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REACH into LCA – Integration of REACH and CRMs into the Life Cycle Assessment framework

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REACH into LCA – Integration of REACH and CRMs into the Life Cycle Assessment framework

For the REACH assessment, the proposed method relies on both ESA’s existing Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) framework and the Materials & Processes Technology Board (MPTB) database. Then, the method was structured through three steps:

  • Firstly, a commonality was found between the LCA and MPTB databases: ECSS classes, which help define small groups of materials defined as 'clusters', are used to 'bridge the gap' in terms of level of precision between the LCA model of a space system and the MPTB database;

  • Secondly, the LCA database was complemented with REACH-related information thanks to the use of the clusters aforementioned;

  • Lastly, once the LCA database contained the REACH-related information required, a methodology to assess the risk in the context of a space mission was proposed.

    Then, this methodology was applied and tested on a case study on the structure subsystem of a satellite, which helped fine-tune the risk evaluation process and provided an illustration of the method on a concrete example. Recommendations were provided for future updates of the methodology and implementation in ESA systems.

    A methodology was also defined to identify potential supply risks due to the use of Critical Raw Materials (CRM) by the European space sector. The objective of this work was to develop a CRM supply risk indicator for the space sector based on the latest JRC methodology and the supply risk linked to resource depletion.

Executive summary