Energy consummation and environmental emissions assessment of a refrigeration compressor based on life cycle assessment methodology

Junli Shi, Tao Li, Hongchao Zhang, Shitong Peng, Zhichao Liu, Qiuhong Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: This paper aims to evaluate and quantify the energy consumption and environmental emissions of a refrigeration compressor produced by a Chinese factory throughout the entire compressor life cycle and try to determine the stage with the strongest environmental impact. The study covers all relevant life cycle stages, from raw material production to compressor use and final disposal. The research is conducted in accordance with ISO 14040/14044 standards. Methods: Life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology is applied in this study, and Chinese Life Cycle Database is used for the assessment. The evaluation results are presented in terms of individual impact category according to the characterization model (CML 2001) and normalization references (Laurent et al. 16:401–409, 2011). The following seven impact categories are considered: global warming potential, acidification potential, eutrophication potential, photochemical ozone formation potential, ozone depletion potential, ecotoxicity, and primary energy demand. All necessary energy and material flows are detailed for assessment purposes. Results and discussion: LCA results show that the compressor use stage in the life cycle consumes the most energy and exerts the strongest environmental impact, followed by the stages of raw material production and component manufacturing. Meanwhile, primary energy demand, ecotoxicity, and global warming potential are three predominant impact categories along with the entire life cycle of the refrigeration compressor; which account for 36.2150, 34.4567, and 16.5862 % of total impacts, respectively. Conclusions: Results show that the compressor use stage may be improved given that environmental impact is largely influenced by electricity requirement. Further investigation must be conducted to improve compressor service efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)947-956
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Life Cycle Assessment
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 24 2015


  • Acidification potential
  • Ecotoxicity
  • Energy consumption
  • Environmental emission
  • Eutrophication potential
  • Global warming potential
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Ozone depletion potential
  • Photochemical ozone formation potential
  • Primary energy demand
  • Refrigeration compressor


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