Role of water in sustainable mining

Elina Saarivuori (Corresponding author), Helena Wessman-Jääskeläinen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsScientific


NanoSelect project deals with the development of fully bio-based membranes and adsorbents containing nanocellulose as functional entity to selectively adsorb and remove contaminants from water. Nanocellulose is isolated from bio-resources or industrial residues and shows potential for removal of contaminants from industrial waters. The environmental performance of bio-based membranes and adsorbents, prepared by using native and surface modified nanocellulose as functional additives, were evaluated based on life cycle assessment methodology (LCA). Inventories, based on primary and database data, of relevant inputs and outputs for different membrane systems were compiled to evaluate the potential environmental impacts associated with the products. The goal of LCA in NanoSelect is to support product development internally by assessing the environmental hotspots of the studied membrane systems. In addition, LCA assessment will be utilised in communication of environmental performace of the developed products. The assessment will cover the life cycle from cradle to grave, i.e. raw material production, membrane production, membrane use, and end-of-life stages of the developed membrane systems, including used chemicals, fuels, energy and transports. In the first phase the presumably most significant elements of the value chain in terms of environmental impacts have been identified [3]. Results of selected impact categories and main contributors to the environmental impacts will be presented. The cradle-to-gate results indicate that the energy intensive nano-sized raw material content of the membrane has a great impact on the results. LCA is a good tool to identify environmental aspects within the product development. It is an iterative process, and should be redone once the lab scale concepts are scaled up to larger and optimised production levels.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMinerals in circular economy
Subtitle of host publicationBook of abstracts
EditorsOlli Salmi, Päivi Kiviketo-Reponen, Justin Salminen, Ari Ekroos, Mirja Illikainen, Asko Käpyaho
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-8184-9
ISBN (Print)978-951-38-8183-2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event1st International Conference on Minerals in Circular Economy, MINCE - Espoo, Finland
Duration: 26 Nov 201427 Nov 2014
Conference number: 1

Publication series

SeriesVTT Technology


Conference1st International Conference on Minerals in Circular Economy, MINCE
Abbreviated titleMINCE


  • water footprint
  • environmental tool
  • mining industry

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