Category Renewables-Based Technology

Vitamin B2 Case Study

Vitamin B2 is produced by BASF’s Agricultural Products and Nutrition division for use as a vitamin for human and animal nutrition. As a component of animal feed, it is vital to ensure the animals’ health and fitness; vitamin B2 deficiency leads to slower growth and poor feed conversion (BASF, 2003b).

Eco-efficiency demonstrated which vitamin B2 production process is the most eco-effi­cient. Three ‘bio-technological’ processes and one ‘chemical’ process were evaluated for the production of 100 kilograms of vitamin B2 for use in animal feed pre-mix. All the processes include renewable resources such as plant oil or glucose as a raw material (Figure 18.3)...

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Case Studies

The eco-efficiency analysis creates different case studies to position BASF, its customers, authorities and NGOs for movement along the continuum from the current proactive phase to a sustainability strategy. Eco-efficiency is to be used as a strategic product and process development tool, which incorporates sustainability issues into planning and marketing. This chapter explains some designated examples for eco-efficiency case studies.

18.4.1 Indigo Processes

The first example chosen is the eco-efficiency analysis of indigo. Indigo is the dye that is used exclusively for dyeing blue denim. After dyeing, blue denim is further processed into jeans. BASF was the first and, until October 2000, the largest producer of synthetic indigo worldwide...

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Evaluation of Decision-making Processes with Eco-Efficiency Analysis

Since 1996 BASF has carried out eco-efficiency studies in numerous key fields such as paints and dyes, plastics, life science, oil and gas, and chemicals. In doing so, eco-efficiency analysis has been employed in four major fields of application; (1) strategic decisions; (2) research and product development; (3) communication with policy-makers; and (4) marketing.

In strategic decisions it is possible for the application investigated to distinguish products with a promising future from products with a less promising future. Even in investment decisions eco-efficiency analysis provides valuable perspectives...

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Scenario Analysis

The value of the eco-efficiency analysis tool, apart from its description of the current state, lies in the recognition of dominant influences and in the illustration of ‘What if… ?’ scenarios. Questions such as ‘What is the minimum yield the new process has to have in order for it to be similar in eco-efficiency to the old process?’ or ‘Which site can manufacture a product most eco-efficiently?’ are typical task statements for scenarios in an eco-efficiency analysis. From experience, the largest influence on the result by far is possessed by the input data and the system boundaries.

Starting with the base case portfolio, it is possible to show several different scenarios to illustrate what happens by changing a lot of input factors...

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The Eco-Efficiency Portfolio

In order to be able to illustrate eco-efficiency, BASF has developed the eco-efficiency portfolio. The most eco-efficient products lie in the upper right-hand quadrant of the portfolio, which means they have the least overall environmental impact and the greatest economic benefit. The first example of such an eco-efficiency portfolio is shown in Figure 18.2 for the indigo example.

Подпись: E n v ir о n m e n t a l imp act o f an o ption Total environmental impact in Germany Подпись: = relevance environmental category Подпись: (18.1)

Therefore, relevance factors will be calculated and included. They indicate how important the individual environmental category is for a particular eco-efficiency analysis. Those factors are ‘scientific weighting factors’ because they are not influenced by a definition but only are calculated...

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Normalization and Environmental Fingerprint

After normalization and weighting have been carried out for the emissions, the appropriate computed values are collected in a specific plot, the environmental fingerprint, as shown in (Figure 18.1). This diagram shows the environmental advantages and disadvantages of the considered alternatives in a relative comparison with each other. The alternative that lies furthest out and has the value of 1 is the least favorable alternative in the category in question. The further in an alternative lies, the more favorable it is.

The pivotal point of an eco-efficiency analysis is a specific customer benefit...

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Preparation of a Specific Life Cycle Analysis for All Investigated Products or Processes

• Primary energy consumption. The energy consumption category of impact includes all energies used to fulfil the customer benefit. Fossil energy resources are included before production as is renewable energy before harvest or use. This captures conversion losses from electricity and steam generation. The energies from biomass feedstocks are included, however, not included is the sun energy that is needed to produce the biomass. The energy consumption category in the BASF eco-efficiency analysis method covers i. e. Green Engineering Principles 3, 4, and 12 of Anastas and Zimmerman (2003), and as a result encourages the selection of energy-efficient products and processes.

• Raw materials consumption...

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Basic Preconditions

The specific customer benefit always lies at the centre of eco-efficiency analysis. In the majority of cases, customers with particular needs and requirements are able to choose between a number of alternative products and processes. In the context of this choice, eco-efficiency analysis compares the economic and environmental data of each solution over the entire life cycle or within the compartments in which the systems differ in life cycle.

Calculation of Total Cost from the Customer Viewpoint

The costs dimension as a part of sustainability, is given equal weight to the environmental dimension in the BASF eco-efficiency method. Therefore total costs are likewise summarized over the life cycle...

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