Keywords: life cycle assessment, LCA, exergy, phosphorous, fertiliser industry, sulphur, desulphurisation, feedstock cost, phosphoric acid
Energetic and exergetic life cycle analysis to explain the hidden costs and effects of current sulphur utilisation
Typically life cycle analyses of the fertiliser industry are based on averages of outdated technology. Sulphur is a major element, emerging as a primary nutrient on its own accord and as a feed for other fertiliser production, namely phosphoric acid. Recent developments sparked by governmental regulation have raised the validity of an assumption frequently overlooked. Through the desulphurisation of fossil fuels, sulphur is invariably assigned a zero energy charge as originally assessed from Mudahar (1987). By applying the principles of an exergetic cradle-to-factory gate analysis sulphur will acquire a feedstock cost and the repercussions within the fertiliser industry are addressed.