Life Cycle Assessment of Organic Rankine Cycle for Low-environmental Working Fluid

Latthaphonh Kythavone, Wassamol Lerdjaturanon, Nattaporn Chaiyat


This paper presents the environmental impact of an R-123 organic Rankine cycle (ORC) for using as the power generation system. A life cycle assessment (LCA) is selected to investigate the environmental result under the midpoint and endpoint levels of the ReCiPe database. Ten LCA categories of the midpoint level are focused on a functional unit of 1 kWh and a life span of 20 y. From the analysis results, it can be found that the LCA results—climate change of 1.14E-02 kg CO2 eq, ozone depletion of 1.91E-07 kg CFC-11 eq, human toxicity of 1.64E-02 kg 1,4 DB eq, particulate matter formation of 2.28E-02 kg PM 10 eq, terrestrial acidification of 1.25 kg SO2 eq, freshwater eutrophication of 8.78E-02 kg P eq, terrestrial ecotoxicity of 7.83E-02 kg 1,4 DB eq, freshwater ecotoxicity of 1.23 kg 1,4 DB eq, metal depletion of 2.17E+01 kg Fe eq, and fossil depletion of 1.44E+01 kg oil eq—are revealed. In the endpoint level, the integrated LCA impact on a single score of 0.491 Pt is analyzed. The LCA effects are found in the construction, decommissioning, and operation phases at approximately 71.21%, 24.23%, and 4.56%, respectively. The main environmental affect is driven by raw materials of a steel of 4,610 kg, a reinforcing steel of 1,061 kg, and a copper of 281 kg.

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