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Journal Articles Journal of Cleaner Production Year : 2021

Flax fiber for technical textile: A life cycle inventory

Claire Vialle
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Caroline Sablayrolles
Lorie Hamelin


Flax fiber appears as a suitable feedstock in the endeavor of deploying a sustainable biobased economy. Its environmental performance as reinforcement in composite materials has been studied in previous Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs). However, these studies only present a coarse Life cycle Inventory (LCI) and often fail to detail all processes of the supply chain or to represent the co-products. This paper aims to bridge this gap and provide data for future LCAs on flax fiber production and transformation.The study focuses on the impacts of producing a bio-based reinforcement material (a fabric product for non-aesthetic purposes) with a system expansion perspective. The functional unit is defined as the production of 2400 m2 flax-based technical textile per year, this corresponds to 1 ha of cultivated land. The geographical scope considers that the production occurs in France and that some manufacturing process are outsourced in China. A Sensitivity Analysis was carried out to assess the influence of the electricity mix in the various countries involved in the manufacturing cycle.A detailed life cycle inventory for flax fiber production and transformation was built and the environmental performance of a flax technical textile was assessed as a cradle-to-gate LCA. The fate of co-products was documented and was shown to contribute to the reduction of the generated environmental impacts.Through a cradle-to-gate LCA, a broader understanding of the environmental performance of a flax-based technical textile was presented by including the valorization of co-products and a wider set of analyzed impact categories, going therefore beyond the existing state-of-the-art. Results show agricultural activities and electricity production to be the biggest contributors to the environmental impacts of flax technical textile; contributions due to land use changes were minor in comparison. Very specifically for this case study, a sensibility analysis showed the influence of an all-French production to be more efficient from an environmental point of view.
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hal-03100886 , version 1 (15-12-2022)




Alejandra Gomez-Campos, Claire Vialle, Antoine Rouilly, Caroline Sablayrolles, Lorie Hamelin. Flax fiber for technical textile: A life cycle inventory. Journal of Cleaner Production, 2021, 281, pp.125177. ⟨10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.125177⟩. ⟨hal-03100886⟩
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