Çolak, A.; Laratte, B.; Elevli, B.; Çoruh, S. Abiotic Depletion of Boron: An Update Characterization Factors for CML 2002 and ReCiPe.

Minerals 2022, 12, 435.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.3390/min12040435

The risk of resource depletion for future generations of humanity is often cited as an important issue. The choice of impact categories and characterization models for resource extraction in LCA is no more precise than other impact categories and models. This means that more discussion is needed on the use of resources. In this article, the potential depletion of Boron and Boron minerals (Colemanite, Ulexite, Tincal) are studied. These minerals have a big role for the world and for Turkey; however, this resource is limited. Using the life cycle assessment methodology, one can estimate the resource depletion through the indicator “abiotic resource depletion”. Several models can evaluate this indicator, but the most used models are ReCiPe and CML (that is the previous attempt of ReCiPe) methods. Here, we estimated the damage that is done to natural resource scarcity. The values that are calculated by these two methods were compared to identify the potential evolution of the model and to observe the gap between these two models. The ReCiPe method refers to the average amount of extra ore that is produced in the future to extract 1 kg of boron ore or boron minerals resource. On the other hand, The CML method depends on the final reserve amount in terms of depletion. The results show no depletion shortly for boron ore and boron minerals. Correlation coefficients were calculated in the ReCiPe method, and ‘high uncertainty’ was estimated since R2 < 0.8. This research highlights the fact that there is the necessity to propose different impact factors for the various minerals and not only for boron (that is done today).