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Influence of the Composition on the Environmental Impact of Soft Ferrites
Patricia Gómez 1 , Daniel Elduque 2 , Carmelo Pina 1 , Carlos Javierre 2
1  BSH Electrodomésticos España S. A., Avda. de la Industria, 49, 50016 Zaragoza, Spain
2  I+AITIIP, Department of Mechanical Engineering, EINA; University of Zaragoza, C/María de Luna, 3, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain

Published: 20 September 2018 by MDPI in Materials
MDPI, Volume 11; 10.3390/ma11101789
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze the influence of the composition on the environmental impact of the two main types of soft ferrites, allowing scientists and engineers to compare them based not only on cost and properties, but also on an environmental point of view. Iron oxides are the basis of soft ferrites, but these ferrites have a wide range of compositions, using materials such as manganese or nickel, which affect their magnetic properties, but also modify the environmental impact. A Life Cycle Assessment has been carried out for manganese‒zinc (MnZn) and nickel‒zinc (NiZn) soft ferrites, with a Monte Carlo approach to assess multiple compositions. The LCA model was developed with SimaPro 8.4, using the EcoInvent v3.4 life cycle inventory database. Environmental impact values were calculated under the ReCiPe and Carbon Footprint methodologies, obtaining a broad variety of results depending on the composition. The results were also significantly different from the standard EcoInvent ferrite. For the analyzed soft ferrites, the presence of manganese or nickel is a key factor from an environmental perspective, as these materials involve high environmental impacts, and their supply risk has increased during recent years, making them a concern for European manufacturers.
Keywords: environmental impact, LCA, Magnetic materials, material composition, Soft Ferrites, Critical raw materials, Nizn, Mnzn
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