Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Living OilPetroleum Culture in the American Century$

Stephanie LeMenager

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199899425

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199899425.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy). Subscriber: null; date: 20 May 2018

(p.201) Appendix 2 Life Cycle Assessment of a Conventional Academic Print-Book

(p.201) Appendix 2 Life Cycle Assessment of a Conventional Academic Print-Book

An Appendix to Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century

Source:
Living Oil
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

Table of Contents

  1. 1. Introduction 202

  2. 2. System Description 202

    1. a. System Boundary 202

    2. b. Functional Unit 202

    3. c. General Assumptions and Parameters: 203

  3. 3. Life Cycle Inventory and Energy Calculations 204

    1. a. Conception Phase 204

    2. b. Printing Phase 204

    3. c. Transportation to Warehouse and Storage 205

  4. 3. Interpretation 206

  5. 4. Additional Information 206

  6. 5. Conclusions 207

  7. 6. References 207

  8. 7. Coda, “Book v. Cheeseburger” 208

The ‘book’ referred to in this paper is Dr. Stephanie LeMenager’s book titled Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century and an LCA has been been conducted on this item.

(p.202) 1. Introduction

This research paper is aimed at investigating the amount of energy used to publish the book Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century, by Stephanie LeMenager. It is estimated that every year the United States uses 71 million tons of paper and paper products. Also on a yearly basis around 2 million books are published.1 Apart from the resources used to print the book, many other processes like transportation of the books consume a considerable amount of energy. This study aims to quantify the energy used during some of these processes. Given the complexity and ambiguity of the process involved in the life cycle of this book (or any book), the system boundary for the study will be clearly established. For the energy calculations pertaining to the process outside the system boundary, scientific literature will be referred to.

2. System Description

To decide which processes would be considered for this study, it was necessary to identify the different steps or processes involved in the life cycle of a standard conventional print book. Figure 1 shows the processes such as material production (paper and ink), distribution and disposal of books involved in the life cycle of a print-based book.

a. System Boundary

Figure 2 depicts the various processes in the life cycle of the book used in this study. As it can be seen, the system boundary is clearly established around 3 specific processes. The energy inputs will be quantified and considered from these three processes only. Processes such as raw material (paper) manufacturing, use phase and disposal of the book are excluded from the system boundary.

Appendix 2 Life Cycle Assessment of a Conventional Academic Print-BookAn Appendix to Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century

Figure 1 Steps in the LCA of a Print Book.

Source: Kozak and Keoleian 2003.

Appendix 2 Life Cycle Assessment of a Conventional Academic Print-BookAn Appendix to Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century

Figure 2 Process Flow Diagram and System Boundary.

(p.203) b. Functional Unit

A functional unit (FU) is a reference unit which is used as the common unit against which all results of the LCA will be compared to (Weidema et al. 2004). All the input and output flows will be referred to this FU. For example, in this study the FU could be the energy needed to publish 600 copies of the book Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century from the printing facility in Massachusetts. If so, all the energy inputs will be quantified considering this FU as a reference unit.

So in this study the FU will be the energy needed to write and transport one copy of the book Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century to the warehouses.

c. General Assumptions and Parameters

To conduct the LCA, a few assumptions were made and parameters were established. They are listed as follows:

  1. 1. The book contains approximately 90,000 words which translate to around 275 pages.

  2. 2. The number of hours spent writing the book was 1825 hours.

  3. 3. The book was written on Dell Optiplex 775 desktop.

  4. 4. The book is printed in Massachusetts. Initially 600 copies are being printed.

  5. (p.204) 5. After this, the printed books will be transported to the warehouses for storage. The books sold in U.S. and Canada will be stored in the warehouse situated in Cary, North Carolina, U.S. The books sold everywhere else will be stored in Northampton, Massachusetts.

  6. 6. It will be assumed that the book that is being studied in this LCA will be stored in the warehouse situated in Cary, NC. Also that the distance between the warehouse and the printer is 700 miles.

  7. 7. It will be assumed that the first batch/run from the printers consisting of 600 books will be transported to the warehouse through standard ground shipping methods using a freight truck of 6 to 10 miles per gallon mileage (EIA 2010). So taking the average, it will be 8 mpg here.

  8. 8. All energy values will be presented in kWh.

  9. 9. It is assumed that there will be only one reader per book.

3. Life Cycle Inventory and Energy Calculations

This section aims to quantify all the energy flows inside the system boundary and conduct the calculation on each of the processes within this boundary.

a. Conception Phase

The book was written on the desktop mentioned before in Ventura, CA. So as the wattage of this device is 280 Watts and was used for 1,825 hours, the total electricity consumption to write the book is 511 kWh (kilo-Watt-hours) as shown in Table 1. Since there will be 600 books printed in the first run, the amount of electricity used for the conception or writing of the book is one sixth of the above value. Therefore, the amount of electricity used for the conception of one book is 0.85 kWh.

b. Printing Phase

The book will be printed in the state of Massachusetts. Given the variation in the types of printing processes and machinery used, an average value is used

Table 1 Energy Consumption during Conception Phase

Device Name

Wattage

Hours Used

Total Electricity Consumption for 600 Books (kWh)

Total Electricity Consumption for 1 Book (kWh)

Computer

280

1825

511

0.85

(p.205)
Appendix 2 Life Cycle Assessment of a Conventional Academic Print-BookAn Appendix to Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century

Figure 3 Flow Diagram—Path Taken by Printed Books.

here to quantify the amount of electricity used to print one book. This average value is extrapolated from scientific reports. The amount of electricity used to print a book will be 0.11 kWh (Durme et al. 2011).

c. Transportation to Warehouse and Storage

The printed books will be transported to two different warehouses in the U.S. and distributed to corresponding retailers from there as shown in Figure 3.

As mentioned in the Section 2.c, the book considered in this study will be stored in the warehouse in Cary, NC. It is assumed that diesel is used as fuel and the calorific value of 1 liter of the same is approximated to be 34.8 MJ. So the calorific value of the fuel consumed is converted to its kWh equivalent as shown in Table 2.

4465.47kWh is needed to transport the first run or batch of books to the warehouse in NC as shown in Table 2.

Since there are 600 books in the first batch, the energy needed to transport one single book will be one by six hundredth of 2570 kWh. This is equal to 4.3 kWh.

Table 2 Transportation Energy Calculation

Transportation Type

Mileage (MPG)

Travel Distance (Miles)

Fuel Consumed (Gallons)

Fuel Consumed (Liters)

kWh Equivalent

Total Energy for 1 Book

Freight Truck

8

700

87.5

331.2

3213

5.3 kWh

(p.206) 3. Interpretation

Table 3 summarizes the energy consumption in the three different phases. The transportation phase consumes the biggest share of energy and the printing phase consumes the least. Or in other words the amount of energy needed to write, print and transport one copy of the book Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century to the warehouse is 6.2 kWh.

4. Additional Information

Information gathered on the process outside the system boundary during literature survey and research has shown interesting trends. For example one particular scientific report shows that paper production has the greatest amount of environmental impact among all the other paper and printing processes. This phase of the paper printing process translates to 40 percent-80 percent of the total impacts (Durme et al. 2011). This can be observed in Figure 4 below.

Table 3 Summary of Phase Energy Consumptions

Phase

kWh Consumption

Conception Phase

0.85

Transportation Phase

5.3

Printing Phase

0.11

Appendix 2 Life Cycle Assessment of a Conventional Academic Print-BookAn Appendix to Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century

Figure 4 Breakdown of Environmental Impacts of Paper Printing Processes.

Source: Durme et al. 2011.

(p.207) By extrapolating, this might correspond to the amount of energy consumption too. So even though the printing phase seems to occupy a small share of the energy consumption in this study, if paper were to be included in the system boundary it might have shifted the energy share percentages between the processes considerably.

5. Conclusions

To reiterate, the amount of energy needed to write and transport one copy of the book Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century to the warehouse in Cary, North Carolina is 6.2 kWh. This LCA’s system boundary does not include some energy intensive processes which would also have major environmental impacts. This includes paper manufacturing and disposal phases. In the disposal phase, depending on the state and country, the book will be recycled, incinerated or transported to landfills. Various states in the United States have different recycling rates. For example states like California and New York have recycling rates ranging from 80 percent-100 percent.2 On the other hand states such as Colorado and Mississippi have rates ranging from 0 percent- 19 percent. And these different recycling rates and types of disposal methods will have varying energy demands and environmental effects.

6. References

G. v. Durme, F. Charron-Doucet, É. Clément, and T. Strecker. 2011. Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Paperback Book Printing Alternatives in the USA. In edited by H. Packard: Quantis: Sustainability Counts.

EIA. Transportation Sector Key Indicators and Delivered Energy Consumption 2010. Available from http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/table9.pdf.

G. L. Kozak, and G. A. Keoleian. 2003. Printed Scholarly Books and E-book Reading Devices: A Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Two Book Options. IEEE:291–296.

B. Weidema, H. Wenzel, C. Petersen, and K. Hansen. 2004. The Product, Functional Unit and Reference Flows in LCA. Environmental News 70.

Appendix 2 Life Cycle Assessment of a Conventional Academic Print-BookAn Appendix to Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century

Figure 1 Energy Use (MJ) per Ingredient of a Burger.Source: Carlsson-Kanyama and Faist 2000.

(p.208) 7. Coda

Book vs. Cheeseburger

It is estimated that an American consumes between 1 to 3 burgers (or 2 burgers on an average) every week which totals up to 96 burgers on a yearly basis (Cascio 2008). So in this section, the average energy needed to produce a cheeseburger will be estimated. A report titled ‘Energy Use in the Food Sector’ by Carlsson-Kanyama and Faist calculates all the energy flows that are involved in producing a burger. The different ingredients that are considered are cheese, pickled cucumbers, onion, lettuce, beef patty or ‘hamburger’ and bread. The authors categorize the results into two different scenarios—‘high’ and ‘low’ energy consumptions which depend on the processes and the equipment used to process the ingredients. So in this study, the average value of the two scenarios will be taken into consideration. Figure 1 shows the energy intensity of production of the different ingredients. It can be observed that the meat production is the most energy intensive process in both scenarios.

The total energy needed to produce the cheeseburger according to this report is 7.3 MJ (Mega Joules) in the low intensity and 20 MJ in the high intensity scenario (Carlsson-Kanyama and Faist 2000). The average is 13.65 MJ or 3.79 kWh (kilo Watt hour). Table 1 below summarizes the energy needs of the book and the burger.

Table 1 Comparison - Energy Needs of Book and Burger

Item

Processes Included in LCA

Energy Needed to Produce 1 Single Item

Number of Items

Total Energy Needed to Produce Fleet

Book

Conception, Printing and Transportation

6.2 kWh

Number of Books Published in First Run ->

600

2570 kWh

Burger

Manufacture of Ingredients, Production and Delivery of Product

3.79 kWh

Burgers Consumed by One American/Year on an Average->

96

363.84 kWh

(p.209) Coda References

A. Carlsson-Kanyama, and M. Faist. 2000. Energy Use in the Food Sector: A data survey. In AFN report 291: Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Stockholm, Sweden.

J. Cascio. The Cheeseburger Footprint 2008. Available from http://www.openthefuture.com/cheeseburger_CF.html

Notes:

(1) U.S Environmental Protection Agency. Wastes—Resource Conservation—Common Wastes & Materials—Paper Recycling, http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/paper/faqs.htm#sources

(2) Paper Industry Association Council 2012. http://stats.paperrecycles.org/maps/ Comparative LCA