The work package will provide toxicological input into various aspects of the projects integrated delivery of smart, flexible and effective filtration materials, fit for manufacture and testing in various societal situations. The work will also cover transmission of the results of the project and consequences of these to various stakeholder groups in society, including policy makers, regulatory authorities, industrial sectors and the public.

During 2018 WP4 has focused on building interactions with key groups and individuals within WP1 and WP2, who are driving the development of novel chemistries and devices for application in the various case studies.

Involved partners: RISE, IVL, SwedNanoTech
WP Leader: RISE (Cotgreave), WP Co-leader: SwedNanoTech (Hartmanis)

LCA in early research

Regular work package leadership meetings have been conducted, primarily focusing on discussions around how to introduce Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) earlier than originally projected into the project.

In order to avoid a situation where new materials for water and air cleaning present less benefit for the environmental and human health than conventional solutions, it was considered that the project would benefit greatly from early introduction for LCA “light” thinking into the workstreams involved in novel chemical synthesis within WP1. Similarly, WP 2 devise design processes were also identified as beneficiaries of early LCA analyses.

A Life Cycle Assessment describes environmental aspects and impacts throughout the whole life cycle of a product, i.e. raw material extraction, production, use and end-of-life management. The function of the product is central for the calculations because only then comparisons are possible. This is also extendable to potential aspects on human health, during scale-up production of materials and utilization in device construction.

To have good collaboration in the study, it was important to educate the material researchers in the project and to discuss the advantages with the assessment with them. We therefore started with an LCA course open to all consortium researchers in May. Around that time, it was also decided to perform screening LCA studies on six currently existing new materials and/or sensors early in the project. This will be supplemented later with other materials/devices as they appear within the workflow of the project. This will not detract from the plan to introduce a full LCA/Life Cycle Cost (LCC) analysis on 1-2 of the material(s)/device(s) deemed closest to commercialization.

The overall LCA plan was presented in the autumn 2019, together with a repetition of the LCA methodology, first at a meeting with WP1 on September 12th and thereafter in a meeting for all project participants on October 4th. Toxicity and metal scarcity aspects were also addressed as important to keep track on when choosing synthesis route.

Data collection from each WP1 and WP2 project involved was initiated late in 2018 and is ongoing presently. Data appraisal will be carried out in q1 of 2019 and active feedback driven with each of the chemistry/device development groups. It is the ambition of this initial LCA-screening interaction to provide confidence to the the groups with a “heads-up” on environmental and/or human risk issues and problems with the individual chemistries/syntheses/processes already employed at the bench. This will either reveal a lack of foreseeable issues, or where applicable, help to suggest alternatives to circumnavigate potential issues.

Below is the time schedule showed and agreed at the consortium meeting in Uppsala in October, 2018.

On the communication side of WP4, plans were laid to initiate external communications on project specific matters related to human and environmental safety when enough data is obtained from the LCA screening procedure. Initially it was agreed that this should be in the form of a publication on the application of LCA methods in screening chemistries in large consortium projects such as Mistra Terraclean.