Toronto Metropolitan University
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The Application of Two Models of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for Transition to the Low-Carbon Economy: a Case Study in the Aluminum Industry

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posted on 2023-07-06, 14:20 authored by Elizabeth Trenton
This study examined two approaches that account for recycled materials in LCA studies, the recycled content (RC) approach and the end-of-life recycling (EOL) approach, which were reviewed with reference to aluminum. Interviews were conducted to obtain best practices in using these two approaches and carbon footprinting was used as an environmental performance metric. The interview results showed that across the stakeholder groups there was no unanimity or preferences regarding either approach where LCA studies involved metals/aluminum. The case study of aluminum recycling applied a custom computer model developed for a Canadian primary producer that compared the carbon emissions of producing 1 metric ton (mt) of aluminum for the two approaches. The average value of mt CO2 eq. produced per mt aluminum was lower using the EOL approach versus the RC approach in every scenario. Percentage differences indicated substantial differences in the results when the two approaches were compared.





  • Master of Applied Science


  • Environmental Applied Science and Management

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • Thesis

Thesis Advisor

Bernard Fleet Ronald Pushchak