Assessing Long-Term Medical Remanufacturing Emissions with Life Cycle Analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The unsustainable take-make-dispose linear economy prevalent in healthcare contributes 4.4% to global Greenhouse Gas emissions. A popular but not yet widely-embraced solution is to remanufacture common single-use medical devices like electrophysiology catheters, significantly extending their lifetimes by enabling a circular life cycle. To support the adoption of catheter remanufacturing, we propose a comprehensive emission framework and carry out a holistic evaluation of virgin manufactured and remanufactured carbon emissions with Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). We followed ISO modelling standards and NHS reporting guidelines to ensure industry relevance. We conclude that remanufacturing may lead to a reduction of up to 60% per turn (−1.92 kg CO2eq, burden-free) and 57% per life (−1.87 kg CO2eq, burdened). Our extensive sensitivity analysis and industry-informed buy-back scheme simulation revealed long-term emission reductions of up to 48% per remanufactured catheter life (−1.73 kg CO2eq). Our comprehensive results encourage the adoption of electrophysiology catheter remanufacturing, and highlight the importance of estimating long-term emissions in addition to traditional emission metrics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number36
JournalProcesses
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by University of Brighton’s 2021 Quality Research grant.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.

Keywords

  • Medical remanufacturing
  • Single-use devices
  • Life Cycle Analysis
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Carbon footprint
  • medical remanufacturing
  • carbon footprint
  • life cycle analysis
  • single-use devices
  • greenhouse gas emissions

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