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1 LCA Overview in an European Framework Applications, Challenges & Barriers CARTIF FOUNDATION Boecillo Technology Park Boecillo (VALLADOLID) – ESPAÑA www.cartif.es.

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Presentation on theme: "1 LCA Overview in an European Framework Applications, Challenges & Barriers CARTIF FOUNDATION Boecillo Technology Park Boecillo (VALLADOLID) – ESPAÑA www.cartif.es."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 LCA Overview in an European Framework Applications, Challenges & Barriers CARTIF FOUNDATION Boecillo Technology Park Boecillo (VALLADOLID) – ESPAÑA LCA in Assessment of Waste Management: Review of the Current State-of-Knowledge and Challenges Nuria García   

2 2 “Potential” environmental impacts from the product system due to LCA limitations: It cannot address local impacts and the same applies for time aspects. It is basically linear. It involves technical assumptions and valued choices. Problems of availability and quality of data. The EU has introduced the concept of LCA in the European Waste Framework. The environmental consequences of a decision depend on a variety of environmental, technological and economic mechanisms. It is necessary to do an analysis of the uncertainties: Scientific way. Social way. Statistical way. LIFE CYCLE THINKING AND DECISION MAKING LCA in Assessment of Waste Management: Review of the Current State-of-Knowledge and Challenges Current developments in LCA

3 3 UNCERTAINTIES IN LCA (1/4) LCA in Assessment of Waste Management: Review of the Current State-of-Knowledge and Challenges Strengths & weaknesses 1. Parameter uncertainty: Inaccurate, incomplete or outdated measurements; lack of data. Transparency. 2. Model uncertainty: Linear modeling. Not for identifying the optimum mix of waste-management options. Linear-programming models account for boundary conditions (as the limitation in achievable recycling rates of a bring system). However, high quality data for an LP model can be difficult to obtain. Characterization factors (fate and exposure models). Fate models links the emission to a temporary change in concentration which is linked to a doses by exposure models. Trade-off between number of assessed stressors and information. 3. Uncertainty due to choices: Goal and scope definition. Functional unit : relate the study to the waste quantity; dynamic modeling.

4 4 UNCERTAINTIES IN LCA (2/4) LCA in Assessment of Waste Management: Review of the Current State-of-Knowledge and Challenges Strengths & weaknesses System boundaries and allocation: In LCAs of waste management, background systems include for instance the production of fertilizers. At landfills, the system boundaries can have a time dimension. Allocation can be confusing / misleading. There are three types of allocation problems: multi-output, multi-input and open-loop recycling. Inventory analysis stage: Inventory database development. Impact categories and software. Impact assessment stage: Midpoint vs. endpoint: Midpoint modeling choose an indicator somewhere between emission and endpoint in the environmental mechanism and model the impact on this indicator. Advantage: lower need to make value choices. Endpoint modeling takes as starting point that the purpose of LCA is to reveal contributions to impacts on the areas of protection. Advantage: lower uncertainty in the interpretation. Methods for LCA should allow a certain degree in freedom as their orientation towards midpoint or endpoint indicators. Combined approaches are being investigated.

5 5 Valuation/Weighting: The weighting element in LCA has always been a controversial issue. UNCERTAINTIES IN LCA (3/4) LCA in Assessment of Waste Management: Review of the Current State-of-Knowledge and Challenges Strengths & weaknesses 4. Spatial variability. Environmental sensitivity. Physical-chemical and ecological properties of the environment. Human population density. Background concentration. Outdoor versus indoor emissions. Environmental risk. Risk assessment methodology may assist in generating upstream information in LCA.

6 6 UNCERTAINTIES IN LCA (4/4) LCA in Assessment of Waste Management: Review of the Current State-of-Knowledge and Challenges Strengths & weaknesses 5. Temporal variability. Variations of environmental interventions over a relatively short time period. Variation of variables used for the computation of characterization factors. Chosen time horizon to integrate potential effects. 6. Variability in sources and receptors. 7.Other practical barriers. Budget and/or time constraints. Extension by the social and economic dimension.

7 7 LCA only supports policy-making. Unresolved issues to address: Measuring disamenity at each stage of a life cycle. Incorporating matters such as the cost of production or disposal. Dealing with some of the impacts as they arise. Translating emissions into “health” indicators. Omitting indicators of resource scarcity if it is incorporated into the market prices. Improving the modelling environmental mechanisms. Identifying appropriate levels of spatial differentiation. Quantifying the overall uncertainties of indicator results. To better represent complex waste management options: Importance of capital. Current markets of recycled materials. Recycling industry in the near future. Energy in material recycling. CONCLUSIONS (1/2) LCA in Assessment of Waste Management: Review of the Current State-of-Knowledge and Challenges Emerging issues

8 8 Some prioritized trends in LCA : Integration of natural science, social science and monetized techniques. Development and maintenance of databases. Specific research calls including LCA: Seventh Research Framework Programme – Environment (FP7.ENV): ENV Development of technologies for long-term carbon Sequestration, the demonstration of the technologies shall be accompanied by Life Cycle Assessment studies. ENV Boosting Life Cycle Assessment use in SMEs: development of sectorial methods and tools. In the context of Wastes: ENV Innovative technologies and eco design recommendations for reuse and recycling of Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste, with a special focus on technologies for onsite solutions. ENV Innovative technologies and system solutions for municipal solid waste management in densely populated cities. A combination of tools can provide a more holistic picture. CONCLUSIONS (2/2) LCA in Assessment of Waste Management: Review of the Current State-of-Knowledge and Challenges Emerging issues CARTIF FOUNDATION CARTIF FOUNDATION Boecillo Technology Park Boecillo (VALLADOLID) – ESPAÑA Thank you


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