JOURNAL: Improving life cycle assessment for carbon capture and circular product systems

Summary

Authors:

Ariane S. S. Pinto
Lewis J. McDonald
Jose Luis Hernandez Galvan
Marcelle McManus

University of Bath

Improving life cycle assessment for carbon capture and circular product systems

The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment

December 2023

This research examines current life cycle assessment standards in the context of decarbonisation, carbon capture, and circular economy practices. It proposes methodological innovations to improve transparency and comparability of life cycle assessments to aid in the decarbonisation transition. Findings reveal significant sectoral variations in handling carbon capture, waste valorisation, and circular practices. Regional characterisation factors were found to be representative of larger regions but unsuitable at county or state scale. Neglect or partial conduct of uncertainty and sensitivity analyses – key in assessing the impact of emerging technologies – are also noted.  Recommendations include developing more consistent life cycle assessments standards and practices between sectors; improving the implementation of temporal aspects of impacts; increasing studies with uncertainty and sensitivity analyses and moving towards global uncertainty in favour of local sensitivity.