Life Cycle Assessment of a Roadheader MB650

Simon Reith

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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Purpose The increased environmental awareness of the western population and public administration has resulted in more ambitious environmental targets and laws in the last few years. Sandvik Mining and Construction is aware of its product responsibility and already decreasing its environmental impacts through various activities. This life cycle assessment serves as a basis for further environmental activities to increase the ecological efficiency. Method Based on the International Standard ISO 14040:2006 and ISO 14044:2006 the life cycle assessment offers a way to evaluate the environmental impacts of a product regarding all life cycle phases, from the cradle to the grave. Main objective of this master thesis is to identify the environmental impacts of a roadheader Miner Bolter 650, allocate these impacts to the various life cycle phases and processes, and optimize the ecological efficiency. Furthermore, these environmental improvements are simulated as alternative scenarios. The total life cycle is separated into the following phases: (1) raw material, (2) manufacturing and assembly, (3) distribution, (4) usage and (5) disposal and recycling. The software Umberto NXT Universal makes it possible to model the LCA and the GaBi database provides information and data about additional processes such as the manufacturing of the materials or recycling processes. Results and discussion The impact assessment shows that the “usage” phase is responsible for the major environmental impacts in all categories. A detailed phase assessment identifies the electrical power generation as main contributor in the “usage” phase followed by the impacts caused by the spare parts. Two alternative energy supply scenarios are assumed to determine the changes on the impacts categories and to analyse the environmental potential of power generated by renewables. Furthermore, the “raw material” phase and the “manufacturing and assembly” phase are assessed in detail. The level of detail of the “manufacturing and assembly” phase assessment is reduced through limited database entries. A recommendation for environmental improvement is to decrease the electrical power and heating consumption of the “manufacturing and assembly” phase on an annual base. If extensional databases are purchased a future LCA should focus on the “manufacturing and assembly” phase in detail and increase the level of accuracy because the Australian grid mix as biggest impact factor cannot be influenced by Sandvik Mining and Construction.
Translated title of the contributionÖkobilanzierung einer Teilschnittmaschine MB650
Original languageEnglish
  • Märk, Alexander, Supervisor (external), External person
  • Tschiggerl, Karin, Supervisor (internal)
Award date16 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

embargoed until 01-12-2021


  • LCA
  • Life Cycle Assessment
  • roadheader
  • Sandvik
  • CML-Methode
  • ISO 14040
  • ISO 14044
  • interdependency
  • impact category

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