Life Cycle Assessment of a Solid Ink MFD Compared with a Color Laser MFD

Posted by Benjamin Canaguier
Type: 
Full LCA not available on the web
Comparative: 
yes
Publication year: 
2009
Language: 
English
Code: 
Office Supplies (not paper specific)
Product: 
printer
Quality and sources
Is the study a: 
Detailed LCA
Was a critical review performed?: 
Yes
Is the study compliant with ISO 14044?: 
Yes
Sponsor name(s): 
Xerox Corporation
Sponsor type: 
Company
Practitioner(s): 
Xerox Corporation
Practitioner(s): 
Rochester Institute of Technology
Practitioner(s) type: 
Company
Summary
Functional unit: 
25,000 prints per month over a four year life
Goal and scope of the summary: 
Both MFDs were assumed to have equal print quality, monthly volumes, and lifespans: 25,000 prints per month over a four year life. Based on market distribution data for these types of products, a 60% US/40% European split was assumed, with energy mix and transportation distances determined accordingly. In the model, the solid ink MFD is manufactured in Malaysia, while the laser MFD is manufactured in Japan. End-of-life disposition of cartridges was estimated from US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) statistics and competitive information, with 10% remanufactured in the aftermarket, 25% recycled, and 65% landfilled. Packaging for both products was assumed to be 60% recycled content and 40% virgin content, based on the Paper Industry Association Council statistics. For packaging, 70% was modeled as recycled at end of life, with 30% going to landfill.

Over the product lifecycle, the solid ink MFD studied has 9% lower Cumulative Energy Demand and 10% lower Global Warming Potential. This conclusion was supported by an uncertainty analysis.
The post consumer solid waste generated by the solid ink MFD was approximately 90%less than the comparable color laser MFD. All of these results are primarily driven by the design of the solid ink MFD which does not require a cartridge or carrier for the ink, therefore using less energy and materials over the lifecycle, and producing less waste in the customer environment.

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