New EPDs ready: Acoustic panels are carbon-negative during production
Consultants and project owners are now able to download environmental product declarations (EPDs) for eight different types of Troldtekt acoustic panels based on FUTURECEM™ cement. The life cycle analyses show that the panels have a negative carbon footprint right up until it is time for them to be disposed of or recycled.
The German Institut Bauen und Umwelt (IBU) has now verified and published eight environmental product declarations (EPDs) for the new Troldtekt acoustic panels based on the cement type FUTURECEM from Aalborg Portland.
The EPDs give construction industry professionals an overview of the acoustic panels’ environmental impact throughout their life cycle. The EPDs also enable comparisons with alternative solutions, thus paving the way for informed choices to be made.
“We want to be completely transparent when making our EPDs available. Therefore, we’re having separate EPDs prepared for our various products – such as the new FUTURECEM-based variants of our acoustic panels,” says Vibeke Pedersen, who heads the engineering department at Troldtekt A/S.
Negative carbon footprint during production
The new EPDs show that the FUTURECEM-based acoustic panels have a negative carbon footprint in phases A1-A3, which cover the extraction and transport of raw materials as well as the production of the actual acoustic panels.
FUTURECEM is a type of cement that exploits the synergies between calcined clay and lime filler. In this way, much of the fired clinker in Aalborg Portland’s cement production can be replaced, and the result is cement with a 30 per cent smaller carbon footprint. Since almost the entire carbon footprint of a Troldtekt acoustic panel stems from the cement that is used in its manufacture, switching cement types makes a real difference.
The wood, which is the other raw material in Troldtekt acoustic panels, absorbs more CO2 while the trees are growing in Danish forests than is emitted during the production of FUTURECEM. And as the production of the acoustic panels at the factory in Troldhede is based on 97.8 per cent renewable energy, the total carbon footprint during production ends up negative.
As the EPDs show, the cement layer in a Troldtekt panel gradually absorbs CO2 via the chemical process of carbonisation, which reduces the panel’s carbon footprint even further. Thus, the acoustic panels have a negative carbon footprint right up until the moment they are disposed of or recycled after typically 50-70 years of use.
Takes account of different variants
There are eight EPDs for FUTURECEM-based Troldtekt acoustic panels because the EPDs take into account:
- the thickness of the acoustic panels (25 mm or 35 mm)
- whether the panels are painted or unpainted
- whether or not the panels are non-flammable A2 panels
The new EPDs complement the EPDs for Troldtekt acoustic panels based on traditional cement, which were published in 2021. In other words, there are now 20 EPDs in all for Troldtekt acoustic panels.
Among other things, the table shows the Global Warming Potential (GWP) — otherwise known as the carbon footprint – of unpainted Troldtekt acoustic panels (25 mm) based on FUTURECEM. When it says -1,37E+0 next to phases A1-A3, this means that the carbon footprint is -1,37 kg per square metre of Troldtekt.
The above graph furthest to the left shows that it is only once the panels are disposed of after typically 50-70 years (phase C4) that the overall carbon footprint of FUTURECEM-based Troldtekt acoustic panels becomes positive. The disposal data are based on incineration, when the embodied CO2 is released. Troldtekt is looking at different recycling methods to ensure that as little of the embodied CO2 as possible is released.