Life Cycle Assessment of Kitchen Cabinet: The case of Finfine Furniture Factory (3F)

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Addis Ababa University


A life cycle assessment (LCA) is conducted for kitchen cabinet manufacturing in Finfine Furniture Factory (3F). The LCA methodology is used to assess the environmental impacts and explore ways alleviating environmental burdens at the kitchen cabinet production stages. The assessment covered the cradle-to-gate production of major inputs to 3F including their transportation to the factory gate. Primary data were collected on materials and resources used as inputs to, and on the product outputs from the factory. Data for the production of upstream inputs and supplements were taken from the USLCI and ELCD databases. The collected data were imported in, and analyzed with the Open LCA software. Emissions from transportation of raw materials were quantified based on emission factors from various studies and guidelines. Thereafter, the resulting life cycle inventory (LCI) table was evaluated with the CML 2001 baseline characterization method to quantify the contribution of the kitchen cabinet manufacturing chain in nine environmental impact categories. The study result indicated that there is an intensive use of particleboard, medium density fiberboard, lumber, and polyvinyl chloride. There is also large environmental impact contribution from the production and use of these materials. The production of particleboard generates significant potentials of Acidification, Terrestrial Eco Toxicity, and Eutrophication with magnitudes of 1.7 kg SO2-eq, 0.04 kg -1,4- DCB-eq, 0.3 kg PO4-eq, respectively. The emissions from the production of MDF cause Human Toxicity and Stratospheric Ozone Depletion with magnitudes of 213.1 kg-1,4-DCB-eq and 3.7x10-6 kg CFC-11 eq, respectively. There is visible contribution from the harvesting stage to Freshwater Aquatic Eco-toxicity and Global Warming with magnitudes of 10.2 kg-1,4-DCB eq and 45.2 kg CO2 eq. The kitchen cabinet production stage is also another important contributor to Photochemical Ozone Creation, Abiotic Depletion and Terrestrial Eco Toxicity with magnitudes of 0.1 kg ethylene eq, 0.52 kg 1,4-DCB eq and 0.04 kg 1,4-DCB eq, respectively. The results of this study clearly indicated that non renewable energy use and emissions from formaldehyde use are the major issues to be prioritized for environmental optimization of the kitchen cabinet manufacturing chain in the factory. Therefore, making energy conservation, using biomass as source of energy and substituting toxic resin (UF) by less toxic resins can minimize the environmental burdens caused by the manufacturing of kitchen cabinet at 3F. Keywords: Life cycle inventory, kitchen cabinet, medium density fiberboard, particle board, impact assessment, urea formaldehyde



Life Cycle Inventory, Kitchen Cabinet, Medium Density Fiberboard, Particle Board, Impact Assessment, Urea Formaldehyde