(489b) Sustainability Assessment and Life Cycle Inventories of Bio-Based Chemicals Using Performance Indicators

Authors: 
Ruiz-Mercado, G. J., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Gonzalez, M. A., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Smith, R. L., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The implementation in practice of sustainable development by society, government, and industry has demonstrated that sustainable solutions possess the potential for obtaining economic benefits without damaging the environment and human health. However, it is necessary to evaluate and quantify the effects of these new practices in the environment. Therefore, a more comprehensive description of environmental, social, and economic effects when implementing sustainable practices, e.g., for the design of chemical manufacturing processes, is needed. This contribution describes the GREENSCOPE (Gauging Reaction Effectiveness for the Environmental Sustainability of Chemistries with a multi-Objective Process Evaluator) tool as a support for decision makers when developing, designing, and evaluating sustainable processes and products. In addition, a life cycle inventory for chemical synthesis routes and processes is obtained as one of the main features of GREENSCOPE. A life cycle inventory of a chemical manufacturing stage is an important step in the development of life cycle assessments, which determine environmental, economic, and social effects throughout a productâ??s life cycle stages. The GREENSCOPE sustainability evaluation is performed by employing environment, economics, energy, and efficiency process indicators. A case study demonstration using GREENSCOPE during a bottom-up design of bio-based chemicals will describe which indicators have shown improvement and simultaneously find additional opportunities for enhancements. Finally, this contribution will present the GREENSCOPE tool as an approach to achieving life cycle assessments of bio-based chemical products during their manufacturing life cycle stages.