No Matter - How? Dealing with Matter-less Stressors in LCA of Wind Energy Systems

S. Cucurachi, C. C. van der Giesen, R. Heijungs, G. R. de Snoo

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan wetenschappelijk tijdschrift/periodieke uitgaveArtikelWetenschappelijkpeer review


The portfolio of impacts that are quantified in life cycle assessment (LCA) has grown to include rather different stressors than those that were the focus of early LCAs. Some of the newest life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) models are still in an early phase of development and have not yet been included in any LCA study. This is the case for sound emissions and noise impacts, which have been only recently modeled. Sound emissions are matter-less, time dependent, and bound to the physical properties of waves. The way sound emissions and the relative noise impacts are modeled in LCA can show how new or existing matterless impacts can be addressed. In this study, we analyze, through the example of sound emissions, the specific features of a matter-less impact that does not stem from the use of a kilogram of matter, nor is related to the emission of a kilogram of matter. We take as a case study the production of energy by means of wind turbines, contradicting the commonly held assumption that windmills have no emissions during use. We show how to account for sound emissions in the life cycle inventory phase of the life cycle of a wind turbine and then calculate the relative impacts using a noise LCIA model.
Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)70-81
Aantal pagina's12
TijdschriftJournal of Industrial Ecology
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusGepubliceerd - 2017
Extern gepubliceerdJa


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