BOTTLETM research is guided by the Analysis Task to inform direction and our priorities toward maximum impact. We use techno-economic analysis (TEA), supply chain-based life cycle assessment (LCA) with the Materials Flows through Industry (MFI) tool, and environmentally extended input-output (EEIO) modeling to map R&D efforts to the carbon, energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and economic metrics of the consortium.
These analyses include baseline performance metrics for today’s linear manufacturing practices and the development of TEA, LCA, and EEIO models for emerging technologies that target both closed-loop recycling and open-loop upcycling.
We perform TEA using the AspenPlus simulation package to model new processes for plastics deconstruction, upcycling, and redesign. These models enable estimation of the economics, energy, and materials consumption of new processes.
Materials Flows through Industry Tool
We conduct environmental impacts analysis at the supply chain level. As described in Hanes and Carpenter 2017, the MFI tool allows for estimation of the supply chain energy and greenhouse gas emissions associated with new technologies for plastics recycling, upcycling, and redesign, relative to incumbent, linear technologies.
Environmentally Extended Input-Output Modeling
We use environmentally extended input-output modeling of new technologies to understand their socio-economic and environmental impacts on the entire economy. The Bio-based circular carbon economy Environmentally-extended Input-Output Model (BEIOM), developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, is being used to put the supply chains into a U.S. economy-wide context. Lamers et al. 2021 showcases how BEIOM can be applied to provide early design stage evaluations of emerging technologies expected to contribute to a future bioeconomy.