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D r a f t. Life Cycle Assessment A product-oriented method for sustainability analysis UNEP LCA Training Kit Module d – Inventory analysis. D r a f t. ISO 14040 framework. Source: ISO 14040. Life cycle inventory analysis.

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slide1

D r a f t

Life Cycle AssessmentA product-oriented methodfor sustainability analysisUNEP LCA Training KitModule d – Inventory analysis

life cycle inventory analysis
Life cycle inventory analysis
  • ISO: Phase of life cycle assessment involving the compilation and quantification of inputs and outputs, for a given product system throughout its life cycle
    • International Standard ISO 14041
    • Technical Report ISO/TR 14049
  • The second phase of an LCA
    • LCI
slide4

D r a f t

  • Economy-environment system boundary
  • Flow diagram
  • Format and data categories
  • Data quality
  • Data collection and relating data to unit processes
  • Data validation
  • Cut-off and data estimation
  • Multifunctionality and allocation
  • Calculation

Contents

economy environment system boundary 1
Economy-environment system boundary (1)
  • Demarcation between what is included in the product system and what is excluded
  • Each product/material/service should be followed until it has been translated into elementary flows (emissions, natural resource extractions, land use, …)
economy environment system boundary 2
Economy-environment system boundary (2)
  • Example:
    • upstream: TV  transformer  copper wire  copper  copper ore
    • upstream: TV  electricity  high-voltage electricity  coal
    • downstream: TV  electronic equipment waste  removal of precious and recyclable materials  dump site
economy environment system boundary 3
Economy-environment system boundary (3)

D r a f t

small system boundary

wide system boundary

flow diagram 1
Flow diagram (1)
  • Graphical representation of structure product system
  • Showing the interdependence of economic processes
  • Can be organized as hierarchical (multi-level) flow diagrams
flow diagram 2
Flow diagram (2)
  • Simple rules, consistently applied:
    • process = box
    • economic flow = arrow
    • no environmental flows
    • no numbers

coal

electricity production

electricity

generator

fly ash

flow diagram 3

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Flow diagram (3)

equipment

steel

coal mining

generator production

coal

generator

electricity production

product system

fly ash

system boundary

electricity

fly ash treatment

reference flow

gypsum

format and data categories 1
Format and data categories (1)
  • General considerations:
    • processes have inputs and outputs
    • processes have economic flows and environmental/elementary flows
    • several types of each (e.g., materials, energy, atmospheric emissions)
    • symmetry in economic flows
format and data categories 3
Format and data categories (3)
  • Several standards for data exchange:
    • ISO 14048
    • Spold/EcoSpold
    • Spine
    • UNEP/SETAC
    • ELCD (European Commission)
format and data categories 4
Format and data categories (4)
  • More detailed standardisation:
    • representing numbers (1.2E-3, 0,0012)
    • choice of units (kg, mg, g, lbs, tonne)
    • language/character set (English, German, Chinese)
    • choice of names (carbon dioxide, CO2)
    • codes (SIC, NACE, CAS, EINECS)
    • other info (uncertainties, missing values)
data quality
Data quality
  • Crucial to address data quality
    • precision
    • completeness
    • representativeness (temporal, geographical, technology)
    • consistency
    • reproducibility
  • No standardised method for overall assessment of data quality available
data collection and relating data to unit processes
Data collection and relating data to unit processes
  • Different ways to obtain data
    • Primary data collected on-site
      • measurements
      • interviews
      • annual reports
    • Secondary data from generic sources
      • LCA databases
      • previous LCA-studies
      • IOA data
data validation
Data validation
  • Errors are easily introduced …
    • errors in measurements
    • errors in data entry
    • errors with units (liter versus gallon)
    • errors with prefixes (mg versus mcg)
    • errors with nomenclature (N2O versus NO2)
  • … and can sometimes easily be detected
    • mass and energy balances
    • comparative analysis of different data sources
cut off and data estimation 1
Cut-off and data estimation (1)

equipment

steel

coal mining

?????

D r a f t

cut-off flows

coal

generator

electricity production

fly ash

electricity

fly ash treatment

gypsum

cut off and data estimation 2
Cut-off and data estimation (2)

equipment

steel

D r a f t

coal mining

?????

coal

generator

electricity production

fly ash

electricity

fly ash treatment

gypsum

cut off and data estimation 3
Cut-off and data estimation (3)
  • Problem
    • many data needed
    • limited time and budget
  • Possible solutions
    • cut-off certain flows
    • provide a rough estimation
    • difference analysis
multifunctionality and allocation 1
Multifunctionality and allocation (1)

D r a f t

  • Many processes produce more than one function:

coal

electricity production

electricity

heat

generator

fly ash

multifunctionality and allocation 2
Multifunctionality and allocation (2)
  • Typology I:
    • co-production
    • combined waste treatment
    • recycling
  • Typology II:
    • joint production
    • combined production
multifunctionality and allocation 3
Multifunctionality and allocation (3)

equipment

steel

D r a f t

coal mining

generator production

  • What to do with the extra heat?
    • accept it as an extra reference flow
    • get rid of it by an extra modeling step

coal

generator

electricity production

fly ash

heat

electricity

fly ash treatment

gypsum

multifunctionality and allocation 31
Multifunctionality and allocation (3)
  • Problem
    • whenever a product system needs product 1, it also produces product 2
  • Possible solutions
    • more refined data collection
    • system expansion
    • substitution
    • partitioning (=allocation)
    • surplus
multifunctionality and allocation 32
Multifunctionality and allocation (3)
  • (More refined data collection)
    • … not really allocation, but more re-iteration of data collection
  • System expansion
    • add extra function(s) to the functional unit
    • … but are you still doing the LCA of a product?
multifunctionality and allocation 4
Multifunctionality and allocation (4)
  • Substitution method
    • defining an “avoided” process with subsequent “avoided” interventions/impacts
    • … but which process is avoided?
  • Partitioning method
    • effectively splitting the multifunctional process into several monofunctional processes
    • … but what basis for splitting?
  • (Surplus method)
    • ignoring co-products
multifunctionality and allocation 5
Multifunctionality and allocation (5)
  • Allocation according to ISO
  • Wherever possible, allocation should be avoided by:
    • dividing the unit process to be allocated into two or more sub-processes and collecting the input and output data related to these sub-processes;
    • expanding the product system to include the additional functions related to the co-products
  • Partition inputs and outputs of the system between its different products or functions in a way which reflects the underlying physical relationships between them
  • Partition input and output data between co-products in proportion to the economic value of the products.
calculation 1
Calculation (1)
  • Relating unit processes to reference flow(s)
    • Based on linear scaling of processes
    • Take account for (feedback) loops
    • Matrix procedure available
  • But calculation sometimes fails …
    • missing processes
    • multifunctional processes
calculation 2
Calculation (2)
  • Example of an inventory table
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