For sustainability, it is necessary to consider potential life-cycle environmental impacts during the early stage development of key technologies. In this study, ways to address the intractable problem of recycling polyvinyl chloride (PVC) waste were considered by a combined approach including experiments, simulations, and an ex ante life-cycle assessment (LCA). The potential life-cycle environmental impacts of an industrial-scale Cl recovery process, including the dechlorination of PVC by ball-milling and product recovery by electrodialysis, were estimated on the basis of up-scale experiments and a validated simulation method. The LCA model reveals the changes in the impacts for various operation conditions (e.g., charged balls) to determine the optimal design for mitigating the impacts. The proposed technical countermeasures for the quantitatively determined main contributors have the potential to substantially reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with PVC. This sustainability strategy shows that it is possible to develop emerging technologies while being committed to minimizing the potential environmental impacts of that technology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- 化学 (全般)