Screening Level Cradle to Grave Life Cycle Assessment of a Conceptual Carbon Nanotube Field Emission Display Device.

V.K.K. Upadhyayula

Keywords: life cycle assessment, CNT-FED, CNT conducting paste


The case study focuses on performing a screening level Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of a hypothetical 15-inch CNT-FED device. The life cycle inventory (LCI) for the manufacture of the CNT-FED is based on values from publication and patent literature. The fabrication of the CNT-FED is a six-step process consisting of: (a) synthesis of the CNTs by chemical vapor deposition followed by acid purification; (b) preparation of the CNT conducting paste; (c) formation of cathode substrate; (d) formation of a phosphor anode substrate; and (e) vacuum sealing of CNT-FED and (f) final assembly of vacuum sealed CNT-FED in a housing The use and end of life phases of the CNT-FED are assumed to be similar to a LCD device and data are taken from literature values. The LCA is conducted and based on the functional unit of “the effective life of one CNT-FED.” SimaPro LCA software was used for this study and the EPA’s TRACI model was used for the impact assessment methodology. The geographical boundary of the study is confined to USA. Based on the results of the screening level assessment, the manufacturing phase for a CNT-FEDs dominate the environmental impacts in all nine categories studied.