiege

in Proceedings of the 5th international conference on Life Cycle approaches (2016, November 09)

BRAIN-TRAINS is a project supported by the Belgian Federal Government that deals with the possible development of rail freight intermodality in Belgium, approaching this transport issue from an ... [more ▼]

BRAIN-TRAINS is a project supported by the Belgian Federal Government that deals with the possible development of rail freight intermodality in Belgium, approaching this transport issue from an interdisciplinary perspective. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology is used to analyse the sustainability impact of rail freight intermodality. The rail freight system has been divided in three sub-systems: rail transport operation, rail infrastructure and rail transport equipment (locomotives and wagons). First, a SWOT analysis of the intermodal rail freight transport has been performed to identify internal characteristics and possible external trends of the intermodal rail freight transport. The most important elements identified in the SWOT analysis have been selected through a Delphi-technique with the collaboration of a panel of expert. Thirdly, the selected elements have been translated into clear and measurable parameters, defining for every parameter an input value to quantify the scenarios. The parameters are measured in “tonne-kilometre”. Finally, three divergent Belgian scenarios with a time horizon set in 2030 have been built for further analysis. These scenarios are directly linked to the third strategic goal of the European Commission’s White Paper on transport (2011), which aims to shift the 30% of road freight over 300 km to other modes such as rail transport by 2030. As a result, a best, worst and medium case scenarios have been developed, depending on whether the 30% shift has been successfully accomplished, the status quo has been maintained or the goal has not been completely reached by 2030, respectively. The direct transport emissions and energy consumption during the rail transport activity have been determined using the LCA methodology. These LCA results have been used to improve the accuracy of existing commercial databases as Ecoinvent for the Belgian situation. [less ▲]

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See detailINFLUENCE OF THE DATASETS CHOICE ON LCA RESULTS: EXAMPLE OF GLUCOSE PRODUCTION
Gerbinet, Saïcha ULiege; Belboom, Sandra ULiege; Léonard, Angélique ULiege

Conference (2016, October 27)

The aim of this study is to have a good understanding of the environmental impact of glucose production to be able to study material produce from glucose. Glucose is general-ly produced from corn or wheat ... [more ▼]

The aim of this study is to have a good understanding of the environmental impact of glucose production to be able to study material produce from glucose. Glucose is general-ly produced from corn or wheat. Since agricultural processes are known to be difficult to evaluate by LCA, the results obtained with two different LCA databases, Gabi and EcoIn-vent, are compared in this work. The production of glucose from raw materials can be divided in two steps: the agricul-tural step allowing the plant production, and the conversion step including the extraction of the starch from the plant and its hydrolysis into glucose. Preliminary results underline the high impact of the agricultural step, so a special attention has been paid to these data. Specific Belgian data collected by the Walloon Agricultural Research Centre (CRA-W) (2014) [1] have been used as primary data (yield, amount of fertilizers, etc.), either using EcoInvent or Gabi datasets background data to model fertilizers, diesel consumption, etc. A third model was built using only data available in Ecoinvent for corn and wheat cultures. For the conversion step, literature data have been used along with some industrial data. As few studies are available in the literature concerning starch hydrolysis, the focus has been placed on data validation (mass balance checks, cross-reference information, etc.). Based on these multiple sources, it is possible to compare the LCA results for the pro-duction of 1 kg of glucose for three different cases, summarized in the following table. Table 1: Summary of modelled cases Agricultural step Conversion steps Primary data Dataset Primary data Dataset Case 1 Belgian GaBi Literature + Industry GaBi Case 2 Belgian Ecoinvent Literature + Industry Ecoinvent Case 2 Ecoinvent Literature + Industry Ecoinvent The results obtained using these three models will be presented, at both the inventory and impact assessment steps. They show significant differences and highlight the need to understand in depth the involved assumptions when developing the datasets, in addition to the ones adopted for the inventory. These differences in results lead to higher uncer-tainties, allowing only to have a range of possible values as a result. We make the choice to only communicate this range of value and not an absolute value when communicating the results of this study but this leads to some disadvantages such as difficulties in com-parison, etc. [less ▲]

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See detailEnvironmental impact of glucose: influence of the datasets choice on LCA results
Gerbinet, Saïcha ULiege; Belboom, Sandra ULiege; Léonard, Angélique ULiege

Conference (2016, October 06)

The aim of this study is to have a good understanding of the environmental impact of glucose production. Glucose is generally produced from corn or wheat. Since agricultural processes are known to be ... [more ▼]

The aim of this study is to have a good understanding of the environmental impact of glucose production. Glucose is generally produced from corn or wheat. Since agricultural processes are known to be difficult to evaluate by LCA, the results obtained with two different LCA databases, Gabi and Ecoinvent, are compared in this work. The production of glucose from raw materials can be divided in two steps: the agricultural steps allowing the plant production, and the conversion step including the extraction of the starch from the plant and its hydrolysis into glucose. Preliminary results underline the high impact of the agricultural step, so a special attention has been paid to these data. Specific Belgian data collected by the Walloon Agricultural Research Centre (CRA-W) (2014) [1] have been used as primary data (yield, amount of fertilizers, etc.), either using Ecoinvent or GaBi datasets background data to model fertilizers, diesel consumption, etc. A third model was built using only data available in Ecoinvent for corn and wheat cultures. For the conversion steps, literature data have been used along with some industrial data. As few studies are available in the literature concerning starch hydrolysis, the focus has been placed on data validation (mass balance checks, cross-reference information, etc.). Based on these multiple sources, it is possible to compare the LCA results for the production of 1 kg of glucose for three different cases, summarized in the following table. The results obtained using these three models will be presented, at both the inventory and the impact assessment steps. They show significant differences and highlight the need to understand in depth the involved assumptions when developing the datasets, in addition to the ones adopted for the inventory. [less ▲]

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See detailGlucose production: influence of the datasets choice on LCA results
Gerbinet, Saïcha ULiege; Belboom, Sandra ULiege; Léonard, Angélique ULiege

Poster (2016, September 22)

The aim of this study is to have a good understanding of the environmental impact of glucose production. Glucose is generally produced from corn or wheat. Since agricultural processes are known to be ... [more ▼]

The aim of this study is to have a good understanding of the environmental impact of glucose production. Glucose is generally produced from corn or wheat. Since agricultural processes are known to be difficult to evaluate by LCA, the results obtained with two different LCA databases, Gabi and EcoInvent, are compared in this work. The production of glucose from raw materials can be divided in two steps: the agricultural step allowing the plant production, and the conversion step including the extraction of the starch from the plant and its hydrolysis into glucose. Preliminary results underline the high impact of the agricultural step, so a special attention has been paid to these data. Specific Belgian data collected by the Walloon Agricultural Research Centre (CRA-W) (2014) [1] have been used as primary data (yield, amount of fertilizers, etc.), either using EcoInvent or Gabi datasets background data to model fertilizers, diesel consumption, etc. A third model was built using only data available in Ecoinvent for corn and wheat cultures. For the conversion step, literature data have been used along with some industrial data. As few studies are available in the literature concerning starch hydrolysis, the focus has been placed on data validation (mass balance checks, cross-reference information, etc.). Based on these multiple sources, it is possible to compare the LCA results for the production of 1 kg of glucose for three different cases, summarized in the following table. Table 1: Summary of modelled cases Agricultural step Conversion steps Primary data Dataset Primary data Dataset Case 1 Belgian GaBi Literature + Industry GaBi Case 2 Belgian Ecoinvent Literature + Industry Ecoinvent Case 2 Ecoinvent Literature + Industry Ecoinvent The results obtained using these three models will be presented, at both the inventory and impact assessment steps. They show significant differences and highlight the need to understand in depth the involved assumptions when developing the datasets, in addition to the ones adopted for the inventory. [less ▲]

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See detailTeaching of Life Cycle Assessment methodology to sensitize future engineers to sustainable development
Belboom, Sandra ULiege; Léonard, Angélique ULiege

in Proceedings of the 8th Conference on ‘Engineering Education for Sustainable Development’ (2016, September)

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See detailBRAIN-TRAINS: Scenario development to explore intermodal rail transport expansion in, from and towards Belgium
Troch, Frank; Vanelslander, Thierry; Sys, Christa et al

Conference (2016, July)

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See detailHow to improve the valorisationprocess of End-Of-Life vehicles? LCA as a tool to help decision
Belboom, Sandra ULiege; Lewis, Grégory; Bareel, Pierre-François et al

Conference (2016, May 24)

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See detailHow to specify the environmental footprint of electricity? A methodological approach
Belboom, Sandra ULiege; Léonard, Angélique ULiege

Conference (2016, May 09)

When assessing the environmental footprint of a product or an industrial process, ma-jor impacts in climate change and resources depletion are usually linked to direct or indi-rect energy consumptions ... [more ▼]

When assessing the environmental footprint of a product or an industrial process, ma-jor impacts in climate change and resources depletion are usually linked to direct or indi-rect energy consumptions. Focusing on electricity generation, largely dispersed results can appear for the concerned impact categories depending on the energy mix taken into account. An accurate knowledge of the mix is of major importance for the prediction of the environmental footprint of electricity. As this mix changes from one country to another and through time, regular update is needed to obtain an accurate value of impact for the studied product. Another criteria to also take into account is the specific technology used to generate electricity depending on the primary energy (gas, coal, uranium, sun, wind, etc.). This study aims to generate a simplified tool, containing sufficient data to assess, within a range of 10 % uncertainty, the value of the environmental footprint of electricity, based on a limited amount of accessible parameters. The global life cycle of electricity generation is taken into account, from the resources extraction to the end-of-life. This is essential to be able to compare, on a same basis, the renewable and classical resources for electricity generation. The functional unit of this study for numerical applications is 1 MWhe. To achieve our goal, the following methodological approach has been pursued. First, the energy mix for electricity generation has been collected trough years for different countries. Then a deeper study of specific technologies relative to each kind of primary energy consumption has been performed. Meta-analyses relative to LCA results have been studied to highlight the main important criteria of these technologies. Then, the amount of needed data for the environmental assessment of these technologies has been reduced to the main important ones. The step further is about the use of these data to obtain an available tool to predict the environmental footprint of electricity depending mainly on the energy mix and used technologies. The environmental impact of 1 MWhe can then be easily calculated using this tool in several categories as climate change, acidification, ozone layer depletion, etc. using the ILCD method. Concerning the resources depletion assessment, all available methodolo-gies have been studied with a specific focus on the CEENE method using an exergetic assessment of resources. This method allows the highlighting of the use of energy and all types of resources (fossil, renewable like wind, sun or land). This perspective can also be used to discriminate several resources for the electricity production. A comparison of the results obtained using resources impact methods has then been performed and some challenges concerning the use of existing impact pathways have been highlighted as well as some perspectives to tackle them. This research has been supported by the Public Service of Wallonia – Department of Energy and Sustainable Building within the framework of the ECEB project [less ▲]

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See detailEnvironmental Impact Assessment of Rail Freight Intermodality
Merchan Arribas, Angel ULiege; Belboom, Sandra ULiege; Léonard, Angélique ULiege

in Pombo, Joao (Ed.) The Third International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance (2016, April)

The European Commission’s White Paper on transport seeks to achieve an efficient and sustainable balance between the various transport modes. In this context, BRAIN-TRAINS is a project supported by ... [more ▼]

The European Commission’s White Paper on transport seeks to achieve an efficient and sustainable balance between the various transport modes. In this context, BRAIN-TRAINS is a project supported by Belgian Federal Government that deals with rail freight intermodality, approaching the problem from an interdisciplinary perspective. BRAIN-TRAINS will be able to answer the transition involved in transportation in Belgium. To analyse the sustainability impact of rail freight intermodality in Belgium, the life cycle assessment methodology will be used. The rail freight system is divided in this paper into rail operation, rail equipment and rail infrastructure. This paper shows the methodology to calculate the transport emissions related with the energy consumption during the rail operation. [less ▲]

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See detailDoes biobased polymer achieve better environmental impacts than fossil polymer? Comparison of fossil HDPE and biobased HDPE produced from sugar beet and wheat
Belboom, Sandra ULiege; Léonard, Angélique ULiege

in Biomass & Bioenergy (2016), 85

Polymers are one of the most used materials and the majority of their production is based on fossil fuels. Due to the decrease of oil resources and concerns about climate change, alternatives are needed ... [more ▼]

Polymers are one of the most used materials and the majority of their production is based on fossil fuels. Due to the decrease of oil resources and concerns about climate change, alternatives are needed, the transformation of biobased ethanol into biobased polymer being one of them. This paper undertakes an environmental evaluation of the production of biobased polymer produced from two different feedstock cultivated in Belgium: sugar beet and wheat. Both crops cultivation are studied as well as their transformation into biobased ethanol, first, and then to biobased ethylene, focusing on high-density polyethylene (HDPE) as final product. These scenarios are analyzed and compared with the production of conventional polymer using the life-cycle assessment (LCA) methodology with reference to relevant environmental impact categories. This study shows a reduction of impact of around 60% for both climate change and fossil fuel depletion categories when using biobased HDPE instead of its fossil counterpart. For all other impact categories, fossil HDPE achieves better results than the biobased product. [less ▲]

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See detailLife cycle assessment of hybrid vehicles recycling: Comparison of three business lines of dismantling
Belboom, Sandra ULiege; Lewis, Grégory; Bareel, Pierre-François et al

in Waste Management (2016), 50

This paper undertakes an environmental evaluation of hybrid vehicles recycling, using industrial data from Comet Traitement SA in Belgium. Three business lines have been modelled and analysed. The first ... [more ▼]

This paper undertakes an environmental evaluation of hybrid vehicles recycling, using industrial data from Comet Traitement SA in Belgium. Three business lines have been modelled and analysed. The first one is relative to the business as usual with a dismantling to recover batteries and engines followed by shredding and post shredding treatments. The second one considers, in addition, the removal of electronic control units (ECU) before shredding followed by same steps than in the first line and the last one is relative to the additional removal of big plastic parts before shredding and business as usual post shredding treatments. Results show non-significant environmental benefits when ECU or large parts of plastics are recovered before shredding. Improvements in terms of environmental benefits are lower than the uncertainty of the results. Indeed, the performing usual process for end-of-life vehicles (ELV) treatment reaches 97% of the ELV which is valorised in terms of metal and energy recoveries. Post shredding treatment units include metals, plastics and energy recovery of residues. Comet business as usual route for ELV valorisation is in accordance with the requirements of the European directive and recommendations for further improvement with dismantling of other parts (ECU or plastics) before shredding are non-relevant in this case. [less ▲]

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