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LCA for Calcium Carbonate Released

Posted By Chris Greissing, Thursday, October 19, 2017

Members of the Industrial Minerals Association’s Calcium Carbonate section recently completed a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) to show the sustainable benefits of using calcium carbonate.  An LCA is a method for identifying the environmental impacts of a product, process, or activity over its entire lifespan.  The objective of this LCA was to develop an industry average for North 

American mined and quarried calcium carbonate products.  

 

The LCA was completed by Sustainable Solutions Corporation.  Participating companies included: Omya, Imerys Carbonates, Carmeuse and Columbia River Carbonates.  The LCA took a cradle-to-gate approach to the extraction and production process to provide a comprehensive understanding of the environmental impacts of calcium carbonate.  

 

Calcium carbonate is a material that is used in a wide-variety of products in commerce, building and manufacturing.  This LCA helps to show the benefits of using calcium carbonate in place of alternative materials, as it could help the overall end product have a reduced environmental footprint. This LCA looked at five calcium carbonate products: screen grade; coarse, dry, ~ 20 micron; coarse, dry, ~ 30 micron; fine, slurry, 3 micron; and fine, treated, 3 micron.  

 

Calcium carbonate is the most widely used mineral in the paper, plastics, paints and coatings industries as both a filler and as a coating pigment.  Calcium carbonate is used in personal health and food production industries as an effective dietary calcium supplement, antacid, phosphate binder, or base material for medicinal tablets.

 

The LCA was critically reviewed by a third party, ensuring the accuracy and validity of the data.  Mr. Thomas P. Gloria of Industrial Ecology Consultants reviewed the LCA study regarding conformance to the ISO 14040 and 14044 standards on LCA.  The review determined: the methods used to carry out the LCA were consistent with the applicable international standards and methodologies; the methods used to carry out the LCA were scientifically and technically valid; the data used were appropriate and reasonable in relation to the goal of the study; and, the interpretations reflected limitations identified and the goal of the study.  

 

The LCA report and fact sheet are both attached.

 

For more information, please contact Chris Greissing (chrisgreissing@ima-na.org)

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