Retrosynthetic Life Cycle Assessment: A Short Perspective on the Sustainability of Integrating Thermoplastics and Artificial Intelligence Into Composite Systems

Vahid Yaghoubi*, Baris Kumru*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Over the past 30 years, the polymer composite industry has flourished, producing advanced structural materials for the aviation, energy, and transportation sectors. However, the use of crosslinked thermoset matrices has been linked to significant end-of-life challenges, presenting a critical issue for the industry. Moreover, the industry is characterized by numerous labor-intensive processes. In alignment with Industry 4.0 principles, two major routes have been identified to enhance sustainability: the utilization of high-performance thermoplastic matrices and the integration of artificial intelligence in manufacturing. Nevertheless, there are substantial concerns regarding the life cycle assessment of these technologies, which are not accounted for in the initial calculations, including the environmental footprint of polymer synthesis and energy requirements for training AI. This perspective aims to address potential and significant CO2 emissions from chemical feedstocks and the high computing requirements of these new technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Sustainable Systems
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • artificial intelligence
  • neural architecture search
  • retrosynthetic LCA
  • sustainable AI
  • thermoplastic composites

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