Framework for Environmental Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Emerging Materials

Project: Research project

Description

Executive Summary 1. Title: Framework for Environmental Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Emerging Materials 2. Submitting Institution: Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of Arizona State University Department: ORSPA; Division: OKED P.O. Box 876011, Tempe, Arizona 85287-6011 Email:asu.awards@asu.edu 3. Principal Investigator: Thomas P Seager, Phone: 480-727-0531 4. Duration: June 2013 to October 2016 5. Total Proposed Price: $150,000 6. Scope of Work: Nanomaterials development is essential to advancing U.S. Army capabilities. However, integrating environmental and materials research prior to scale-up of emerging nanotechnologies remains a serious scientific challenge. Given the recommendations of several U.S. Government research policy organizations that emphasize the importance of the life-cycle perspective in examining emerging environmental issues, there is a critical need to apply environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) at the earliest stages of nanomaterials development. Early LCA promotes identification and communication of environmentally problematic processes or supply chain components before large investments contribute to technology lock-in, thereby allowing environmental concerns to redirect the technology trajectory. Unfortunately, existing approaches to LCA are unreliable in the case of emerging technologies, where data is unavailable and rapid advances in materials processing outstrip environmental knowledge. Previous studies have demonstrated several shortcomings to existing practices, including the masking of important environmental impacts, the difficulty of selecting appropriate weight sets for multi-stakeholder problems, and difficulties in exploration of variability and uncertainty. In particular, there is an acute need for decision-driven interpretation methods that can guide decision makers towards making balanced, environmentally sound decisions in instances of high uncertainty. This project proposes to apply a new framework for coupling stochastic multi-attribute
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date9/8/149/7/17

Funding

  • DOD-ARMY-USACE: Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC): $150,000.00

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life cycle
nanotechnology
environmental issue
stakeholder
environmental impact
trajectory
material
communication
decision