LCA study of a plasma television device

Posted by Mogensen
Type: 
Full LCA available on the web
Comparative: 
yes
Publication year: 
2010
Language: 
English
Code: 
Home Appliance
Product: 
Plasma Television
Quality and sources
Is the study a: 
Detailed LCA
Was a critical review performed?: 
No
Is the study compliant with ISO 14044?: 
Yes
Sponsor name(s): 
Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Testing and Research
Sponsor name(s): 
Swiss Federal Office for the Environment
Practitioner(s): 
Roland Hischer
Practitioner(s): 
Isabelle Baudin
Practitioner(s) type: 
Institut/Technical research center
Summary
Functional unit: 
the complete life cycle of one PDP television as the functional unit; PDP: plasma display panel. The functional unit is defined as “The complete life cycle of a 42-inch (=107 cm) PDP television device; produced in Asia, used during 8 years, 4 h/day, in Europe and recycled in a European state-of-the-art recycling system”.

Goal:
1. establish a detailed LCA study of a plasma television device due to a lack of respective studies at the time.
2.do an initial comparison of the two competing technologies on the
market (i.e. CRT and LCD).

Assumptions:
see table 2

Limits:
Due to a complete lack of
respective information from the companies producing
this type of television devices, a three-tiered “inverse
approach”, starting from a plasma television device at
the end of its life, entering the Swiss WEEE system—
the so-called SWICO Recycling Guarantee

the various printed wiring boards (PWB) mentioned in Table 2 were
modelled with the unspecific, generic PWB datasets from
ecoinvent.

Analysis of the complete life cycle of a PDP
television shows that the distribution stage is of no
importance. Of the remaining life cycle stages, the importance
of the use phase depends on the actual production mix
used for the electricity consumed. A fossil-based electricity
mix, such as the Union for the Coordination of Transmission
of Electricity (UCTE)-mix, causes an impact in the use phase
about two times higher than in the production phase. The
production phase is dominated by the printed wiring boards
and their various components—responsible for more than
three quarters of the impact of this first life stage. Last but not
least, in the end-of-life (EoL) phase, substantial environmental
benefits are possible through a modern recycling
system. A comparison of the PDP with competing technologies
shows the PDP technology to be the more environmentally
friendly one, based on the impact per square-inch of
screen. All technologies show thereby a similar picture—
production and use having high impacts, distribution being
irrelevant, and EoL resulting in an ecological benefit.

Manufacturing impact(s): 
Ozone layer depletion
Eutrophication
Toxicity / Eco-toxicity
Manufacturing impact level: 
High
Shipping impact level: 
Low
Usage impact(s): 
Acidification
Ozone layer depletion
Global warming
Abiotic ressouces depletion
Eutrophication
Toxicity / Eco-toxicity
Usage impact level: 
High
End of life impact(s): 
Acidification
Toxicity / Eco-toxicity
End of life impact level: 
Medium


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