Environmental Impact and Life Cycle Assessment of Economically Optimized Thermal Insulation Materials for Different Climatic Region in Iraq

  • Abstract
  • Keywords
  • References
  • PDF
  • Abstract

    Environmental pollution is one of the biggest problems facing the world, even it is the most dangerous. Therefore, it becomes necessary to combine all efforts to reduce or eliminate it. Iraq is at the forefront of countries that suffer from major environmental problems. The present study aims to perform a comparative environmental assessment for three commonly available thermal insulation materials in Iraq namely expanded polystyrene (EPS), extruded polystyrene (XPS), and rock wool (RW) to select least environmental impact material. A cradle to gate life cycle assessment is performed to assess the environmental impact of each insulation material taking into account manufacturing, transportation, and installation and disposal stages. A life cycle assessment program SimaPro is used to model thermal insulation materials during its life cycle. A life cycle impact analysis method CML 2001 has been selected to assess the environmental aspects associated with two global damage categories as ozone layer depletion and global warming and two regional damage categories as acidification and eutrophication. Economically optimized amount of each insulation material is selected to represent the functional unit of life cycle assessment. The results illustrate that the EPS has the lower contribution in all environmental impact categories for all climatic regions. So, the EPS can be select as a proper thermal insulation material for the building sector from an economic and environmental perspective. The results of LCA are used to determine the amount of CO2 can be reduced per meter square of the exterior wall by using the economical amount of EPS during the lifetime of insulation material. The environmental impact results show that using EPS will contribute in CO2 emission reduction at about 81.5 % in all climatic regions in Iraq.


  • Keywords

    Building, Economical amount of insulation material, Environmental impact, Life cycle assessment, Thermal insulation material.

  • References

      [1] Abusoglu, A., and Sedeeq, M. S., 2013, Comparative exergoenvironmental analysis and assessment of various residential heating systems: Energy and Buildings, 62:268-277.

      [2] Ameen, S. K., 2016, Determination of optimum insulation thicknesses for buildings in Iraq by using degree-hour method: Süleyman Demirel University, 156 p.

      [3] Ardente, F., Beccali, M., Cellura, M., and Mistretta, M., 2008, Building energy performance: A LCA case study of kenaf-fibres insulation board: Energy and Buildings,40:1-10.

      [4] Bolatturk, A., 2008, Optimum insulation thicknesses for building walls with respect to cooling and heating degree-hours in the warmest zone of Turkey: Building and Environment,43:1055-1064.

      [5] Consultants, P., 2013, SimaPro Life Cycle Analysis version 7.2 (software).

      [6] Cooperation, I. M. o. P. a. D.,2009,Energy Statistics in Iraq

      [7] Electricity, I. M. O.,2018,Statistical data of the Ministry of Electricity

      [8] Environment, I. M. o.,2013,Report of environmental state in Iraq

      [9] Inventories, S. C. f. L. C., 2010, Ecoinvent database v 2.2.

      [10] Kameni Nematchoua, M., Ricciardi, P., Reiter, S., and Yvon, A., 2017, A comparative study on optimum insulation thickness of walls and energy savings in equatorial and tropical climate: International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment, 6:170-182.

      [11] Kaynakli, O., 2012, A review of the economical and optimum thermal insulation thickness for building applications: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 16:415-425.

      [12] Kurekci, N. A., 2016, Determination of optimum insulation thickness for building walls by using heating and cooling degree-day values of all Turkey’s provincial centers: Energy and Buildings, 118:197-213.

      [13] Liu, X., Chen, Y., Ge, H., Fazio, P., Chen, G., and Guo, X., 2015, Determination of optimum insulation thickness for building walls with moisture transfer in hot summer and cold winter zone of China: Energy and Buildings, 109:361-368.

      [14] Nematchoua, M. K., Raminosoa, C. R. R., Mamiharijaona, R., René, T., Orosa, J. A., Elvis, W., and Meukam, P., 2015, Study of the economical and optimum thermal insulation thickness for buildings in a wet and hot tropical climate: Case of Cameroon: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews,50:1192-1202.

      [15] Organization, I., 2006, ISO 14040:2006 - Environmental management - Life cycle assessment - Principles and framework.

      [16] Papadopoulos, A. M., and Giama, E., 2007, Environmental performance evaluation of thermal insulation materials and its impact on the building: Building and Environment, 42:2178-2187.

      [17] Pargana, N., Pinheiro, M. D., Silvestre, J. D., and de Brito, J., 2014, Comparative environmental life cycle assessment of thermal insulation materials of buildings: Energy and Buildings, 82:466-481.

      [18] Schmidt, A. C., Jensen, A. A., Clausen, A. U., Kamstrup, O., and Postlethwaite, D., 2004, A comparative Life Cycle assessment of building insulation products made of stone wool, paper wool and flax: The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 9: 53-66.

      [19] Wati, E., Meukam, P., and Nematchoua, M. K., 2015, Influence of external shading on optimum insulation thickness of building walls in a tropical region: Applied Thermal Engineering, 90:754-762.




Article ID: 24094
DOI: 10.14419/ijet.v7i4.37.24094

Copyright © 2012-2015 Science Publishing Corporation Inc. All rights reserved.