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MAULANA AZAD NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, BHOPAL

LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT (LCA)


Environmental Planning [UD 133]

Presented to: Shubhranshu Upadhyay Department of Architecture and Planning MANIT Bhopal

Presented by: Shailendra Kumar Sch. No. 122110105 Department of Architecture and Planning MANIT Bhopal

Life Cycle Assessment


A Scientific Way to Look at Going Green!

Life-cycle assessment (LCA, also known as life-cycle analysis, Eco balance, and cradle-to-grave analysis) is a technique to assess environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product's life from-cradle-to-grave (i.e., from raw material extraction through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and disposal or recycling).
LCAs can help avoid a narrow outlook on environmental concerns by: Compiling an inventory of relevant energy and material inputs and environmental releases Evaluating the potential impacts associated with identified inputs and releases Interpreting the results to help make a more informed decision.
reference: "Defining Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)." US Environmental Protection Agency. 17 October 2010. Web.

A Brief History of LCA:


Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) began in the 1960s in the USA, when concerns over the limitations of raw materials and energy resources sparked interest in finding ways to cumulatively account for energy use and to project future resource supplies and use. first LCA carried out by coca cola in 1969 Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) set first standards in 1990 ISO produced series of standards in 1997/98 which were recently revised in 2006 ISO 14040:2006 outlining LCA principles and framework ISO 14044:2006 for requirements and guidelines
reference: http://www.alcas.asn.au/intro-to-lca/history

Objectives of LCA
To provide a complete a picture as possible of the interactions of an activity with the environment.
To contribute to the understanding of the overall and interdependent nature of the environmental consequences of human activities. To provide decision makers with information which defines the environmental effects of these activities and identifies opportunities for environmental improvements

reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life-cycle_assessment

LCA Steps:
Generally, a LCA consists of four main activities: 1. Goal definition (ISO 14040):
The basis and scope of the evaluation are defined. Create a process tree in which all processes from raw material extraction through waste water treatment are mapped out and connected and mass and energy balances are closed (all emissions and consumptions are accounted for).

2.

Inventory Analysis (ISO 14041):

3.

Impact Assessment (ISO 14042):


Emissions and consumptions are translated into environmental effects. The are environmental effects are grouped and weighted.

4.

Improvement Assessment/Interpretation (ISO 14043):


Areas for improvement are identified
reference: http://lca.jrc.ec.europa.eu/lcainfohub/lcaPage.vm

Life Cycle Assessment Framework according to ISO 14040

reference: ISO International Standards Organisation

LCA Step 1 - Goal Definition and Scope


Define purpose of activity ( why you want to conduct the LCA ) Define the boundary conditions Define the life cycle of the product, purpose or activity Recognize the general material flow in life cycle Identify all operations that contribute to its life cycle which fall within the system boundaries, including time and spatial boundaries
Thus, pay special attention to: Basis for evaluation (what and why) Temporal boundaries (time scale) Spatial boundaries (geographic)
reference: ISO International Standards Organisation

LCA Step 2 - Inventory Analysis


This means that the inputs and outputs of all life-cycle processes have to be determined in terms of material and energy.
Start with making a process tree or a flow-chart classifying the events in a products life-cycle which are to be considered in the LCA, plus their interrelations.

Next, start collecting the relevant data for each event: the emissions from each process and the resources (back to raw materials) used. Establish (correct) material and energy balance(s) for each process stage and event.
reference: ISO International Standards Organisation

LCA Step 2 - Inventory Analysis


Inputs
Materials Acquisition Formulation, processing and Manufacturing Outputs Principal Products

Materials
Energy Water Air

Product Distribution
Product use

Coproducts
Water effluents Airborne emissions

Recycle, products, components, materials

Solid Waste Other Environmental interactions


reference: ISO International Standards Organisation

Waste Management

LCA Step 2 - Inventory Analysis overview


The most important steps of life cycle inventory work are: determination of the reference quantity (e.g. functional unit, reference flow), description of system in flow diagrams, identification of unit processes to be modelled separately in LCI model, qualitative determination of inputs and outputs, quantitative determination of inputs and outputs, documentation of the type of data survey, inventory data collection , inventory data collection of transport, and calculation of the inventory, including allocations and covering the inventories of the background data sets.

reference: http://lca.jrc.ec.europa.eu/lcainfohub/lciPage.vm

Example: Coffee Machine Life-Cycle Inventory


7.3 kg coffee bean roasting paper filter production 1 kg polystyrene injection moulding 0.1 kg aluminium 0.3 kg sheet s teel stamping forming 0.4 kg glas

extrusion

forming

as sembly + transport packaging 375 kWh electricity us e w ater disposal of filters + coffee in org. w as te disposal in municipal w aste

White boxes are not included in assessment/inventory


reference: http://lca.jrc.ec.europa.eu/lcainfohub/lciPage.vm

LCA Step 3 - Impact Assessment


The impact assessment focuses on characterizing the type and severity of environmental impact more specifically. Address ecological and human health consideration. The environmental burdens quantified in Inventory Analysis are translated into the related environmental impacts. This is carried out within the following steps Classification Characterisation Normalisation Valuation

reference: http://lca.jrc.ec.europa.eu/lcainfohub/lciPage.vm

LCA Step 3 - Impact Assessment


Classification: In the classification step the inventory data are assigned to categories according to their impact. For instance, carbon dioxide emissions contribute to the greenhouse effect and are hence assigned to the impact category Climate change.
Characterisation: Classification is followed closely by characterisation. Every substance is assigned a potential impact in the impact category under study. The potential impact of a substance is given relative to a dominant factor in the category.
reference: http://lca.jrc.ec.europa.eu/lcainfohub/lciPage.vm

LCA Step 3 - Impact Assessment


Normalisation: The impacts can be normalised with respect to the total emissions or extractions in a certain area over a given period of time. This can help to asses the extent to which an activity contributes to the regional or global environmental impacts. Should be interpreted with care due to lack of reliable data. Valuation: Each impact is assigned a weight which indicates its relative importance. As a result the environmental impacts are aggregated into a single environmental impact function EI.

reference: http://lca.jrc.ec.europa.eu/lcainfohub/lciPage.vm

Example: Plastic versus Paper Bag


Classificat io n / Charact erisat ion 10 0% 90 % 80 % 70 % 60 % 50 % 40 % 30 % 20 % 10 % 0%
Paper bag LDPE bag

effect greenho use

deplet io n ozone layer

acidification

The paper bag causes more winter smog and acidification, but scores better on the other environmental effects. The classification does not reveal which is the better bag. What is missing is the mutual weighting of the effects.

heavy metals carcin ogens eutrop hicat ion

wint er smog

pest icides summer smog

reference: Georgia Institute of technology systems realization labortary

LCA Step 4 - Improvement Assessment/Interpretation


The final step in Life-Cycle Analysis is to identify areas for improvement. Consult the original goal definition for the purpose of the analysis and the target group. Life-cycle areas/processes/events with large impacts (i.e., high numerical values) are clearly the most obvious candidates However, what are the resources required and risk involved?
Good areas of improvement are those where large improvements can be made with minimal (corporate) resource expenditure and low risk.

Overview:
This phase is aimed at system improvements and innovation and it includes the following steps: Identification of major burdens and impacts Identification of hot spots in the life cycle Sensitivity analysis Evaluation of findings and recommendations

reference: http://lca.jrc.ec.europa.eu/lcainfohub/lciPage.vm

LCA Step 4 - Improvement Assessment/Interpretation


The final step in Life-Cycle Analysis is to identify areas for improvement. Consult the original goal definition for the purpose of the analysis and the target group. Life-cycle areas/processes/events with large impacts (i.e., high numerical values) are clearly the most obvious candidates However, what are the resources required and risk involved?
Good areas of improvement are those where large improvements can be made with minimal (corporate) resource expenditure and low risk.

Overview:
This phase is aimed at system improvements and innovation and it includes the following steps: Identification of major burdens and impacts Identification of hot spots in the life cycle Sensitivity analysis Evaluation of findings and recommendations

reference: http://lca.jrc.ec.europa.eu/lcainfohub/lciPage.vm

Whats considered in an LCA?

Reference: International Journal of Industrial Ecology

LCA applications
External uses: Marketing or support for specific environmental claims. Labelling. Public education and communication. Policy making. Supporting the establishment of purchasing procedures Internal uses: Strategic planning. Product & process design, improvements & optimisation. Identifying environmental improvement opportunities. Support the establishment of purchasing procedures or specifications. Environmental auditing & waste minimisation
reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life-cycle_assessment

Why is LCA important?


Stops the problem of shifting environmental impacts Can help to minimise secondary effects if used in conjunction with design Can help to reduce environmental pollution and resource use Enables understanding of true and total costs (monetary and environmental) of manufacture and design Using environmental management, including LCA, can often improve profitability

reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life-cycle_assessment

Problems with LCA


Data quality and quantity is often not sufficient for a comprehensive LCA A possible consequence of discrepancies in the data is that two independent studies analysing the same products may generate very different results. Ostensibly comparable LCA's may therefore be incomparable Differing data used in the characterisation stage may mean that LCAs are incomparable. Use of alternative methodologies for the impact assessment stage can yield different results

reference: M.McManus@bath.ac.uk

Conclusions
LCA is simple but ensure the methodology used is understood and clear
Sensitivity analysis and improvement analysis are important steps Data availability and reliability may be a problem

Bibiliography:
1. "Defining Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)." US Environmental Protection Agency. 17 October 2010. Web. 2. http://www.alcas.asn.au/intro-to-lca/history 3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life-cycle_assessment 4. http://lca.jrc.ec.europa.eu/lcainfohub/lcaPage.vm 5. ISO International Standards Organisation 6. Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) 7. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/emas/index_en.htm 8. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/emission.htm 9. http://www.eu.int/comm/environment/eia/sea-legalcontext.htm 10. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/ippc/ 11. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eia/home.htm 12. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eussd/index.htm 13. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/plans/index.htm

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