LCA-based approach to environmental performance of Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis Fluids.

University essay from Lunds universitet/Internationella miljöinstitutet

Abstract: Abstract Screening LCA has been used to gain further insight into the environmental performance of Gambrosol Trio, a fluid used in Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) as a form of renal therapy. Gambrosol Trio (Trio) is produced and commercialised by Gambro AB, an international company with headquarters in Stockholm and historic roots in Lund, Sweden. The product's distinctive characteristic is its three-in-one compartment bag that allows a patient to use one of three standard glucose concentrations that form the basis of CAPD. This design has logistics and operational advantages compared to similar products packaged in single or dual compartment bags. This thesis was conducted as a first approach to explore whether or not these advantages extend to the product's environmental performance from a cradle-to-grave perspective. The environmental burden of the product is explored from the production and processing of Trio's components, to the manufacturing of the product itself to disposal of generated waste from its use, including transportation in between these stages of the product cycle. The assessment was made based on the construction of the product map, the material requirements for its production and transport and assigning an “Ecoscore” based on the Ecoindicator 99 method as presented in the Ecoindicator Manual for Designers. Results indicate the majority of the product's environmental burden is located at the production stage of its components with PVC based plastics taking the larger share. A quick exploration of Polypropylene and Polyethylene as substitutes did not indicate potential for improved environmental performance. Caution must be exercised as the effects of Phthalate leaking in land-fills or incomplete combustion in incinerators was not available as Ecoscores. Although this approach is based on Life Cycle Assessment, it does not have the validity that a full application of the method would provide; as such, results can only be used within the organisation as a tool to decide whether or not to continue efforts along this track and cannot be used to communicate claims to stakeholders or as the basis for definitive, company-wide decisions such as material substitution in their products.

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