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The 2019 LCA of products from Borregaard, Sarpsborg

This report documents the modelling and environmental results for 8 products from Borregaard in Sarpsborg. The work has been performed from March 2020 to June 2021, and it is directly based on the work done in phase I/II in 2008, the 2010 update and the 2015 update. In this study life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology has been used. 

For most indicators and products, the burdens have decreased compared with 2014. It is, however, difficult to draw conclusions regarding the lignosulfonates, as the LCA model has changed since the 2014 modelling. Steam, chemicals and direct emissions are the most important explanations for changed burdens for Borregaard’s products. Reduced direct emissions from the ethanol factory have contributed to reduced eutrophication burdens for several products.

The relative burdens of the life cycle phases are shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1    Relative results for the life cycle phases, from cradle to gate for four products from Borregaard, shown for the two indicators climate change and eutrophication. For the eutrophication indicator, the life cycle phase ‘Various’ is closely linked to direct emissions from Borregaard. Transport to customer is not included.

Burdens from production of liquid natural gas (LNG) and the use of LNG in the production process are important contributors to the climate change indicator for cellulose and ethanol. Production and transport of input chemicals are important for vanillin and hydrochloric acid, both with regards to climate change and eutrophication. Direct emissions at the Borregaard site are, however, the main contributor to eutrophication both for cellulose, ethanol, and vanillin.

Use of energy and chemicals, and direct emissions at the Borregaard site, are the most important contributors in the overall picture, and the share of renewable energy sources used for steam production affects all products.

  • More use of electricity on behalf of LNG can reduce the climate burdens for the whole product portfolio, and most of all for cellulose, ethanol and lignosulfonate liquid. 
  • More use of internally produced sodium hydroxide has the potential to affect the burdens of several Borregaard products, and especially cellulose and vanillin.