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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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D r a f t

D r a f t

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


Iso 14040 framework

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ISO 14040 framework

Source: ISO 14040


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


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  • 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)

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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 2

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Format and data categories (2)


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

?????

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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

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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)

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  • 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

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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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