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Environmental impacts of products and production processes are receiving increasing social attention. In searching for solutions with less impacts, there is a need for comparing competing products with regard to their life-cycle demands for raw-materials and energy as well as their emissions to the environment. It is however necessary to consider the entire systems, because decreased emissions in one part can easily increase the emissions in another part of the system.
IIASA has developed a methodology and database for life-cycle analysis of products and production processes. Data for more than 1000 so-called unit processes of the industrial sectors pulp and paper, steel, aluminum, petrochemicals, plastics, inorganic chemicals, glass, energy conversion, transportation and waste management is currently stored in the database.
The model and database is intended to support analysis of the impacts of products and production processes. Examples of possible applications are: comparison of the environmental impacts of different stages of the production cycle, e.g. basic materials, processing, fabrication, packaging and shipping; comparison of two competing products with respect to their direct and indirect environmental impacts; and comparison of alternative production processes for the same product.
The assessment can be performed at any level of aggregation, from a single factory to regional or national averages. The results can be used for targeting improvements of the production processes, for assessing the impact of new regulation or to support international negotiations on environmental protection.
Results from calculations indicate the importance of considering the whole life-cycle of a product. At the same time it is necessary to build "transparency" both into the models and the data used. Possible disagreements in results have to be traceable back to the specific assumptions made.
A deliberate effort was made to make the model and the database "user friendly", to make it possible for a person with a background in production to understand the assumptions without excessive effort. The model and database have been built in the dBASE IV database program to make it easily transportable and expandable.
|Item Type:||Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)|
|Research Programs:||Energy (ENE)
Environmentally Compatible Energy Strategies (ECS)
|Depositing User:||IIASA Import|
|Date Deposited:||15 Jan 2016 02:01|
|Last Modified:||14 Aug 2016 10:32|
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