The Microwave Oven's Effects on Natural Resources and the Environment

Topics: Carbon dioxide, Microwave oven, Emission standard Pages: 3 (707 words) Published: December 7, 2012
Microwave Oven
Effects on Natural resources & on environment : -

Natural resources -> factories ->market ->consumers
Microwave is mainly made up of 3 things :- Stainless steel, Glass & Plastic

Lets see how these three components affect environment in the above chain :- 1) Stainless steel – Although stainless steel is 100% recyclable, mining causes problems like – Soil and water pollution, top soil removal, displacement of locals, etc 2) Glass – glass also 100% recyclable but causes problems like- High energy consumption for melting, pollutants like SO2, CO2,NOx are emittet, high transport emission due to heavy weight, soda ash & limestone for glass production are mined and hence cause similar problems as discussed above 3) Plastic – environmental effects of plastic are wellknown like – Petroleum depletion, non-biodegradable, major component of ocean debris, less than 1% recycled, soil & water pollution, etc

Now lets calculate the total CO2 emission due to microwave in its life span - 1) CO2 emission due to electricity use –
8 years is average life span of microwave, lets assume it is used at average 30 mins/day for 365 days of a year, microwave uses 2400 kw-h energy per hour & 0.527 kg of CO2 is emitted per kwh of electricity consumed Hence CO2 emissions = (8*365*0.5*2400*.527)kg =1847 tones 2) CO2 emission during production of microwave –

Avg wt of microwave = 15 kg
Lets say 10 kg is stainless steel, 4.5 kg is glass & .5 kg is plastic CO2 emissions of steel, glass & plastic production = 3.81, 2, 3.17 kg/kg CO2 emissions = (10* 3.81 +4.5*2 +.5*3.17) = 48.38 kg

Hence CO2 emissions during production is negligible as compared to electricity use over a life time 3) We also need to consider CO2 emission due to transportation, etc means but for the calculation purpose I have not considered it.

Hence total CO2 emitted = 1487 tones
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