Development of Tools to Promote Efficient Life Cycle Assessment: Openlca and the LCA Harmonization Tool

Authors: 
Ingwersen, W., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Transue, T., Lockheed Martin
Hawkins, T. R., US EPA

We present two ongoing efforts addressing bottlenecks for the broader application of LCA. The first focuses on improving the user experience and providing enhanced modeling capabilities for openLCA by: (1) improving calculation speed, (2) improving search capabilities and allowing direct navigation between processes, and (3) improving data transfer functionality; and improve the modeling capabilities through: (4) incorporating location-specific calculation of impacts, (5) providing Monte Carlo and sensitivity analysis functionality, (6) incorporating uncertainty distributions for LCIA characterization factors, and (9) allowing flexible definition of life cycle stages for contribution analysis through allowing users to tag or group processes. The second effort is the development of the LCA Harmonization Tool, which facilitates the incorporation of multiple datasets within a common LCA model. The overall objective of these efforts are to set in place the data architecture and modeling infrastructure required to support a wide array of quantitative assessments from a systems-perspective.

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