An Introduction to Life Cycle Assessment with SimaPro Colin McMillan An Introduction to SimaPro • Why Use It? • Program Structure – Goal and Scope Definition – Inventory Analysis – Impact Analysis – Interpretation • Building a LCA in SimaPro – Navigating SimaPro – Where to find data – Entering data Why SimaPro? • Market-leading LCA software developed by PRé Consultants (Netherlands). • Provides access to a large amount of licensed (i.e. not publicly available) LCI data. • Speeds the calculation of LCI and LCIA (matrix inversion calculation routine). • SimaPro allows users to organize material and energy flows into a database of product and process building blocks. • LCAs of materials and processes are then constructed with these building blocks. SimaPro Organization • Organized based on LCA stages: – Goal and scope definition – Inventory – Impact assessment – Interpretation Goal and Scope Definition • Description – Multiple fields for discussion of project goal, functional unit, and other details. • Data Quality Indicators (DQIs) – Used to record data time period, geography, representativeness, allocation, system boundaries. – Allows users to evaluate the appropriateness of data and to define DQI requirements and weightings. Your ideal LCI data are the most current possible and are obtained from the same geographic area as your study. Complete documentation of data sources, data quality, and any associated assumptions are of KEY IMPORTANCE. Life Cycle Inventory: LCA “Building Blocks” Processes Describe materials, transportation, production processing, and disposal processing in terms of input & output “flows” of substances: 1) Environmental Flows- most commonly used. Include emissions to air, water, and soil, solid wastes, non-material emissions (i.e. radiation, noise), use of natural resources. 2) Economic Flows- include inputs from other processes, economic outputs (e.g. products), waste outputs for treatment, avoided processes, economic inputs. 3) Social Flows- user specified. Product Stages Assemblies, life cycle, disposal scenarios, reuse, disassembly used to describe the overall product and its life cycle. Life Cycle Inventory: LCA “Building Blocks” • Substances: Inputs from Nature (Resources) – These are the most basic blocks in SimaPro and express the use of natural resources. – They are materials as they exist in nature and have neither emissions nor energy consumption associated with them. Example: limestone in ground. • Inputs from Technosphere: Materials/Fuels & Electricity/Heat – These are inputs from other processes. – The building blocks that define human products and processes and contain defined inputs and outputs. Example: limestone mining, heat from an industrial furnace. – Distinction between inputs: “Materials/Fuels” have mass units. “Electricity/Heat” have units other than mass. Process Types: Systems and Unit Processes A system type process includes only inputs from nature (the furthest point upstream) and emissions. A “black box” is created, reducing transparency. A unit process type process identifies all of the sub processes used, each of which have inputs from nature and emissions. Individual sub processes can be modified with updated data or data from a new geographic area (i.e. in order to make European process data for mfg HDPE more suitable for use in a U.S. LCA, substitute U.S. electricity production for the given electricity process) Process Types: Systems and Unit Processes System: Only inputs from Unit Process: Also includes sub nature and emissions processes in addition to inputs from nature and emissions Product Stages: Assembling the “Building Blocks” Product Stages Do not directly contain environmental, social, or economic flows; instead are used to assemble materials and processes to describe various life cycle stages. • Assemblies – The product specification of component materials, transportation, and mfg processes. – An assembly is a “cradle-to-gate” representation of a product. • End-of-Life Scenarios – Enables user to describe separate processes for disposal, disassembly, and reuse. • Life Cycle – Links the product specifications (assemblies) with defined use phase and end-of-life scenario. – Can be linked to other life cycles, enabling the user to model a product’s use of other products. Example Product Assembly Required materials Processes for converting materials into required forms Example Product Life Cycle Product assembly: represents all required components Electricity consumption: represents use phase Additional product life cycles: filters and product packaging Relationships Among “Building Blocks” PRODUCT Life Cycle Residential Home STAGES Assembly Fiberglass Insulation PROCESSES Inputs from Mined Limestone Electricity Inputs from Technosphere Generation Technosphere SUBSTANCES Inputs from Nature Limestone (Ca2CO3, in ground) CO2 Emissions Calculating, Analyzing, and Interpreting Results } • Network Clicking any • Tree of these will • Analyze calculate • Compare results • Uncertainty Analysis Analyzing & Interpreting Results: Networks and Trees Both networks and trees show the relationships within and between processes and assemblies. • Unlike a tree, a network shows looped relationships between processes • Contribution Analysis- both can track contributions of substances, emissions, and impact assessment results. Analyzing & Interpreting Results: Analyze & Compare Choosing either will calculate LCI and LCIA results. “Compare” is used to create a side-by-side comparison of multiple processes or assemblies. Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) Results • A life cycle inventory (LCI) is the environmental balance sheet for a process or material. • It records material and energy flows entering and leaving the process or material. • Later used to calculate the life cycle impact assessment LCI Results Inventory contribution by life cycle stage Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) LCI results are aggregated and adjusted to describe their relevance in a more meaningful way. Multiple steps of calculation are involved- depend on Midpoint or Endpoint approach. • Classification – Defines the impact categories and their substances. • Characterization – Reflects the relative contribution of a LCI flow (a substance) to the impact category result. • Normalization Only these steps are required by – Defines the extent to which an impact category contributes to the ISO Standards total environmental burden. • Weighting – Process by which indicators are aggregated into a single score. Uses subjective weighting factors. Getting to Know Your Impact Assessment Methods (v 7.0) Endpoint Methods: include emission, fate, exposure, effect, and damage. Provides more intuitive measures, but at the expense of certainty. • Eco-Indicator 99 • Impact 2002 • Ecopoints 97 Midpoint Methods: include emission, fate, and exposure. Less uncertainty than endpoints. • TRACI 2002: U.S. EPA. Characterization only- no normalization or weighting. • CML 2 baseline 2000 LCIA Example: Climate Change in EcoIndicator 99 Characterization: factors to convert masses of GHG emissions (in kg) to DALYs Classification: climate change impact category Normalization factor Weighting factor expresses value Factor to convert climate judgment on the importance of an determines contribution to change impact overall environmental human health category. impact category to impact damage category Classification: list of substances included in impact category LCIA Results Based on the type of impact assessment methodology chosen, it may be possible to see results from each stage of the LCIA (characterization, damage assessment, normalization, weighting, and single score. Can also see results in tabular form Results by life cycle stage Connection Between Inventory and Impact Assessment • LCI emissions must be matched to the substances contained in impact assessment categories. If not, the emissions will not be captured by the impact assessment method. • The “Checks” Tab – Lists substances that are not being captured by the selected impact assessment method. =234 Substances not included in impact assessment Analyzing & Interpreting Results: Uncertainty Analysis • Latest version of SimaPro (v7.0)incorporates Monte Carlo analysis for calculating uncertainty in process inputs and outputs, as well as product stages, in LCI and LCIA. • HOWEVER, information on the types of distributions and other uncertainty parameters are only included with the EcoInvent database. Uncertainty Analysis: Example Only 0.0399% of the values contain uncertainty data! An Introduction to SimaPro • Why Use It? • Program Structure – Goal and Scope Definition – Inventory Analysis – Impact Analysis – Interpretation • Building a LCA in SimaPro – Where to find data – Entering data Getting to Know Your Underlying Databases (v 7.0) • EcoInvent v1.2 (2005) – Swiss energy production, transport, and materials. • Industry Data (2001) – Data collected by industry associations, such as the Association of Plastics Manufacturers in Europe (APME). • Idemat (2001) – Production of various materials, compiled by Delft University (Netherlands) • Buwal 250 (1997) – Packaging materials for the Swiss Packaging Institute. • ETH-ESU (1996) – Swiss and Eastern European production of energy, resource extraction, raw material production, production of semi-manufactures, auxiliary and working materials, supply of transport and waste treatment services, and infrastructure construction. • Franklin (1996) – North American materials, energy, and transport. Sources of Publicly Available LCI/LCA Data • U.S. LCI Database: http://www.nrel.gov/lci – Managed by the National Renewable Energy Lab – Sources include Franklin Associates, Athena Institute, … • Association of Plastics Manufacturers in Europe (APME): http://www.plasticseurope.org – LCI data contained in “eco-profiles”, developed by Boustead. • Peer-Reviewed Journals – Journal of Industrial Ecology, International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Journal of Cleaner Production, Environmental Science & Technology, and others… US. LCI Database The “go-to” source for publicly available LCI data for North American materials, energy, and processes. Free, but registration required. U.S. LCI Database Data Data arranged in spreadsheets. We’re concerned with the “streamlined” and “detailed” spreadsheets. • Streamlined Spreadsheets – Contain information on scope & boundary, data quality indicators, and data sources. – LCI data should look familiar; arranged by inputs from nature, inputs from technosphere, outputs to nature (air, water, soil emissions). • Detailed Spreadsheets – Contain supporting calculations and references U.S. LCI Database Data: Al Precision Sand Casting Streamlined Spreadsheet Inputs of Man-Made Materials, Industrial Processes, and Energy Inputs of Natural Resources Air Emissions Solid Waste Functional unit: 1000 kg Co-Products Entering Data into SimaPro: North American Natural Gas Extraction Data from U.S. LCI Database Data Description: • Process type: unit process • Geographical Representation: N. America • Year: 2003 • Technical Representation: Offshore and onshore extraction, includes gas co-extracted with crude oil. • Data Sources: Government and industry sources. • Functional Unit: extraction of 1,000 cu ft of natural gas Entering Data: Documentation Additional assumptions and descriptions can be entered in this tab. Start by: 1. Choosing “processes” 2. Highlighting “Heat” under “Energy” 3. Clicking “New” Entering Data Product & functional unit Inputs from Nature Inputs of other processes Emissions Where’s the Energy? Energy Accounting in SimaPro • Energy Accounting Definitions – Energy accounting is a fundamental concept in LCA. – Feedstock Energy- the amount of energy contained in a material that is not used as an energy source. The heat of combustion of a material, expressed in terms of HHV or LHV. – Process (Fuel) Energy- the amount of energy contained in fuel that is combusted for work or heat. – Total Primary Energy- the total amount of fuel and feedstock energy consumed by a product or process over its entire life cycle. • Energy can be tracked in two ways in SimaPro 1) Input from nature specified with heat of combustion (“Oil, crude, feedstock, 41 MJ/kg, in ground”). This approach necessitates creating a new input for each new heat of combustion value. 2) Create “energy reminders” as Non Material Emissions: E Feedstock Energy MJ E Fuel Energy MJ E Total Primary Energy MJ E Non Renewable Energy MJ E Renewable Energy MJ Advanced Topics • Describing waste disposal and EOL processes: Waste Scenarios, Disposal Scenarios, Disassembly, Reuse. • Creating Parameters Waste Scenarios, Disposal Scenarios, Disassembly, and Reuse • Used to build descriptions and to define impacts of EOL processes • Commonly an under utilized feature of SimaPro • Waste Scenarios are SimaPro “processes” and are used to describe where waste flows go. They require additional “waste treatment” processes to describe – Example: a waste scenario for municipal waste describes the %s of certain materials collected from waste stream. An incineration process describes the emissions resulting from incineration. • Disposal Scenarios, Disassembly, and Reuse are SimaPro “product stages” and are used to describe the EOL processes for the product you’re modeling, as well as any of the product’s assemblies and subassemblies. – Example: a disposal scenario describes the transportation energy required to collect a discarded coffee maker and includes the %s of the overall coffee maker that are disposed, disassembled and recovered, and reused. Waste Scenarios: Identifying Waste Flows and Where They Go • A material or process must have a defined waste type in order to be included in a waste scenario. This is the waste flow. • The waste scenario is then used to describe where the waste flow goes. Example: household waste 36% of paper waste flow is separated and recycled All remaining is treated as municipal waste Waste Scenarios: Describing the Treatment of Waste Flows • After initial separation, household waste is linked to the “municipal waste” scenario. Here, additional separation occurs before waste is incinerated and landfilled Additional separation & recovery • The “Incineration” Waste treatment scenarios waste treatment process contains the emissions that result from incinerating municipal waste Disposal Scenarios, Disassembly, and Reuse • Disposal Scenarios describe the types of EOL processes that specific products undergo. • The disposal scenario for a coffee maker includes the % of the product that is sent to municipal waste, disassembled, and reused. • Separate disassembly and reuse stages are used to describe specifics. Relationships Among Disposal & EOL Processes PRODUCT STAGES Coffee Maker Disposal Scenario Disposal Scenario Disassembly Coffee Maker Disassembly PROCESSES Waste Scenario Municipal Waste Landfill Waste Treatment SUBSTANCES Waste Types (“waste flows”) Aluminum Al to Soil Emissions Advanced Concepts: Parameters Parameters (new in SimaPro v. 7): allow user to model relationships within inventory data through mathematical expressions. – Used for sensitivity analysis, including boundary, transportation, and, allocation choices. – Create nonlinear models. – Define and evaluate uncertainty in LCI data. – Used to develop Product Scenarios. • Example: create multiple design options for a product by defining parameters for dimensions and materials. • No longer a need to create multiple assemblies or life cycles for evaluating different product & process designs. Advanced Concepts: Parameters Example Application Assume we are using SimaPro to evaluate different designs for wood shed. 1. Create parameter definitions for the shed dimensions. 2. Develop expressions based on parameters. 3. Quantities of material & assembly inputs are now controlled by parameter expressions. Now, different shed designs can be analyzed by adjusting parameters, instead of creating a completely new product in SimaPro. Your Homework Develop and model a comparative LCA of high pressure mercury lamps and metal halide lamps in SimaPro. You will be given a bill of materials and operating characteristics for each lamp type.