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Attributional and consequential LCI modelling Tomas Ekvall Department of Energy Technology Chalmers University of Technology Gothenburg, Sweden email tomas.ekvall@me.chalmers.se InLCA/LCM 2003, Seattle, September 22-25 2003 The type of LCA affects modelling Early proponents:

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slide1

Attributional

and consequential

LCI modelling

Tomas Ekvall

Department of Energy Technology

Chalmers University of Technology

Gothenburg, Sweden

email tomas.ekvall@me.chalmers.se

InLCA/LCM 2003, Seattle, September 22-25 2003

the type of lca affects modelling
The type of LCA affects modelling
  • Early proponents:

Heintz & Baisnée (1992)

Weidema (1993)

  • Well established:

SETAC-Europe WG on Inventory Enhancement

InLCA/LCM 2003, Seattle, September 22-25 2003

types of lca in this presentation curran et al 2001
Types of LCA in this presentation(Curran et al. 2001)
  • Attributional LCA, which aims at describing the environmental properties of a life cycle and its subsystems.
  • Consequential LCA, which aims at describing the effects of changes within the life cycle.

InLCA/LCM 2003, Seattle, September 22-25 2003

lci modelling guide in summary
LCI modelling – Guide in summary
  • Attributional LCA:

Include full life cycle

Use average data

Allocate in proportion to, e.g., economic value

  • Consequential LCA:

Include processes that are affected

Use data that reflect expected effects of changes

Avoid allocation through system expansion

InLCA/LCM 2003, Seattle, September 22-25 2003

data that reflect changes azapagic clift 1999

Environmental

burdens (B)

Marginal

change

Substantial

change

Complete

change

Point of

Production

operation

volume (Q)

Data that reflect changes(Azapagic & Clift 1999)

InLCA/LCM 2003, Seattle, September 22-25 2003

allocation problem at multifunctional processes ekvall weidema 2003
Allocation problem at multifunctional processes(Ekvall & Weidema 2003)

InLCA/LCM 2003, Seattle, September 22-25 2003

system expansion when b depends on a
System expansion when B depends on A

InLCA/LCM 2003, Seattle, September 22-25 2003

system expansion when a depends on b

Multifunctional process

Product B

(excluded from analysis)

Waste

Product A

management

Market for

Market for

Prod. of

Prod. of

alternative

function provided

function provided

by produc

t A in

Product C

Product D

by product A

the life cycle

investigated

System expansion when A depends on B

InLCA/LCM 2003, Seattle, September 22-25 2003

additional consequences ekvall 2003
Additional consequences(Ekvall 2003)

InLCA/LCM 2003, Seattle, September 22-25 2003

including affected processes

Cradle

Chain of cause

Change or foreground system

and effect

Large uncertainty

Unmanageable uncertainty

Grave

Including affected processes

InLCA/LCM 2003, Seattle, September 22-25 2003

limitations
Limitations
  • Attributional LCA:

Describes systems only

Systems are subjective (allocation, geographical boundaries etc.)

  • Consequential LCA:

Describes consequences only

Entails great uncertainty and instability

InLCA/LCM 2003, Seattle, September 22-25 2003

suggested criteria for assessing methodology
Suggested criteria for assessing methodology
  • Generate relevant information
  • Allow efficient communication of this information
  • Contribute to inspire actions
  • No significant adverse effects

InLCA/LCM 2003, Seattle, September 22-25 2003

conclusions and discussion
Conclusions and discussion
  • Consequential modelling goes far beyond marginal data and avoiding allocation
  • Pure consequential LCAs are rare
  • Terminology is confused
  • Ranking methodology is not straightforward
  • Choice of methodology should be deliberate

InLCA/LCM 2003, Seattle, September 22-25 2003

references
References

Azapagic A, Clift R. 1999. Allocation of environmental burdens in multiple-function systems. J Cleaner Prod, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 101-119.

Curran MA, Mann M, Norris G. 2001. Report on the International Workshop on Electricity Data for Life Cycle Inventories. Cincinnati, Ohio 45268 USA, October 23 – 25, 2001.

Ekvall T. 2003. Tools for consequential modelling. Poster presented at 13th SETAC-Europe Annual Meeting in Hamburg, April 2003.

Ekvall T, Weidema BP. 2003. System Boundaries and Input Data in Consequential Life Cycle Inventory Analysis. Submitted to Int J LCA.

Heintz B, Baisnée P-F. 1992. System boundaries. In: Life cycle assessment. Workshop report, Leiden, The Netherlands, 2-3 December 1991. SETAC, Brussels, Belgium, pp. 35-52.

Weidema BP. 1993. Development of a method for product life cycle assessment with special references to food products (summary). PhD thesis. Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark.

InLCA/LCM 2003, Seattle, September 22-25 2003