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PW06 Life-Cycle Assessment
Exhibit Hall
8:00 AM - Wednesday

(PW059) Compiling Life Cycle Inventories: LCA vs. hybrid Input-Output LCA.

Butnar, I1, Castells, F1, Gallego, Blanca2, 1 Rovira i Virgili University, Tarragona, Spain2 University of Sydney, Australia

ABSTRACT- Life cycle assessment is a technique for evaluating the environmental impacts of product system through its life cycle. It has traditionally been performed as a bottom-up process analysis, based on linking the specific processes in a supply chain. A major problem in process-based LCA is the likelihood that important parts of the product systems are left out of the analysis, simply because it is a very difficult task to follow the entire supply chain in detail. A way to supply the missing data is to use economic data regularly compiled as part of national statistics, the Input-Output tables. IO Analysis is a top-down approach in which the statistical data on production and consumption in individual industrial sectors allows a complete allocation of all activities to all products. Combining process-based LCA and IOA in what has become known as hybrid analysis can yield a result that has the advantages of both methods (i.e. both detail and completeness). In this paper, process-based techniques, IO techniques and hybrid methods have been applied to assess the incineration of municipal solid waste in a plant equipped with grate firing. The three different ways of compiling a LCI are described and the differences between their results are discussed with particular attention to outlining hybrid approaches as methods for solving the data availability in LCA. Good results have been obtained when process specific data were used as long as possible, in a detailed analysis, and only the missing data were supplied by the IO tables.

Key words: hybrid models, LCA, comparison, waste incineration


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