EIT ALCASIM: Advanced LCA Simulation
Advanced Life Cycle Assessment Based on Process and Thermodynamics
A competitive Europe needs highly trained experts capable of addressing the constantly growing demand for raw materials. To that aim, it is necessary to have professionals trained in the most sustainable engineering techniques for the processing of raw materials.
The EIT ALCASIM: Advanced LCA Simulation program contributes to the design of a circular economy by developing new designs and methodologies, improving resource efficiency, re-covering critical raw materials from current levels; and enhancing process design methodologies towards Zero Liquid Discharge of effluents and solid wastes.
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Furthermore, the ALCASIM project focuses on the Ecodesign of batteries and the whole value chain from the perspective of circularity. The aim is to demonstrate the principles for more sustainable battery production, especially for the EU market.
The learning objectives are to
- reduce the overall life-cycle climate and environmental footprint of the products
- achieve longer product lifetimes via more durable and reparable products
- increase the circular material use rate
- reduce waste, and to
- achieve higher recycling rates
- utilize process model-based LCA tools to reach these targets.
Hence, consumers, the environment, and the climate will benefit from more durable, reusable, repairable, recyclable, and energy-efficient products. The initiative will also address harmful chemicals in products such as electronics and ICT equipment, steel, cement, and chemicals. Sustainable battery production covers broadly different products, such as various electronic equipment and the automotive sector.
The program supports the EU’s sustainable products initiative to make products placed on the EU market more sustainable. It provides product designers with knowledge and tools to understand how they can adjust existing material cycles and design new processes to optimize the environmental performance of batteries while maintaining their functional quality. Applications include electronic equipment such as computers, phones, and tablets, the automotive and aeronautic sectors, and sustainable energy-related technologies.
The program is designed and developed by Aalto University, Metso Outotec Finland Oy, TU Bergakademi Freiberg, University of Bordeaux, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. VTT and Aalto University Executive Education.
During the program, you will increase your understanding of how to create a circular product to repair, remanufacture, or dismantle and recycle. You will gain experience in various commercial life cycle assessment (LCA) and thermodynamics software tools. The program includes online sessions where the training is based on the principle of actual calculation exercises.
The program is designed for engineering, chemistry, and geology professionals working on process and product design, consultant enterprises, and authorities in public administration in the EU. Their work can consist of, e.g., process or product design, R&D, or production of HSE (health, safety, and environment). The program is targeted at the process industry and the battery and electronic equipment manufacturing industries.
The target group for the training includes process engineers, experts in modeling/simulations, experts in environmental footprint calculations working in production plants, process technology providers, sustainability assessment enterprises, and engineering companies designing process plants.
The program is also beneficial for experts working in downstream, like applications and services, to give them knowledge on environmental characteristics and performance of energy-related products. The program can also provide skills to promote the knowledge of LCA for staff without wider process technology experience, such as chemists and persons in charge of marketing. Moreover, the program's content, learning outcomes, and skills gained are expected to be important for the authorities who must tackle future environmental assessment challenges. Furthermore, consultants and sales engineers who need further understanding of how the sustainability of the products they represent can be proven with environmental footprint calculations need this type of education.
Contents and Schedule
The program themes and topics cover the whole battery industry value chain, thus breaking silos and promoting renewal. It will also impact the electricity storage industry, essential in flexible and intelligent energy systems. The LCA part of the training consists of assessments on employed process technologies, metal recoveries, raw material types, energy efficiencies, energy sources, site location, and recycling rates. The LCA tools allow the assessment of both primary and secondary materials. One of the used indicators will be the ratio between recycling and disposal performances. The focus of the thermodynamics part of the training is to use thermodynamics simulation tools in predicting equilibrium conditions. Successful learning of target simulation tools is based on training with actual calculation exercises.
The training will be delivered on a modular basis consisting of integrated LCA and process simulation tools, thermodynamics simulation, and sustainable battery design. Besides online lessons, the training includes a face-to-face kick-off and industrial camps. During the program, the participants work in multi-disciplinary teams on different real-world project topics. The project work includes check-ups with a mentor or field expert who provide feedback and guidance.
Networking plays a critical role in this training program, especially in industrial camps, as it can lead to new partnerships which may trigger innovations based on new products, processes, and business models.