(426e) Developing Rapid Life Cycle Inventories for Chemical Processes

Authors: 
Smith, R. L., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Ruiz-Mercado, G. J., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Meyer, D. E., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Gonzalez, M. A., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Abraham, J. P., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Barrett, W. M., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
A product life cycle assessment (LCA) presents an opportunity to consider environmental effects over multiple categories for a system that includes the supply chain and product network (i.e., from cradle to grave). LCA benefits from the flexibility of being able to consider any boundaries for the system. However, this flexibility also means that each system studied can be different. Thus there is a need for rapid methods for developing life cycle inventories. Efforts at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development are focusing on rapid inventory development for processes involved in a product LCA, including top-down and bottom-up methods. The top-down method uses Agency databases of releases to determine an average chemical process inventory. The bottom-up method uses process design methods, available process information, and emission factors to develop an inventory. For this latter method, a step-by-step procedure will be discussed. This presentation will explore the rapid inventory methods, focusing on acetic acid as a case study. 

The views expressed in this presentation are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.