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Abiotic Raw-Materials in Life Cycle Impact Assessments: An Emerging Consensus across Disciplines
Open AccessArticle

Evaluation of Abiotic Resource LCIA Methods

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Departamento de Engenharia Ambiental, Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências Ambientais, Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina (UDESC), Av. Luiz de Camões, 2090 Conta Dinheiro, Lages-SC 88.520-000, Brazil
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Departamento de Ciências Agrárias e Ambientais, Programa de Pós-graduação em Desenvolvimento e Meio Ambiente, Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz (UESC), Rod. Ilhéus-Itabuna, km 16 s/n-Salobrinho-Ilhéus-BA 45.662-900, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Mario Schmidt
Resources 2016, 5(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5010013
Received: 9 December 2015 / Revised: 28 January 2016 / Accepted: 17 February 2016 / Published: 29 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consideration of Abiotic Natural Resources in Life Cycle Assessments)
In a life cycle assessment (LCA), the impacts on resources are evaluated at the area of protection (AoP) with the same name, through life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) methods. There are different LCIA methods available in literature that assesses abiotic resources, and the goal of this study was to propose recommendations for that impact category. We evaluated 19 different LCIA methods, through two criteria (scientific robustness and scope), divided into three assessment levels, i.e., resource accounting methods (RAM), midpoint, and endpoint. In order to support the assessment, we applied some LCIA methods to a case study of ethylene production. For RAM, the most suitable LCIA method was CEENE (Cumulative Exergy Extraction from the Natural Environment) (but SED (Solar Energy Demand) and ICEC (Industrial Cumulative Exergy Consumption)/ECEC (Ecological Cumulative Exergy Consumption) may also be recommended), while the midpoint level was ADP (Abiotic Depletion Potential), and the endpoint level was both the Recipe Endpoint and EPS2000 (Environmental Priority Strategies). We could notice that the assessment for the AoP Resources is not yet well established in the LCA community, since new LCIA methods (with different approaches) and assessment frameworks are showing up, and this trend may continue in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: abiotic; resource; life cycle assessment; LCA; life cycle impact assessment; LCIA; method; Brazil abiotic; resource; life cycle assessment; LCA; life cycle impact assessment; LCIA; method; Brazil
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Alvarenga, R.A.F.; Lins, I.D.O.; Almeida Neto, J.A. Evaluation of Abiotic Resource LCIA Methods. Resources 2016, 5, 13.

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