280279 Life Cycle Assessment of Plasticizers: DEHP Versus “Green” Alternatives

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Yuan Li, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA and Eric J. Beckman, Chemical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Phthalate plasticizers are added to polyvinyl chloride (PVC) during manufacturing to increase resilience, low temperature performance, softness, and ease of processing. Phthalates are widely applied in toys, construction materials, medical devices, food packaging, flooring and other product categories. After several decades of commercial use, recent investigations have prompted concern that phthalate exposure can cause human health issues. At the same time, a number of new plasticizers have been introduced as potentially greener alternatives to the most widely used phthalates. We have employed process life cycle analysis (process LCA) to examine the life cycle impacts of di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) to those arising from the use of 1,2 cyclohexane dicarboxylic acid diisononyl ester (DINCH) and citrate esters. Initial work has focused on the cradle to gate stage of the life cycle, comparing the raw material acquisition and manufacturing phases. Energy consumption is also an important concern for the environmental impacts. A complete LCA study to get a much “greener” plasticizer substitute is expected.

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See more of this Session: Poster Session: Sustainability and Sustainable Biorefineries
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