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Sci Total Environ. 2013 Feb 1;444:16-25. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.11.012. Epub 2012 Dec 21.

Phase change material applications in buildings: an environmental assessment for some Spanish climate severities.

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CIRCE, Research Centre for Energy Resources and Consumption, University of Zaragoza, Mariano Esquillor 15, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain.


This work proposes an environmental analysis based on the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. LCA was applied to determine if energy savings are large enough to balance the environmental impact caused during phase change material (PCM) manufacture and its installation on tiles. Inputs and outputs of each management stage have been defined and the inventory emissions were calculated by SIMAPRO v 7.3.2. Emissions were classified into several impact categories; climate change, human toxicity, acidification, ozone depletion, particulate matter formation and eutrophication. Three commercial PCMs, evaluated using five different Spanish weather climates, were studied to explore a wide range of conditions. The main results conclude that the use of PCM can reduce the overall energy consumption and the environmental impacts. This reduction is strongly influenced by the climate conditions and the PCM introduced.

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