Gate-to-Gate Life Cycle Assessment for Determining Carbon Footprint of Catalytic Converter Assembly Process
With the pursuit of embracing the circular economy, having upward trend in vehicle sales and environmental concern, sustainability has become an imperative part of the global automotive manufacturing strategies. One of the tactics to achieve this sustainable goal is to conserve and enhance the resource base by salvaging the embedded values from end-of-life product and for which, the remanufacturing can be considered as one of the most prominent epitome. Even though many of the auto parts like engine, transmissions, starters, alternators and etc. have been assessed for remanufacturability since last few decades, being a major component of a car body the Catalytic Converter (CC) still remains unfocused in literature. However, to examine the remanufacturability of CC, a comprehensive study for assessing its economic, social, and environmental impact is inevitable. Therefore, with an underlying aim of designing the remanufacturable CC, in this endeavour an attempt has made to evaluate the environmental impact of its welding operations by means of energy consumption through gate-to-gate life cycle assessment. Real life data are collected from a Local Malaysian CC manufacturer. The obtained results show that the welding section has a carbon footprint of 0.203 kgCO2e/unit with major emission coming from the plasma arc welding. In addition to that, it is also observed that the value of carbon footprint is not only sensitive to the emission factor and processing time, but also it is responsive to the nature of the processing operations. Certainly, this observation will motivate to change the product design from the prospect of remanufacturing.
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