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Journal Articles Science of the Total Environment Year : 2021

Comparative cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment of bio-based and petrochemical PET bottles

Abstract

This article presents a life cycle assessment of bio-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles with a cradle to grave scope and provides a comparison with petrochemical PET bottles for 13 environmental impact categories. Besides the baseline bio-based PET bottles, which are produced from Brazilian sugarcane reflecting status-quo, two alternative hypothetical bio-based product systems were considered: European wheat straw and European crops market mix composed of maize, wheat and sugar beet. The land-use change (LUC) impacts were assessed based on a deterministic model. The end-of-life impact was assessed using the EASETECH model. Baseline bio-based PET bottles performed overall worse than conventional petrochemical PET bottles, offering only better performance (about 10%) in abiotic depletion (fossil fuels). Comparable performance is observed for climate change (2% difference without the LUC, and 7% with LUC impacts). Using European crops for ethanol production (alternative 1) instead of Brazilian sugarcane resulted in a worse environmental performance, due to lower yields attained compared to Brazilian sugarcane. When wheat straw was considered as biomass feedstock for ethanol production (alternative 2), similar environmental performance with petrochemical PET bottles was seen.
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hal-03340161 , version 1 (10-09-2021)

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Iris Vural Gursel, Christian Moretti, Lorie Hamelin, Line Geest Jakobsen, Maria Magnea Steingrimsdottir, et al.. Comparative cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment of bio-based and petrochemical PET bottles. Science of the Total Environment, 2021, 793, ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.148642⟩. ⟨hal-03340161⟩
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