Processes, Vol. 9, Pages 1731: Process Simulation and Life Cycle Assessment of Ceramic Pigment Production: A Case Study of Green Cr2O3
Processes doi: 10.3390/pr9101731
This study presents a combined process modeling—Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach for the evaluation of green Cr2O3 ceramic pigments production. Pigment production is associated with high calcination temperatures, achieved through the combustion of fossil fuels. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate its environmental impact with regards to energy requirements and CO2 emissions. Initially, a process model is developed to simulate the final calcination stage of the traditional pigments production process. It is validated against titanium dioxide (TiO2) white production industrial data and adjusted for Cr2O3 production. Three alternative processes are examined: two for pigment grade (PIGM1, PIGM2) and one for metallurgical (MET) Cr2O3. Heat demand and CO2 emissions computed by the developed process models are used as input in the LCA along with upstream data from the literature using a cradle-to-gate approach. The implementation of the LCA has resulted in calculated Global Warming Potential (GWP100) ranging from 7.9 to 12.8 CO2-eq and fossil Primary Energy Demand (PED) between 91.4–159.6 MJ-eq (all referring to 1 kg of pigment production). It is depicted that the biggest part of the emissions originates from the upstream production and transportation of raw materials (contributing up to 96% of total CO2 emissions) and other sources (electricity, production plant, etc.), rather than the examined calcination stage (contributing from 1.3 to 3.5% of GWP).
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