Environmental Improvement Potential of Flexible Polyurethane Foam for Aviation Applications - A Case Example Analysis
Presentation held at the Conference Session on ecoDESIGN and Sustainable Productivity in Barcelona, 18 -21 October 2022
The analysis of environmental impacts of aviation should include the full life cycle of an aircraft and its parts and should go beyond use-phase emissions. Environmental impacts of the manufacturing stages e.g. related to consumption of resources, pollutions and the use of hazardous materials like environmentally toxic chemicals as well as environmental impacts of end-of-life scenarios for an aircraft must be considered. Based on a case example on polyurethane flexible foams for aircraft seating cushions, an analysis of the environmental impacts supported by the life cycle assessment methodology has been conducted. This analysis covers the production of polyurethane flexible foams with a particular focus on three perspectives being: (a) use of biomaterials instead of fossil based material, (b) reduction and replacement of hazardous chemicals like heavy metal catalysts and flame retardants, (c) use of recycled polyol obtained by chemical solvolysis of flexible polyurethane foam. Selected results of an LCA will be presented for these to show improvement potentials.
Nioac de Salles, Ana Claudia