Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Basalt Fibers versus Glass Fibers
Producer our basalt fibers – Kammeny Vek has completed end 2011 a project with different European partners and research institute in the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) field. The aim of this project was to carry out a screening life cycle assessment (LCA) of basalt fiber and BCF woven fabrics and its alternative glass fiber and glass fiber woven fabrics.
LCA is a suitable method to analyse the environmental impacts of products, processes and/or systems, from an entire life cycle perspective. LCA quantifies the potential environmental effects of a product over its entire life cycle, meaning that the extraction of raw materials, the production of materials and the product, the use and the end-of-life treatment are taken into account.
The life cycle of the materials is divided in different life cycle phases:
- Production of raw materials;
- Transport of raw materials from supplier to producer of basalt fibers or glass fibers;
- Production of basalt fibers or glass fibers;
- Transport to processing plant (weaver)
- Weaving/Production of woven fabrics
- Packaging of basalt woven fabrics or glass fiber woven fabrics;
- Transport to customers;
- Use in composite application;
- Transport to EoL;
- EoL treatment.
Basalt fibers (and woven fabrics) perform significantly better in key environmental impact categories compared to glass fiber. Especially in the categories of toxicity (human, freshwater etc.) basalt fibers show strongly better results as glass fiber.