Poster Sessions Info
Unlike traditional poster sessions with big print-outs, we have decided to make posters during LCIC 2020 a more free format. Poster authors can choose between different ways to present their work and we have assigned two posters per break to be discussed in a short live session during our program. Below you find the poster abstracts.
Presenters: Andrea Di Maria, Christian Dierks, Walther Zeug, Almut Güldemund, Silu Bhochhibhoya, Deborah Andrews, Wiebke Hagedorn, Julia Fischer, Chantelle Rizan and Balint Simon
26.08.2020 | Poster Presentations
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Cristina Gil Alvarez
Irene Ruiz Oria
Karel Van Acker
Iron silicate slag is a by-product from the pyro-metallurgic production of copper. Today, there is an increasing effort to valorise iron silicate slag into new products. Iron silicate slag can be recycled to produce several low-quality products, e.g. abrasive materials. Recycling of iron silicate slag into high-quality products (e.g. as cement substitute) may represents a major opportunity for the copper industry.
In this context, the EIT-Raw Materials project “WHISPER” (Waterless Iron Silicate Production with Energy Recovery) aims at implementing an innovative and sustainable slag treatment process to produce granulated iron silicate slag that can be recycled as cement substitute in construction material.
Wet-granulation is the most widespread method to process iron silicate slag, where the liquid slag is quenched with large quantity of water. Through the implementation of a semi-industrial pilot plant, WHISPER wants to demonstrate the effectiveness of an alternative granulation process, the dry-granulation, where liquid slag is cooled down using high pressure air-jet.
Together with the technical development, WHISPER wants to demonstrate the sustainability of the dry-granulation technology. The goal of the present study is to quantifies the trade-off between the environmental costs and benefits of dry-granulation vs wet-granulation. The environmental evaluation has been conducted through a life cycle assessment (LCA). Compared to the wet-granulation, the reduced use of water in dry-granulation leads to a significant reduction of wastewater produced, and the heat recovered from the dry-granulation reduces the operational environmental and economic costs. On the other hand, the LCA analysis highlights also the environmental hotspots of the dry-granulation process, such as the higher energy required for the air blowers. As the proposed technology is still under development, the results of this preliminary LCA can provide useful insights and contribute to the environmental optimisation of the dry-granulation technology.
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Introduction: Sewage sludge ash contains ca. 8-12 % phosphorous, a valuable resource with no known substitutes in its agricultural application. Article 4 of the current German sewage sludge ordinance introduced ambitious goals for phosphorous recovery from sewage sludge from 2029 onward and requires operators of large wastewater treatment plants to present a P-recovery strategy by 2023. The goal of the BMBF-funded research project RePhoRM is the development of a technological and organizational concept for the recovery of phosphorous from sewage sludge ash in the Rhine-Main region.
Methods: The concept phase included a screening LCA to aid in decision-making by comparing four technological options for phosphorous recovery from sewage sludge ash regarding their GHG emissions and was conducted based on literature values, expert estimates and own calculations. The processes for comparison were one thermo-chemical process and two wet chemical processes producing a fertilizer product as well as a wet chemical process producing phosphoric acid. The functional unit was chosen as “the processing of 1 t of average sewage sludge ash from the Rhine-Main region”. Background data was taken from ecoinvent v3.5 (consequential). System expansion and a causal-narrative approach was used to determine credits for substituted primary products such as fertilizer or phosphoric acid. The marginal electricity mix for 2029 was assumed to consist of only renewable sources, whereas the gas demand was assumed to be supplied by natural gas due to pricing. Due to the early stage of the research, equipment and infrastructure were neglected.
Results and discussion: In order to minimize GHG emissions, the implementation of a wet chemical process producing phosphate fertilizer was identified as the best option within the boundary conditions of the Rhine-Main region. Sensitivity analyses were performed and several significant issues introducing were identified, most notably input phosphoric acid concentration (as the concentration process is highly energy intensive and the use of lower concentrated acid could significantly reduce GHG emissions), transport (as primary phosphorous is imported into Europe mainly from northern Africa and the Levant) and toxicity (as sewage sludge ash – as well as primary phosphate rock – are polluted by e.g. heavy metals to various degrees and the removal may cause problem-shifting). Those three issues are both highly uncertain and relevant for the LCIA results. Further research regarding these parameters is therefore recommended and is planned within the full LCA in the main phase of the RePhoRM project in order to obtain robust results.
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First, the presentation introduces to the context of the bioeconomy (BE): Current economic and social systems considerably transgress planetary boundaries and distribute resources unequally, posing enormous challenges to political strategies and economic structures and putting them to the test. To tackle these challenges, under a BE a series of stakeholders represent a broad spectrum of industrial metabolisms, strategies and visions on substituting fossil resources by renewables and hereto associated societal transformations. It is presented how different understandings of sustainability and economic concepts define implicitly our understanding of BE as well as assessments like Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCA).
Secondly, to structure a systemic framework of the important aspects of such assessments, we conducted a series of stakeholder workshops to assess the relevance of SDGs for the BE. The presented results show that systemic assessments have to take a broad range of social, economic and ecological aspects into account . Eventually, the idea of a BE and as well systemic assessments is a question of the perception of ends and means of a societal transformation toward holistic sustainability.
Third, to actually identify the complex risks & chances of growing a BE on a regional level, environmental, social and economic LCA methods have been developed and applied. However, a common framework of an integrative Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) is missing. The presentation reflects on previous concepts and existing methods of LCA and LCSA, strengths, weaknesses and research gaps are identified in order to develop a holistic LCSA (HLCSA) . Based on a transdisciplinary approach we present a sustainability and a BE concept as well as a framework for HLCSA as a common scope and goal system which allows for a systematic integration of LCA methods and linking global goals to regional assessments. We show how an integration of social, economic and ecological indicators is possible within a common inventory analyses and impact assessment. A future HLCSA model of material and energy flows, monetary flows and labor can assess social, economic and ecological effects of a BE region, its sustainability and its potential for transformation by substitution, to improve policies, strategies, discourses and regional practices as well as to address all stakeholders.
 Zeug, W.; Bezama, A.; Moesenfechtel, U.; Jähkel, A.; Thrän, D., Stakeholders’ Interests and Perceptions of Bioeconomy Monitoring Using a Sustainable Development Goal Framework. Sustainability 2019, 11, (6), 1511.
 Zeug, W.; Bezama, A.; Thrän, D., Towards a Holistic Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment of the Bioeconomy – Linking Global Goals and Regional Assessments by a Transdisciplinary Sustainability Framework Forthcoming 2020.
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The concept of bio-economy aims at protecting the biosphere through mitigating the overexploitation of resources while, at the same time, ensuring the food security and economic prosperity for a growing global population. However, whether bio-economy can actually meet this objective is a matter of controversy. The main point of criticism refers to the pressure on biomass production caused by the increased competition between the different biomass-using sectors (feed &food, bioenergy, bio-based products) [1,2]. The increased demand for biomass is associated with problematic developments such as land use change, intensified agriculture along with the lost in CO2 sinks and biodiversity [2–4]. In addition, the environmental benefits of the bio-based process chains are partly questioned .
The research project TransRegBio, funded by BMBF and started at 1st December 2019, is part of a regional innovation area with the aim to promote the transformation towards a bio-economy. Within this innovation area, R&D&I projects will investigate a wide variety of bio-economic technologies and develop them into innovative value chains. Besides the scientific accompaniment of the R&D&I projects, TransRegBio also develops tools and concepts for the evaluation and design of a regional bio-economy.
TransRegBio uses and develops a number of methods to answer various sub-questions:
With a driver and barrier analysis, the market potential of bio-economic technologies is identified. LCA is used to quantify the environmental impacts of bio-economic technologies along the entire life cycle. Coupling LCA with an innovative XDC-Tool enables the evaluation whether bio-economic technologies are in compliance with the Paris 2°C target. Scenario analyses, the application of an economic equilibrium model and a land use model as well as their coupling help to make statements on biomass needs, biomass production potentials, international biomass material flows, land use changes and their effects on biodiversity and GHG emissions at regional, national and/or global level. The experiences and results from the accompaniment of the R&D&I projects will be integrated into the development of a roadmap and a guideline for the design of a prospering bio-economy, as well as into the development of a life cycle oriented assessment tool including a bio-economy specific database and an indicator system for the sustainability assessment of bio-economies.
The concept of the project, the progress in the development of suitable evaluation methods for bio-economy and the first results shall be presented on a poster at the LCIC.
 T. Ronzon, A.I. Sanjuán, Friends or foes? A compatibility assessment of bioeconomy-related Sustainable Development Goals for European policy coherence, Journal of Cleaner Production 254 (2020) 119832.
 P. Stegmann, M. Londo, M. Junginger, The Circular Bioeconomy: Its elements and role in European bioeconomy clusters, Resources, Conservation & Recycling: X (2020) 100029.
 R. Chaplin-Kramer, R.P. Sharp, L. Mandle, S. Sim, J. Johnson, I. Butnar et al., Spatial patterns of agricultural expansion determine impacts on biodiversity and carbon storage, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112 (2015) 7402–7407.
 J.A. Foley, R. Defries, G.P. Asner, C. Barford, G. Bonan, S.R. Carpenter et al., Global consequences of land use, Science (New York, N.Y.) 309 (2005) 570–574.
27.08.2020 | Poster Presentations
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Berri de Jonge
The concept of circular economy (CE) is getting increasingly more attention from academia, policymakers, and the industry as the solution that should reduce negative environmental impacts and positively contributes to economic growth. The initiating case company, a Dutch housing contractor is noticing this increasing interest in CE in their external environment. The aim of this research is to give insight into the transition of CE in the Dutch housing industry. This article argues in terms of Schumpeter’s (1934) business cycle theory that CE has initiated a new business cycle in the Dutch housing sector. Data for this argument is collected through an assessment of the CE strategies with the use of a CE strategy framework. This article concludes that the Dutch housing sector could be positioned at the end of the introduction phase of Schumpeter’s business cycle, since there are indicators that the sector is no longer sceptic over CE and there is a general belief that if they do not move, they fall behind with their competitors. However, further transition in CE is impeded by the lack of reverse cycles in the CE strategy of the Dutch housing contractors, particularly due to the difficulty of estimating the residual value of a house.
Schumpeter, J. A. (1934). The theory of economic development. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
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The World Wide Web developed during the 1980s and was formally introduced in 1989; since then it has facilitated rapid communication between people and objects and revolutionised business models and services across all major sectors. Such is the popularity of the technology that 59% of the global population is now ‘connected’ (1).
Digital communication is facilitated by human-centred technology (e.g. laptop and desktop computers and mobile phones) and data centres (DCs) which house digital data processing, networking and storage (ICT) equipment. The sector has already expanded rapidly to manage the increasing volume of data and it is predicted to grow 500% globally by 2030 (2). DC operation is energy intensive and the sector currently consumes 1% global electricity (3). It is also resource intensive and although the mass of materials utilised across the sector is unknown, it is estimated to be millions of tonnes.
Sectoral focus has always been provision of 100% uninterrupted service and performance and although economic and environmental considerations have encouraged operational energy efficiency, the impact of design and manufacture have been largely overlooked and consequently, most DC equipment is designed for a linear economy. This is becoming an increasing problem because the first life of much DC equipment is only 1 to 5 years; to date circular practices such as refurbishment, reuse and recycling at end-of-life are limited by human and technical factors and consequently the sector contributes to the growing global electrical and electronic equipment waste stream.
The CEDaCI project was initiated to kick-start a sectoral Circular Economy ahead of the predicted growth, in order to simultaneously increase resource efficiency and reclamation of Critical Raw Materials and reduce waste. The DC sector is comprised of highly specialised sub-sectors; however it is silo-based and knowledge exchange between sub-sectors is rare. Conversely, a Circular Economy is holistic by default and therefore expertise from all constituent sub-sectors is essential to enable development.
In order to overcome these and other challenges the CEDaCI project employs design-based methodologies, namely the four-stage Double Diamond design process model (introduced by the Design Council in 2004) and Design Thinking (developed and popularised by IDEO from 2009). The importance of stakeholder engagement to the development of the Circular Economy as a whole cannot be under-estimated and the presentation shares examples of tools and practice from the CEDaCI project to illustrate the value of design-process-based strategies to support development of the CE in other sectors.
- Simon Kemp, Hootesuite Digital 2020 Global Overview Report, 30 January 2020,
- Infiniti Research Ltd., August 2015, High Power Consumption is Driving the Need for Greener Data Centres. Available http://www.technavio.com/blog/high-power-consumpton-is-driving-the-need-for-greener-data-centers. [14 August 2018]
- Masanet, E., Shehabi, A., Lei, N., Smith, S., and Koomey, J., Recalibrating global data center energy-use estimates Science 28 Feb 2020: Vol. 367, Issue 6481, pp. 984-986 DOI: 10.1126/science.aba3758
- Brown, T., Change by Design: How Design Thinking Creates New Alternatives for Business and Society (2009) Harper Collins, New York
- Design Council, Double Diamond Design Methodology (2004) and Evolved Double Diamond Design Methodology (2019) https://www.designcouncil.org.uk/news-opinion/double-diamond-universally-accepted-depiction-design-process https://www.designcouncil.org.uk/news-opinion/what-framework-innovation-design-councils-evolved-double-diamond
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Recently, one of the biggest challenges for science, economy, society and politics is the increasing consumption of natural resources. The deposits of resources are lim-ited and the resource usage will still rise in future due to population increase and economic growth. The circular economy (CE) is thought to offer a solution and there-fore is included in many political directives (EC 2015; BMU, 2015). Less and slower resource consumption as well as closed-loop supply chains, thus reduced environ-mental pressure, should be reached with the CE concepts. However, evidence for the benefits is lacking. Only a small number of case studies exist, that analyse the exact mechanisms and environmental impact of circular concepts.
Therefore, this session is about the project Circle of Tools (CoT), which implements the CE concepts re-manufacturing and re-purposing. Within CoT, three steel tool manufacturers in Germany aim to link their supply chains to close the loop for high alloy steel. First, the presentation introduces the linear supply chains of the starting products, an industrial machining knife and a wood turning tool. Further, it contains the approach for closing the material flow via an additional use. Introducing the pro-cess of “closing the loop” is the basis for the following environmental evaluation, which is the focus of the presentation. The application of the Life Cycle Assessment as one of the most substantiated approaches in the environmental assessment builds the main section. It includes the special characteristics for the re-purpose case and its limits. Further, alternative indicators and methods for evaluating the environ-mental impact of the particular CE concept are illustrated.
This first part of the project includes the implementation of the CE concepts and the environmental assessment using primarily LCA and known circularity indicators. In the long term, the scientific work within the project results in an assessment tool, which allows the holistic analysis, i.e. environmental, economic and social, of re-purpose cases. The approach should support especially companies in the form of a decision tool. The following part is about the development of a suitable approach for the environmental assessment, which will lead to further interesting results. Also, another section focuses on the economic point of view, which includes e.g. the busi-ness model development.
BMU (2015). German Resource Efficiency Porgramme (ProgRess): Programme for the Sustainable Use and Conservation of Natural Resources (2nd Edition), Federal Ministry
for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Berlin.
EC (2015). Closing the Loop. An EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy, COM (2015) 514, Brussel.
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Industrial production processes have a large share of the total energy and material consumption and thus directly of the environmental impact during the life cycle of a product. Nevertheless, there are hardly any LCA studies on specific industrial production processes which can be transferred to similar processes. In addition, the existing data sets in common LCA databases are often outdated, so that they can hardly be used for mapping modern production machinery. Although LCA is the most common tool for investigating environmental impacts, both complex industrial manufacturing processes and the current transformation process towards digitized dynamic manufacturing systems are difficult to map applying the methodology.
By using modularization and parameterization, the complexity and the generalism of LCA as well as the associated restrictions in the practical application of the method within industry are attempted to be taken into account (Recchioni et al. 2007). A modular LCA approach is based on the demand to reduce the complexity of the entire system by breaking it down into smaller subsystems (modules/unit processes) (Zschieschang et al. 2012). The parametrized modules are considered separately in the LCA and can subsequently be reassembled to form an overall LCA for all possible module combinations (Gabrisch et al. 2019). In this way, LCA users can be supported in examining a large number of production alternatives with different production processes and process parameters within a flexible way.
Production processes, respectively machine tools, are complex systems, which are often designed according to specific customer requirements (Gutowski et al. 2006). The resource consumption of machine tools can be distributed to different consumer groups or machine aggregates and is depending on various technological parameters or framework conditions. Using a specific milling process as the object of investigation, a modular, parameterized LCA model is developed to determine the environmental impact of the process. Based on the relevance of the resource energy, the model is derived by means of a detailed energy assessment at aggregate level, which is then transferred to the determination of consumption of other resources used within the process. The modular, parameterized modelling at aggregate level is intended to be transferable to other machines with the same application, in this case to other milling machines.
Gabrisch, Chris; Cerdas, Felipe; Herrmann, Christoph (2019): Product System Modularization in LCA Towards a Graph Theory Based Optimization for Product Design Alternatives. In: Liselotte Schebek, Christoph Herrmann und Felipe Cerdas (Hg.): Progress in Life Cycle Assessment. Cham: Springer International Publishing (Sustainable Production, Life Cycle Engineering and Management), S. 37–44.
Gutowski, Timothy; Dahmus, Jeffrey; Thiriez, Alex (2006): Electrical Energy Requirements for Manufacturing Processes. In: Proceedings of LCE2006, S. 623–628, zuletzt geprüft am 11.12.2019.
Recchioni, Marco; Mandorli, Ferruccio; Germani, Michele; Faraldi, Paolo; Polverini, Davide (2007): Life-Cycle Assessment simplification for modular products. In: Shozo Takata und Yasushi Umeda (Hg.): Advances in Life Cycle Engineering for Sustainable Manufacturing Businesses. London, 2007: Springer London, S. 53–58.
Zschieschang, Eva; Pfeifer, Peter; Schebek, Liselotte (2012): Modular Server – Client – Server (MSCS) Approach for Process Optimization in Early R&D of Emerging Technologies by LCA. In: David A. Dornfeld und Barbara S. Linke (Hg.): Leveraging technology for a sustainable world. Proceedings of the 19th CIRP Conference on Life Cycle Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, USA, May 23 – 25, 2012 ; [LCE 2012, Bd. 32. Berlin: Springer, S. 119–124.
28.08.2020 | Poster Presentations
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Mahmood F Bhutta
The UK National Health Service (NHS) generates 538,600 tonnes in England (costing £115 million),(1) whilst the United States produces an estimated 5.9 million tonnes of healthcare waste per year.(2) The disposal of healthcare waste is complicated by its different waste streams and is assumed to generate a considerable carbon footprint but the emission factors used to estimate that footprint are variable and not healthcare-specific hence there is low confidence in the outcomes. This study aimed to estimate and compare the carbon footprint of healthcare waste streams.
A process-based carbon footprint of healthcare waste was estimated in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Accounting Sector Guidance for Pharmaceutical Products and Medical Devices,(3) using activity data based on waste streams found at three hospitals in one UK NHS organisation. Processes included were transportation of waste from hospitals to waste handling sites, energy and materials (fuels and water) for pre-treatment of waste and final waste processing, and direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced. Emission factors were sourced from the UK DEFRA/BEIS(4) database and GHG Protocol waste database.(5)
The carbon footprint was lowest when medical waste was recycled (21-65kg CO2e /tonne), followed by municipal incineration with energy from waste (172-249 kg CO2e). The latter increased to 569 kg CO2e when the waste was additionally sterilised using an autoclave (sterilisation alone was 338 kg CO2e/ tonne). The highest carbon footprint was associated with disposing of waste via high temperature incineration (1074 kg CO2e/ tonne). Transportation of waste ranged from 5 to 125 kg CO2e/tonne waste, depending on distances travelled, vehicle type, and the mean weight of waste transported per journey. NHS data show that the financial cost of waste streams mirror that of the carbon footprint.
This study showed that the carbon footprint of healthcare waste disposal is variable and heavily dependent on disposal route. To improve will require healthcare organisations to facilitate waste segregation through the provision of appropriate workplace facilities and staff education, and to contract waste management companies that use preferred low carbon intensity processes.
- NHS Digital, 2019. Estates Return Information Collection (ERIC) 2018/19. https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/estates-returns-information-collection/england-2018-19 (accessed 27 Dec 2019).
- Voudrias, E. A. 2018. Healthcare waste management from the point of view of circular economy. Waste Manag, 75, 1-2. doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2018.04.020.
- Environmental Resources Management. 2012. Greenhouse gas accounting sector guidance for pharmaceutical products and medical devices. https://www.sduhealth.org.uk/areas-of-focus/carbon-hotspots/pharmaceuticals/cspm/carbon-footprint-guidance.aspx (accessed 27 Dec 2019).
- Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs/ Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. UK Government GHG Conversion Factors for Company Reporting. 2019. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/greenhouse-gas-reporting-conversion-factors-2019 (accessed 27 Dec 2019).
- Entreprises pour l’Environnement Working Group, 2013. Protocol for the quantification of GHG emissions from waste management activities. https://ghgprotocol.org/sites/default/files/Waste%20Sector%20GHG%20Protocol_Version%205_October%202013_1_0.pdf (accessed 27th Dec 2019).
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Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is frequently used in industry and politics to find new directions for development or to define new frameworks for legislation and to implement or promote environmentally sound measures. LCA is also widely used in the early development phase of products (with low Technology Readiness Level – TRL) and in projects to identify potential environmental problems. Here, the LCA community often faces the problem of how to deal with the different scales of the process or system to be analyzed. For example, products and technologies in the very early development phase (planning-, lab- or pilot phase) are lacking information and data. Missing data limits the future-oriented environmental analyses of the potential industrial scale. This is the so-called “scaling issue”.
The current study focuses on the latest developments on scale-up techniques coming from the LCA-community (review phase). It analyzes how to model new technological solutions using LCA and predict their scaled-up inventory or environmental impacts. Different scaling problems and options have already been analyzed and compiled in the international literature. Just to name some methods investigated in the current study: the identification of key parameters from Kupfer (2005), the power-law method from Caduff et al. (2010) or the reaction-technique-based method from Piccinno et al. (2016). After the comprehensive, critical and in-depth investigation and description of the state of the literature, we decided to proceed with the improvement of a reaction-technique-based method described in Simon et al. (2016) updating it with knowledge learned from the literature review.
The updated method leads through a scaling procedure using thermodynamics, chemical equations, physical similarities between laboratory-scale procedures and industrial-scale processes. The manual of the updated scaling method encompasses an array of equations on how to calculate or approach the potential large-scale inputs-outputs of a process, based on known theoretical or laboratory measures.
In order to validate the improved scaling method, it is deployed to scale-up a technology for Li-ion battery recycling using hydrometallurgy combined with precipitation. The results are compared to the analyses based on measured data (Hanisch et al. 2019).
The study contributes indispensably to consequent and transparent prospective LCAs for industrial applications where finding missing figures in the life cycle inventory of technologies in low TLR is crucial.
Caduff, M., M.A.J. Huijbregts, H.-J. Althaus, and A.J. Hendriks. 2010. Power-Law Relationships for Estimating Mass, Fuel Consumption and Costs of Energy Conversion Equipments. Environmental Science & Technology 45(2): 751–754.
Hanisch, C., T. Elwert, and L. Brückner. 2019. Verfahren zum Verwerten von Lithium-Batterien. August 1. https://patents.google.com/patent/DE102018102026A1/en?assignee=duesenfeld+gmbh&oq=duesenfeld+gmbh. Accessed January 31, 2020.
Kupfer, T. 2005. Prognosen von Umweltauswirkungen bei der Entwicklung chemischer Anlagen. University of Stuttgart.
Piccinno, F., R. Hischier, S. Seeger, and C. Som. 2016. From laboratory to industrial scale: a scale-up framework for chemical processes in life cycle assessment studies. Journal of Cleaner Production 135: 1085–1097.
Simon, B., K. Bachtin, A. Kiliç, B. Amor, and M. Weil. 2016. Proposal of a framework for scale-up life cycle inventory: A case of nanofibers for lithium iron phosphate cathode applications. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 12(3): 465–477.