The interative nature of life-cycle assessment (LCA) means that more details are looked for until a certain level of reliability has been achieved. This paper is concerned with the identification of key issues for further investigation in such an iterative procedure. Key issues in this context are defined as those aspects of an LCA which need more detailed research to arrive at a solid conclusion. The main concept in the context of finding key issues is the study of the propagation of uncertainties in underlying data. The structured procedure of LCA can be described in mathematical terms, so that standard mathematical techniques for the study of the propagation of uncertainties can be employed. The influence of uncertainties in input data on uncertainties in output data can be calculated, and the main source of the resulting uncertainties can be identified. The result of the analysis is a list of prioritized key issues for more detailed research and more accurate data.
- life-cycle assessment
- uncertainty analysis