THESES

Master’s theses

Goal of study: Analyze the credits given in an LCA of different secondary phosphorus products to identify gaps and possible solutions considering the process engineering efforts for the respective product.

The process engineering efforts to recover secondary phosphorus products differ considering the integrated phosphorus recovery at a wastewater treatment plant and the downstream phosphorus recovery from sewage sludge ash. LCA results are heavily dependent on the credits assigned for the different products. However, it remains unclear whether the higher credits accounted for the secondary phosphorus products of the downstream recovery techniques due to the higher recovery rates also reflect and justify the higher process engineering efforts. This thesis involves an analysis of the LCA credits and provides recommendations for possible misalignment between credits and process engineering efforts of secondary phosphorus products.

Thesis in English

Basic Knowledge of LCA is required.

Contact:
Suzana Ostojic – Suzana.ostojic@inab.rwth-aachen.de
Roland Meyer – roland.meyer@inab.rwth-aachen.de

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is an established methodology to assess and compare the environmental performance of products. For a holistic sustainability assessment (LCSA) and decision-making, also the economic and social perspectives are important. Economic performance can be examined with life cycle costing (LCC) and social performance with social life cycle assessment (S-LCA). Aluminium is an important non-ferrous working metal. Especially the trend towards lightweight construction in the automotive sector has increased the demand for aluminium enormously.

The aim of the thesis is to identify social hotspots in primary and secondary aluminium production. The findings will be related to the results of an already conducted LCA/LCC-study. The aim is further to identify trade-offs between the different pillars and show potential pitfalls. Moreover, it shall be discussed how results can be communicated to decision makers.

The following is part of the study:

  • state of the art of LCSA
  • state of the art of S-LCA in the metal industry
  • identification and classification of relevant stakeholders
  • identification of social hotspots in primary and secondary aluminium production
  • combination of findings with existing LCA/LCC-results
  • comprehensible presentation of results in the context of LCSA

The thesis must be written in English.

Contact: Anna Luthin – anna.luthin@inab.rwth-aachen.de

·       Different types of materials needed for the activities of humankind

·       Four macro-categories according to Eurostat : metals, non-metallic minerals, biomass, fossil fuels

·       ADP and primary energy used for metals and fossil fuels, respectively

·       Apparently no widely agreed aggregated indicator, nor for other categories

Goal of study:

·       Review indicators

·       Make a proposal on how to assess different categories and to aggregate them in a single score or in more indicators. A review of the state of the art should be included and starting from it, you should develop your proposal. A knowledge on LCA is a pre-requirement to develop this Thesis.

The thesis must be written in English.

Contact: Marzia Traverso – marzia.traverso@inab.rwth-aachen.de

Goal of study: Analyse functional units used in LCAs of transportation sector to identify gaps and possible solutions.

LCA results are heavily dependent on the defined functional unit. Consequently, LCA results based on different functional units cannot be compared. This thesis involves a review of various functional units that have been used in LCAs of transportation modes. An analysis of their alignment to the standardized definition of functional unit is carried out and recommendations provided.

Thesis in English

Basic Knowledge of LCA is required

Contact: Rose Mankaa rose.mankaa@inab.rwth-aachen.de

Goal of study: Apply the definition of functional units to the food sector

Although food production is a main driver of environmental pressure and resource use globally, food delivers critical nutrition to humans. In life cycle assessment (LCA) of foods, the dominant functional unit is mass, despite the ISO requirement that the LCA unit should reflect the actual function. Studies have used various dietary quality scores in environmental assessments of foods, but the consideration of the dietary context is largely missing. The main function, i.e., nutrient supply, is complex since the nutritional value of a food item depends on its dietary context. Moreover, overall nutritional value is a combination of multiple nutrients.

Thesis in English

Basic Knowledge of LCA is required

Contact: Rose Mankaa rose.mankaa@inab.rwth-aachen.de

Goal of study: Assess sustainability dimensions related to the technical feasibility of the bio-economy

The bioeconomy concept refers to the sustainable exploitation of renewable biological resources for the production of food and feed, bio-based products and bioenergy (the “three pillars” of the bioeconomy). Carry out research on the environmental and social implications of the so called technical substitution rates which make a bio-based industry feasible.

Thesis in English

Contact: Rose Mankaa rose.mankaa@inab.rwth-aachen.de

Goal of study: Investigate the transition from current to more bio-based type of food systems. 

Carry out a review on current food systems transition to other food systems. What are the variables that are needed for this transition? Are there regional factors to be considered? Identify/develop and apply a possible methodology to investigate the feasibility of this transition. This will include a literature review of scientific publications and findings of related research projects.

Thesis in English

Contact: Rose Mankaa rose.mankaa@inab.rwth-aachen.de

Bachelor’s theses

Goal of study: Identify the social relevance of PEDs. 

Carry out a review on methodological approaches, positive and negative social impacts, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) used and social indicators adopted. Districts include communities, neighborhoods, quarters etc.

Thesis in English

Contact: Rose Mankaa rose.mankaa@inab.rwth-aachen.de

Seminar papers


No seminar papers available at this time.