Carbon and eco-footprints of adult incontinence products

Subramanian Senthilkannan Muthu, Frency S F Ng, Yi Li, Chi Leung Hui, Yueping Guo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This research article discusses the modelling and simulation results of carbon and eco-footprints of adult incontinence products. Four types of products are considered in this study: two types of diapers-commercial and new diapers and two types of pants-commercial and new type of pants. New types of diapers and pants were developed by our research team in the Institute of Textiles & Clothing of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Carbon and eco-footprints were modeled by using IPCC 2001 method (100 Years) and ecological footprint method (taken from Ecoinvent 2.0) of SIMAPRO 7.3.2 version of LCA software. Datasets from Ecoinvent database inbuilt with SIMAPRO software were used to build the life cycle scenarios. Life cycle scenarios of four types of incontinence products were built for the entire life cycle of products from cradle to grave stages. In this research study, the contribution analysis (hot-spots in the life cycle stages) of carbon and eco-footprints of each type of product under consideration are highlighted. From the modeling and simulation results, it was noticed that the new reusable pants created the lowest carbon and eco-footprints compared to its counterparts. New type of diaper created slightly higher carbon and eco-footprints compared to the commercial diaper type. From the process contribution analysis, it was found that the production and disposal of SAP, generation of electricity for polypropylene, production processes of cotton were the contributors of major impacts in the order of hierarchy. From this detailed LCA study, it was understood that if the new type of reusable pants will be used without disposable inserts, it can bring carbon and eco-footprints significantly down.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1776-1781
Number of pages6
JournalFibers and Polymers
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013


  • Landfill
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Life cycle inventory
  • Polyethylene
  • Polypropylene
  • Reusable, Disposable
  • Super absorbent polymer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Polymers and Plastics


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