Faculté des Sciences appliquées
Faculté des Sciences appliquées

Master's Thesis : Integrating the criticality of niobium in life cycle assessment

Mas Fons, Aina ULiège
Promotor(s) : Pirard, Eric ULiège
Date of defense : 7-Sep-2020/9-Sep-2020 • Permalink :
Title : Master's Thesis : Integrating the criticality of niobium in life cycle assessment
Author : Mas Fons, Aina ULiège
Date of defense  : 7-Sep-2020/9-Sep-2020
Advisor(s) : Pirard, Eric ULiège
Committee's member(s) : Gaydardzhiev, Stoyan ULiège
Belboom, Sandra ULiège
Deschuyteneer, Dorian 
Language : English
Keywords : [en] Niobium
[en] Critical raw materials
[en] Life cycle assessment
[en] Criticality assessment
[en] LCA
Discipline(s) : Engineering, computing & technology > Materials science & engineering
Target public : Researchers
General public
Institution(s) : Université de Liège, Liège, Belgique
Degree: Cours supplémentaires destinés aux étudiants d'échange (Erasmus, ...)
Faculty: Master thesis of the Faculté des Sciences appliquées


[en] Raw materials are the base of the economy and indispensable for further development. However, some have precarious supply chains and are often classified as critical. The correct identification of these critical raw materials (CRM) is key for the pursuit of a more sustainable society. This work focuses on niobium; a material commonly identified as critical. An overview of the current state of its value chain is given and its main challenges are commented. In addition, a product that contains niobium is presented and a comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is performed on it. One of the goals of performing this LCA is to take into account the criticality of the product and see how that affects the results while focusing on niobium’s contribution. To do so this work also covers the Life Cycle Assessment methodology and presents its relationship with criticality assessment, addressing the main research gaps and showing the potential synergies. The methodology introduced by Koch et al. (2019) is explained and applied in the conducted LCA. Additionally, the concept of criticality is introduced and analysed. The limitation of its current assessments methodologies are exposed and possible improvements are suggested. Especial attention is given to the method proposed by the European Commission.



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  • Mas Fons, Aina ULiège Université de Liège > conv. Erasmus en sc. appl.


Committee's member(s)

  • Gaydardzhiev, Stoyan ULiège Université de Liège - ULiège > Département ArGEnCo > Traitement et recyclage des matières minérales
    ORBi View his publications on ORBi
  • Belboom, Sandra ULiège Université de Liège - ULiège > Département ArGEnCo > Géoressources minérales & Imagerie géologique
    ORBi View his publications on ORBi
  • Deschuyteneer, Dorian
  • Total number of views 83
  • Total number of downloads 4

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