Published Mar 30, 2009

Google Scholar
Search GoogleScholar

Carlos Eduardo Fúquene-Retamoso

Nazly Bibiana Córdoba-Pinzón

Jaime Andrés Lara-Borrero

Sandra Méndez-Fajardo



This research performs life cycle analysis of threaded unions manufactured in PVC. The analysis proposes two scenarios according to the amount of recycled material used in the process. One of the scenarios is based on 45% of recycled material and the other one is based on 100% of raw virgin material usage. The analysis was made by means of the software tool Simapro® version 7.0, establishing the environmental impact rating by the Ecoindicator 99 methodology. Data were collected from databases, observation and measurement of an industrial process, specific prototype development under laboratory conditions and interviews with experts. When a composition of 100% of virgin raw material was used for the product, significant effects observed during the product´s life cycle were related to fossil fuel consumption and the generation of inorganic materials in suspension. For a product composition with 45% of recycled material, the most significant effects were related to the generation of inorganic materials in suspension and climate change. Environmental impact diminution was observed in the fossil fuel consumption, acidification / eutrophication, inorganic materials in suspension and climate change categories. Using recycled material in this product lowers the contribution of fossil fuels to the environmental impact from 56% to 5%, compared to the contribution of the other impact categories.


Environmental impact analysis, waste utilization, joints (engineering)Evaluación del impacto ambiental, aprovechamiento de residuos, uniones (ingeniería)

ARENA, A. Spreading life-cycle assessment to developing countries: lessons from Argentina. Journal of Industrial Ecology. 2000, vol. 4, núm. 3, pp. 3-6.
CHOI, B.; SHIN, H-S; LEE, S-Y, and HUR, T. Life Cycle Assessment of a Personal Computer and its Effective Recycling Rate. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment. 2006, vol. 11, núm. 2, pp. 122-128.
COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES. Green Paper: Environmental Issues of PVC [Documento en línea]. Bruselas: 2000. [Consulta: 09-2008].
FRISCHKNECHT, R.; JUNGBLUH, N.; ALTHAUS, H.-J. et al. Code of Practice: Ecoinvent Report No. 2. Dübendorf: Swiss Centre for Life Cycle Inventories, 2003.
FRISCHKNECHT R.; JUNGBLUH, N.; ALTHAUS, H.-J. et al. The Ecoinvent Database: Overview and Methodological Framework. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment. 2005, vol. 10, núm. 1, pp. 3-9.
FÚQUENE, C. and CÓRDOBA, N. Selection of Materials Trough the LCA* for Pipes´ Threaded Unions. Third International Conference on Life Cycle Management, August 27 to 29, 2007. LCM 2007, p. 1-196.
FÚQUENE, C. et al. Aplicación del análisis del ciclo de vida de producto como apoyo a la toma de decisiones en la selección de materiales para la fabricación de elementos de unión roscados para tubería. Bogotá: Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. 2007.
LUND, H. Recycling Manual. Madrid: McGraw-Hill, 2006.
MICHAEL, D. Biopolymers from Crops: Their Potential to Improve the Environment [Documento en línea]. En: Solutions for a Better Environment. Proceedings of the 11th Australian Agronomy Conference, Geelong, Victoria, 2-6 Feb, 2003, Australian Society of Agronomy. [Consulta: 03- 2009].
MINISTERIO DE MEDIO AMBIENTE, VIVIENDA Y DESARROLLO TERRITORIAL. Guía ambiental sector plásticos: principales procesos básicos de transformación de la industria plástica y manejo, aprovechamiento y disposición de residuos plásticos post-consumo. Bogotá, 2004.
Ministry of Housing , COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTORATE. Ecoindicador 99 Manual for designers. The Netherlands, 2000.
NORMA TÉCNICA COLOMBIANA-ISO 14040. Gestión ambiental: análisis de ciclo de vida. Principios y marco de referencia. Bogotá: Icontec, 2003.
ORTIZ, O.; CASTELLS, F., and SONNEMANN, G. Sustainability in the Construction Industry: A Review of Recent Developments based on LCA. Construction and Building Materials. 2009, vol. 23, pp. 28-39.
UDO DE HAES, H. Life-Cycle Assessment and Developing Countries. Journal of Industrial Ecology. 2004, vol. 8, núms.1-2, pp. 8-10.
How to Cite
Fúquene-Retamoso, C. E., Córdoba-Pinzón, N. B., Lara-Borrero, J. A., & Méndez-Fajardo, S. (2009). Evaluation of environmental impact diminution when recycled material is used for threaded unions . Ingenieria Y Universidad, 13(1). Retrieved from

Most read articles by the same author(s)