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LCA of spent fluorescent lamps in Thailand at various rates of recycling

TitleLCA of spent fluorescent lamps in Thailand at various rates of recycling
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsApisitpuvakul W, Piumsomboon P, Watts DJ, Koetsinchai W
Journal TitleJournal of Cleaner Production
KeywordsDisposal, Eco-indicator 99 method, environmental impacts, Life cycle assessment, recycling, Spent fluorescent lamps (SFLs)
AbstractThis paper presents environmental impact of a fluorescent lamp (a long straight tube 36 watts, 200 g and 13,600 h for mean time before failure) when considering different disposal methods (recycle and non-recycle) of its spent fluorescent lamp (SFL). The study was applied for the case in Thailand using life cycle assessment (LCA) as a tool. All materials, energy use, and pollutant emissions to the environment from each related process were identified and analyzed. Impact assessment was conducted for 10 environmental impact potentials: carcinogens, respiratory organics, respiratory inorganics, climate change, radiation, ozone layer, ecotoxicity, acidification/eutrophication, land use and minerals. The analysis followed Eco-Indicator 99 method, individualist version 2.1. The main focus of the study was to compare the impact of SFL recycling with non-recycling before landfilling. The impact intermittent activities, production of raw material and energy used in all the concerned processes were taken into account. However, transportation activities were excluded. The results showed that for all recycling rates, cement production is the main contributor to the environmental impacts, while sodium sulfide production is second and electrical production, the third. Mercury vapor emission showed a small contribution in carcinogens and ecotoxicity. The impacts are reduced when recycling rate is increased. The reduction of cement consumption in disposal processes or the process improvement of cement production may also help to reduce environmental impacts.
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