Can a Universal Screening Methodology be Devised for LCAs of Complex Products?

Paper #:
  • 980476

Published:
  • 1998-02-23
Citation:
Franklin, W. and Hunt, R., "Can a Universal Screening Methodology be Devised for LCAs of Complex Products?," SAE Technical Paper 980476, 1998, https://doi.org/10.4271/980476.
Pages:
9
Abstract:
Some products contain a large number of components (made of various materials) that are assembled into a final product. The number of components can range from less than a dozen up to thousands. Conducting a complete LCI including all of the components may be prohibitively expensive, and not even possible because of the difficulty in obtaining data.A recent study concluded that a reliable methodology for streamlining, or screening, is to conduct approximate LCIs using a generic database. This paper reports on a case study of 10 hypothetical products assembled from fifteen materials using the FAL generic database to conduct a series of approximate LCIs.Once the LCIs are completed, a decision process begins. In this case study a methodology is illustrated that uses an LCI interpretation strategy to set thresholds for retention or exclusion of product components. The methodology uses a “streamlined impact assessment.” The implications of choosing various thresholds is illustrated.
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