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A Cradle-to-Grave Life Cycle Assessment Study on a New Countertop Material
 
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1
ESTGV, Instituto Politécnico de Viseu, Campus Politécnico de Repeses, Viseu, Portugal, Portugal
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Centre for Research in Digital Services (CISeD), Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, Viseu, Portugal
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LEPABE (Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy), Instituto Politécnico de Viseu, Campus Politécnico de Repeses, Viseu, Portugal
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Research Center for Natural Resources, Environment and Society (CERNAS), Instituto Politécnico de Viseu, Campus Politécnico de Repeses, Viseu, Portugal
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LAQV-REQUIMTE, Departamento de Química, Universidade de Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Luiza Fernandes Carneiro Silva   

ESTGV, Instituto Politécnico de Viseu, Campus Politécnico de Repeses, Viseu, Portugal, Portugal
 
 
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ABSTRACT
Life cycle of furniture products has been decreased in the last years as a consequence of the continuous improvement of people’s housing conditions. This behavior increases the waste amount in an urban area. The focus of this study was developing a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) (cradle-to-grave) of a new product countertop product. Two scenarios for countertop waste management were proposed, one considering landfilling and another considering recycling. The functional unit chosen was 1 m2 of finished panel (countertop) and the boundary system involved the study of raw materials, product packaging, the panel’s production process, the installation process, the panel’s use, and its end of life. The chosen method for impact assessment was EPD (2018) available in SimaPro PhD software. Results showed that recycling has a positive effect in the environmental impacts, with the variation ranging from 0.3% on Abiotic Depletion (FF) to 15.9% on Eutrophication. A comparison between the product studied and products with similar functions was also conducted and although this product was not the worst performer, it has a lot of room for improvement.