ESR5 - Life cycle assessment of bio-based fibre products

Name: Carlos Andrés García Velásquez

ESR no.: 5

Description of the IRP:

The FibreNet project takes a multidisciplinary approach to develop bio-based fibre products with properties that are comparable or superior to fossil-based products in terms of price, performance, and environmental benefits. Bio-based products have great potential to reduce CO2 emissions, however, bio-based products are not per definition superior to fossil-based materials in terms of environmental impact. The impact does not solely depend on the resource and needs to be assessed over the whole life cycle of the product. The environmental impacts of products are typically quantified through the internationally standardized LCA methodology. However, in its current state this methodology does not fulfil the needs to assess the life cycles of biobased fibre products. Therefore, we propose to further develop the LCA methodology to include critical aspects for the assessment of bio-based products, such as accounting for biogenic carbon storage, biodiversity change, cascading use of biomass, land use change, and end of life options, including biodegradation. Furthermore, bio-based products are relatively new to the market when compared to current fossil products, so it is important to not only assess the current situation but also to analyse future scenarios to show the potential of new and improved bio-based fibre products.

Keywords:

  • Life cycle assessment, bio-based fibre products, environmental impact

About the ESR:

I am chemical engineer from the National University of Colombia and I obtained my Master degree in Chemical Engineering from the same University in 2016 with my thesis entitled "Hydrogen production through gasification and dark fermentation", from which I received a magna cum laude distinction. The German Ministry of Education and Research also awarded me as “Green Talent” for my research in the sustainability development of Colombia. From 2017 to 2018, I worked as researcher in a joint project ERANET-LAC entitled "Small-scale integrated biorefinery" aiming to develop biorefineries capable of processing different kinds of biomass produced in short radius catchments rural and small urban areas, both in Europe and in CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States). Some of my hobbies are: hiking, jogging, biking, enjoying a good book and listening to music.

 

Contact information:

  • Carlos Andrés García Velásquez
  • Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Bio-based Materials, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Maastricht University
  • Urmonderbaan 22 Chemelot Center Court, 6167 KD
  • +31 6 13839114
  • c.garciavelasquez@maastrichtuniversity.nl