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Characterizing product flows, not only substances

Posted: 08 Jan 2016 12:05
by romains
Dear OpenLCA community,

a quick question:
I would like to build my own EN 15804 impact characterization model.

I started by copying a version of the CML model, and added supplementary categories such as "use of fossil and renewable energies", "fresh water", etc.

But I got to realize that the impact models only consider the use and release of substances, therefore, the use of secondary fossil fuels (that is, the use of transformed fuels, in MJ, such as petrol, diesel, petcoke, etc) are not considered by the model (the impact category shows zeros) since they are not substances but flows resulting from processes. It is the same problem with the use, in kg, of secondary materials (e.g. post-consumer waste used for incineration): they do also show as zeros since they are not substances but products. The only things than can be characterized are gases, liquids and primary sources of energies, but everything used or produced within the technoshphere is omitted.

Is there a way to consider flows from processes and not only substances, when characterizing impacts?

Thank you for your help and sorry if this question seems obvious or non-relevant.

Romain Sacchi

Re: Characterizing product flows, not only substances

Posted: 11 Jan 2016 15:25
by aciroth
Hi Romain,
thanks, good question. Well these product flows require a different algorithm than elementary flows which are usually covered in the LCIA methods, since the elementary flows are still available in the calculated LCI balance, while any intermediate, technosphere flows are not.
The situation is a bit similar to costs, which we have implemented for the upcoming release 1.5 and are now testing; there, we will also have direct requirements available which allow you to at least get the overall results for these intermediate flows.
Release for 1.5 beta is planned in this month.
Best wishes,

- after the release, we plan to update also the LCIA methods

Re: Characterizing product flows, not only substances

Posted: 11 Jan 2016 15:54
by romains
Hello Andreas,

great! Thank you for all the work you put into OpenLCA. Look forward to trying it.