Instructor: Will Low
August 10, 2014
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool for the systematic evaluation of the environmental aspects of a product or service system through all stages of its life cycle.1Understanding the environmental impacts of your operations, products, services or technology will improve humankind’s relationship to the environment, but is also a strategy to ensure a business’s viability in today’s rapidly evolving economies. As we, embark in our first venture challenge; I will conduct a life cycle assessment (LCA) on the laser printer ink toner used in printing our product labels and its carbon footprint impact on the environment. The five different stages of the LCA that …show more content…
Toner consists of a dry, powdery substance that is electrically charged so that it adheres to a drum, plate, or piece of paper charged with the opposite polarity2. Common ingredients in toner are styrene acrylate copolymer, iron oxide, polymethyl, methacrylate, carbon black, polyester resin, amorphous silica, dyes, polypropylene, and waxes.3 As we see there are a lot of different ingredients, but styrene acrylate, carbon black and styrene copolymer, along with polyester resin are the most commonly used. Out of all of them, carbon black is the most dangerous compound. Carbon black, which the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified as a 2B carcinogen, or "a dust that is possibly carcinogenic to humans4. Carbon black is a key pigment. The synthesis of carbon black is an energy intensive process, as it requires burning hydrocarbons at extremely high temperatures at approximately 2000 degrees Celsius in order to obtain elemental carbon.5 Styrene acrylate copolymer is makes up approximately 80% of the mixture that is used in toners. This is classified as a resin and is the key ingredient in the xerographic process. Styrene acrylate copolymer is manufactured from a process called a batch emulsion polymerization. Exact formulations of this compound vary from manufacturer to …show more content…
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"Life-Cycle Impact of Toner and Ink for CU-Boulder." http://www.colorado.edu/envs/sites/default. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Aug. 2014. <http://www.colorado.edu/envs/sites/default/files/attached-files/Printer%20Project%20Chapter%203%20%20Life%20Cycle%20Impact%20of%20Toner%20and%20Ink.pdf>.
"What Are the Dangers of Toner Ink Exposure?." Small Business. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Aug. 2014. <http://smallbusiness.chron.com/dangers-toner-ink-exposure-55298.html>.
"The Future of the Toner Industry in China." www.gallifordconsulting.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Aug. 2014. <http://www.gallifordconsulting.com/The%20Future%20of%20the%20Toner%20Industry%20in%20China.pdf>.
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"Summary." Aviation sources. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Aug. 2014. <http://carbonindependent.org/sources_aviation.htm>.
"Time for change." CO2 emissions for shipping of goods. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Aug. 2014.