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Title: Assessing and Reducing the Environmental Impact of Manufacturing Water-Repellent Down at the Ohio Feather Company
Authors: Lee, Samantha
Advisors: Larson, Eric
Department: Chemical and Biological Engineering
Class Year: 2018
Abstract: On January 1, 2018, Sustainable Down Source officially replaced its original water-repellent down treatment process (DT1) with a new treatment process (DT2) at OFC. While DT2 has shown to require less production time yet still generating a better performing product, the environmental impacts of the two processes have never been compared. Thus, a life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to compare the environmental impact of the original DT1 product and the new DT2 product using Global Warming Potential (GWP), Eutrophication Potential (EP), Water Withdrawal (WW), and Water Consumption (WC) metrics. The stages considered in this LCA include the feather collection process, transport of the feathers to OFC, the treatment process at OFC, the transport of the feathers to the retail manufacturers, as well as the background processes such as the wastewater treatment plants that receive the wastewater from the feather collection process and treatment process at OFC, the electricity generation required to power the various stages, and the Raw Material Acquisition and Treatment (RMA/RMT) of the fuels used in the various stages. Excluding the feather collection process, one of the more remote processes with respect to OFC’s ability to influence, the change in DT process at OFC from DT1 to DT2 reduced GWP from 62% to 35% of the rest of the production process, increased EP from 41% to 63%, and decreased WC from 12% to 9%. The proportion of WW for the two processes did not change significantly, staying around 84%. A calculation for a stack economizer to be installed onto the existing boiler system at OFC indicated a possible reduction in GWP at OFC of 15% and a payback time of 7.4 years. A calculation for the purchase of a more efficient down feather washer indicated a reduction in WW at OFC of 96% and a payback time of 4.3 months.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Chemical and Biological Engineering, 1931-2018

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