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1 Environmental Footprint Calculator (EFC). 2 Solvent Processing? Thermal Processing? Liquid Processing? What is the Best Choice for My Business?

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Presentation on theme: "1 Environmental Footprint Calculator (EFC). 2 Solvent Processing? Thermal Processing? Liquid Processing? What is the Best Choice for My Business?"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Environmental Footprint Calculator (EFC)

2 2 Solvent Processing? Thermal Processing? Liquid Processing? What is the Best Choice for My Business?

3 3 One Size Fits All? A printer’s choice of plate processing technology depends upon several factors: –Graphic Requirements –Ink Compatibility –Available Equipment Footprint –Most Important Environmental Impacts No one solution works for everyone

4 4 Variables How do the following variables affect the environmental impact of various plate processing technologies? Geographic location? Plate gauge? Plate size?

5 5

6 6 UT Center for Clean Products Established in 1992 A multi-disciplinary research center housed within UT Dedicated to the development, evaluation, and adoption of clean products and materials Conducted several projects within the printing industry, including a pollution prevention project for the Gravure Association of America Conducted a number of corporate endeavors where they have developed environmental impact calculators that evaluate the overall environmental impacts associated with the manufacture, use and disposal of various products ecoform Founded in 2006 Practitioners working through a variety of corporate and university organizations, including the University of Tennessee’s Center for Clean Products Has worked with organizations such as Rubbermaid Commercial Products, Evercare, and the Natural Stone Council

7 7 Definition: Life Cycle Assessment The investigation and evaluation of the environmental impacts of a given product or service caused or necessitated by its existence. Source:

8 8 The LCA Process Goal Definition & Scoping Inventory Analysis Impact Assessment Interpretation Source: Lifecycle Assessment: Principles and Practice, EPA Goal Definition & Scope Inventory Analysis Impact Assessment Interpretation Life Cycle Assessment Framework

9 9 The LCA Process Goal Definition & Scoping Inventory Analysis Impact Assessment Interpretation Source: Lifecycle Assessment: Principles and Practice, EPA Goal Definition & Scope Inventory Analysis Impact Assessment Interpretation Life Cycle Assessment Framework

10 10 Goal and Scope Goal: –To develop an interactive sustainability tool that will enable users to determine the relative environmental impacts of digital solvent, digital thermal and liquid plate processing while incorporating customer-specific variables such as geographic location, plate gauge, plate size and number of plates. Scope: –Raw material production and processing –Production of the photopolymer material –Processing of the photopolymer plate.

11 11 Scope Plate manufacture Imaging Plate Mounting PrintingConverting Waste Recycled Waste Within ScopeOutside Scope Note: Transportation of raw materials was not included within the scope of this study

12 12 The LCA Process Goal Definition & Scoping Inventory Analysis Impact Assessment Interpretation Source: Lifecycle Assessment: Principles and Practice, EPA Goal Definition & Scope Inventory Analysis Impact Assessment Interpretation Life Cycle Assessment Framework

13 13 Inventory Analysis Data Collection and Modeling of the Product System Description and Verification of Data Inputs –Materials –Energy –Chemicals Outputs: –Air emissions –Water emissions –Solid Waste –Final product

14 14 Assumptions A steady state of production A production rate of 80% maximum capacity at largest format available for each processing method A 50% image area 50% relief

15 15 Photopolymer Manufacturer Workflow Manufacturing Process Energy Inputs Outputs Raw materials Photopolymer Waste

16 16 Sheet Photopolymer – Digital Solvent Processing Digital Plate Laser Imager UV Exposure PX/DTDryerWashout Finished Plate PET coversheet Dust (negligible) Dirty solvent (Solvent + dissolved photopolymer) Distillation Clean Solvent Still bottoms (haz waste) Clean Solvent Solvent Vapor Electrical Power Inputs Outputs 90% recovery

17 17 Sheet Photopolymer – Digital Thermal Processing Digital Plate Laser Imager UV Exposure PX/DT LAVA System Finished Plate PET coversheet Carbon dust (negligible) Organic vapors C Filter Used filter w/ captured organics Clean air Electrical Power Inputs Outputs Used blotter Blotter material

18 18 Liquid Photopolymer Liquid photopolymer Casting + Exposure ReclaimDTPXWashout Finished Plate 1. Film negative 2. Coverlay 3. PET substrate Soluble Photopolymer In water Water + Detergent Electrical Power Inputs Outputs Dryer Water + salts Water + Salts Water vapor Disposal Rinse water Rinse water

19 19 The LCA Process Goal Definition & Scoping Inventory Analysis Impact Assessment Interpretation Source: Lifecycle Assessment: Principles and Practice, EPA Goal Definition & Scope Inventory Analysis Impact Assessment Interpretation Life Cycle Assessment Framework

20 20 Impact Categories Energy Consumption: The total quantity of energy consumed within the life cycle of the product. Water Consumption: The total quantity of water consumed within the life cycle of the product Acidification of Water: The process by which the pH of a body of water is decreased due to the entry of acidifying compounds, particularly nitric acid (HNO 3 ) and sulfuric acid (H 2 SO 4 ). Eutrophication of Water: The process of nutrient enrichment [namely phosphorous (P) and nitrogen (N)]. The increased food supply results in extensive growth of algae, in turn causing highly turbid water. Global Warming: An increase in the planet’s average tropospheric temperature. To some extent, this occurs naturally on earth, but is exacerbated by the excess of heat trapping compunds – known as greenhouse gases – in the earth’s atmosphere. Ozone Depletion: Refers to the destruction of the stratospheric ozone layer which filters out the most intense ultraviolet light from the sun’s radiant energy. Smog Generation: The formation of photochemical smog in the troposphere. Smog forms from the reaction of nitric oxide (NO), oxygen (O 2 ), and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) in the presence of sunlight.

21 21 Environmental Footprint Calculator (EFC)

22 22 Energy Grids

23 23 The LCA Process Goal Definition & Scoping Inventory Analysis Impact Assessment Interpretation Source: Lifecycle Assessment: Principles and Practice, EPA Goal Definition & Scope Inventory Analysis Impact Assessment Interpretation Life Cycle Assessment Framework

24 24 Interpretation: Key Findings In terms of environmental impacts, generally speaking:.. Solvent > Thermal > Liquid

25 25 Interpretation Compared to Solvent Processing –Liquid processing results in higher water consumption and smog generation, but has significantly lower impacts in all other categories. –Thermal processing has a slightly higher impact on eutrophication of water but has significantly lower impacts in all other categories. Compared to Thermal Processing – Both liquid and solvent processing use much more water –Liquid processing consumes less energy and contributes fewer CO 2 emissions to the atmosphere (Global Warming Impact). Compared to Liquid Processing –Both solvent and thermal processing use much more energy than liquid processing –Thermal processing produces fewer kgs of CFC equivalents (ozone depletion) than liquid platemaking.

26 26 Reasons Why Liquid Platemaking generally has a smaller environmental footprint than solvent and thermal processing because: No solvents are used Un-imaged photopolymer can be reclaimed Thermal Processing generally has a smaller environmental footprint than solvent because: Energy usage required by the still

27 27 Reasons Why: Energy Use xx xx x x x x Solvent Processing WorkflowThermal Processing Workflow

28 28 Looking Forward First Iteration of the EFC Will continue to refine data as we move forward Collection of raw material LCA input data growing more complete EFC creates areas for improvement (i.e., water usage in Liquid) Recycling photopolymer materials at end-of-life

29 29 Thank You! Heather P. Barrett MacDermid Printing Solutions


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