The environmental impact of fibre crops in industrial applications

Dam, J.E.G. van; Bos, H.L.


A short literature survey is presented on health and environmental issues in relation to the production and use of fibre crops. Next a short introduction to Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is given and the various commonly applied methods for quantifying ecological impacts are discussed in short. The available literature on LCA of fibre crops is reviewed and placed in the perspective of the role of renewable resources in sustainable developments and (emerging) market applications for fibre crops. The potential sources of environmental gain during service and end-of-life of cellulosic fibre filled materials compared with other materials is addressed. As an example an analysis of the environmental impact of the production of theoretically optimal flax versus glass reinforced construction beams is presented in an annex.