Title: Feasibility study to implement resource dissipation in LCA
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2017
JRC N°: JRC109396
ISBN: 978-92-79-77238-2
ISSN: 1831-9424
Other Identifiers: EUR 28994 EN
OP KJ-NA-28994-EN-N
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC109396
DOI: 10.2760/869503
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: The assessment of potential impacts associated to resource use in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a highly debated topic. At present, there is neither a consensus on the safeguard subject of the natural resource Area of Protection (AoP), nor on the approach to use for modeling the impacts in the life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) step. This technical report focuses on the aspects related to dissipative use of resources and explores the feasibility of its implementation for the assessment of abiotic resources. One of the critical aspects of abiotic resource modelling is related to the concept of depletion. Depletion is currently one of the most common aspects taken into account among existing LCIA models addressing resources, assuming that once a resource is extracted from the Earth’s crust, it is considered depleted. However, abiotic resources may remain in the anthropogenic system and may be available for further use for a long time after they have been extracted from the Earth’s crust. When assessing the dissipative use of resources, it is relevant to focus both on the Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) and the Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA): LCIs will require to be modified compared to current practise, in order to exploit the advantages that this new approach may provide. Initial results form this study indicate that a dissipation approach is feasible and can have several advantages, e.g providing more detailed results for several life cycle stages, but also has some drawbacks, e.g. a higher data demand on the life cycle inventory side. Both, advantages and drawbacks of the dissipation modelling will have to be further explored.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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