Determining the environmnetal impact of disposal, recycling and remanufacturing strategies
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In the past few decades, globalization has led to a world economy with unbounded consumption. In addition to the consequential impoverishment of natural resources, this large consumption produces copious amounts of waste and requires high energy use. Proper end-of-life strategies can help to reduce the global impact of these inefficiencies. The objective of this thesis is to demonstrate, through life-cycles analyses of an automotive transfer case and a gear, the positive environmental impact of remanufacturing strategies compared to recycling and disposal end-of-life strategies. In this study, the energy consumption, the air emissions and the wastes resulting from the entire supply chain s engineering processes will be quantitatively evaluated through calculations and also industrial or governmental data. In disposal end-of-life strategies, the analysis will begin with the ore mining phase, will go through material refining and processing; and eventually end with the final parts machining. In recycling scenarios and remanufacturing scenarios, the analysis will begin with the used material collection, will go through material s reprocessing or refurbishing and will finally end with the new or renewed parts machining. This study will show the significant impact of high energy consumption processes such as electrolysis of aluminum and metal melting. It will also show how shipping and collection phases can dramatically change or annihilate the advantage of sustainable reuse scenarios depending on the sorting strategies adopted in the supply chain. To conclude, the goal of this research is to demonstrate how remanufacturing strategies can reduce the energy consumption, air emissions and waste. This thesis will also show how inappropriate supply chain management can negate the impact of these savings.