Identification of key issues for further investigation in improving the reliability of life-cycle assessments

Reinout Heijungs*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)159-166
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
    Volume4
    Issue number3-4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1996

    Keywords

    • life-cycle assessment
    • screening
    • statistics
    • uncertainty analysis

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