Questions tagged [life-cycle-analysis]

LCA is a method for quantifying the impacts of a product, process, or service over its entire supply chain. Carbon, energy and water footprinting are well-known subsets of LCA.

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how to normalize all the LCA impacts?

How to normalize all the LCA impacts? For example, if I want to compare them in percentage, I would need all of them to be in the same unit. But I don't know how can I change all different units to kg ...
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What is the difference between a hybrid vehicle and a plug-in hybrid vehicle?

What is the difference between a hybrid vehicle and a plug-in hybrid vehicle? And why are plug-in hybrid vehicles better than regular hybrid vehicles, even as good as EVs?
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pymrio: how to perform product or sector-specific analysis?

I'm using the Python tool pymrio to do emission analysis for various traded goods (using Exiobase). I see how production and consumption based emissions are calculated on per-country basis, in the ...
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Should we use paper, plastic, or reusable bags. If reusable, which kind?

I found this site looking for one specifically geared to picking products based on sustainability. I'm not sure if such a specifically-focused site would actually be more effective than this one. The ...
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Do SSDs have a lower environmental impact compared to HDDs?

In this question on Super User they say that Solid-State Drives (SSDs) use much less power than traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs). I read some internet posts and research articles that backup this ...
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How to account for second life usage of lithium ion batteries in a life cycle analysis?

I am looking to conduct a life cycle analysis (LCA) to investigate the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emission contributions from lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries. The first part of their lifecycle is ...
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Life cycle inventory data or information concerning Ferrocyanide production

I am working in the modelling and environmental evaluation of redox flow batteries based on Anthraquinone and Ferrocyanide. Currently I am having difficulties in finding information on how ...
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Help me safely mod my freezer

I want to connect my freezer to an external thermostat like this to maintain a higher temperature than it otherwise could. Are there any thermostats or other control devices that would keep the ...
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After how many litres does Soda Stream get more sustainable than bottled sparkling water

Soda Stream is advertised as a more sustainable alternative to buying sparkling water in bottles. The main selling points are that no water filled bottles need to be manufactured, transported and ...
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Where can I find the paper "Life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) for products and processes."

I am currently studying circular economy theory. More specifically life cycle sustainability assessment theory. And I notice that a paper in this area that presents a lot of citations is Finkbeiner, ...
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Should I purchase new tins or plastic refills for chocolate powder?

A few brands of chocolate milk mix come in re-sealable tins like this: It is also possible (and slightly cheaper) to buy 'refill packs', in order to reuse the tin. However, these refill packs are ...
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WTW versus LCA approach in carbon footprint calculations?

I recently did some carbon footprint calculations for the organization I work for. I used conversion factors I found at the Dutch CO2 emission factors website. This website lists standard emission ...
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Life cycle analysis comparing natural gas and propane prior to combustion?

I am choosing between natural gas and propane for a boiler. I see a discussion here where the accepted response primarily deals with the CO2 released during actual burning of the gas. I am curious to ...
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3 answers
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Is it more environmentally friendly to use laptops or desktop PCs?

I've often wondered whether it's more environmentally friendly to use a desktop or a laptop. To compare purely the electricity usage, I can of course calculate how long I leave my computer turned on, ...
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Is there a "break even point" or life cycle analysis directory or calculator that's kept up to date?

I've seen plenty of one-time calculations dedicated to one specific thing (usually plastic vs metal straws, or reusable vs disposable cups) but don't know of any organizations or even blogs that ...
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Is there a recent life cycle analysis for cloth diaper and for disposable diaper?

I am looking for specific studies on the life cycle of cloth diaper versus disposable diaper. The municipality I work for wants to establish a compensation program for parents who want to choose a ...
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What is the most commonly available eco-friendly writing instrument?

How would you rank the following in terms of damage to the environment: Pencils (regular) Mechanical Pencils Single-use ball point pens. Refillable ball point pens. Fountain pens The eco-friendly ...
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Discretionary Carbon Footprint vs. Per-capita footprint

Are there any published academic studies which compare per-capita carbon footprint against discretionary carbon footprint (ie. lifestyle-connected emissions)? per-capita footprint is the result of ...
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What is the energy and greenhouse gas footprint of Skysource/Skywater water generator?

The Water Abundance X-Prize was recently awarded to the Skysource/Skywater alliance for: ... developing an easily deployable high-volume water generator that can be used in any climate, meeting the ...
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2 votes
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Life-cycle assessment of software products?

I'm a software engineer, and lately I've been thinking whether it's possible to delineate the environmental impact of a software product - say a web service, a website, an app for your phone, etc. It ...
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What is an environmentally-conscious replacement for white yogurt?

I am looking for an environmentally conscious replacement for white yogurt. I do have a couple of ideas for foods that could work well, but I have very little clue if they are a better choice from the ...
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When should I get rid of a product and buy a new more efficient/useful version? [duplicate]

When should I get rid of a product and buy a new more efficient/useful version? The existing product works okay for its primary use case so I don't want to throw it away or recycle it and then spend ...
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More sustainable pick-me-up: can of coke or cup of tea/coffee?

Question: which has a greater embodied energy: a cup of tea/coffee or a can of Coke (or Pepsi, or other caffeinated soft drink) -- or maybe some other stimulating drink? I have made some estimates of ...
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Are renewables sustainable? [closed]

Wind and solar require steel, which is made with coal and/or natural gas to create using the Bessemer process, BOS, and other standard steelmaking practices. How do you get around this?
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What are the carbon emissions from the manufacture of the hybrid components of a Prius?

For simplicity, I will assume that the manufacture of a Prius is essentially the same process as that of a non-hybrid ICE, plus the extra environmental impact required for the hybrid components (...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Environmental impact of using paper towels for hand drying

At work, I have noticed a staggering level of paper towel usage and it's disheartening to see it getting wasted, even though hand dryers are installed in all rest rooms. I plan to propose reducing the ...
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14 votes
3 answers
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Are plastic cups more environmental friendly than ceramic mugs?

Many years ago I read that plastic cups, like this: are more environmental friendly than ceramic mugs, like this: This is rather counter-intuitive. If I remember correctly, I believe the argument ...
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6 votes
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What is life cycle assessment best used for?

What is the best use of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)? Can it be used for eco-products? Can it be used for products like phones and computers?
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Which is the most sustainable type of pencil?

Which type of pencil is the most sustainable one? Wooden pencil Automatic (propelling) pencil/Clutch pencil The types I'm referring to: I've read related questions about comparing pens and ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What is the scrap value of wind renewables?

What is the scrap value of the materials in a typical wind turbine - the entire unit? Take a typical 1.5 MW turbine, just the raw material value, no labor or overhead cost. As I understand high ...
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8 votes
4 answers
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What is more sustainable, using a mechanical pencil or a pen?

I was considering to use the same device for writing from now on and I was considering two alternatives: a mechanical pencil or some kind of refillable pen. Which of these two options is more ...
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Environmental impact of toner versus ink cartridges?

I'm trying to decide what type of printer to buy. I've read a number of posts on the web where people claim that laser printers are more durable than ink-jet printers. Some people say this is because ...
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11 votes
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Is an electric shaver more sustainable than water-based shaving ? And how to determine so for one's context?

I have tried both, a low-cost electric shaver and a medium-cost regular razor for water-based shaving. Water and Electricity, are both, equally important factors to be considered for sustainable ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Is there an "energy returned on materials invested" index for energy sources?

We already try to measure how much energy is invested (EROEI) in the production of energy, but I have a hard time finding numbers on the materials invested. For example: What is the total energy a ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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What is the carbon footprint of energy transfer across power lines?

I've been doing some reading up on the full cycle carbon footprint of energy production and consumption, and realising there's a lot of aspects that are frequently overlooked. One of these I'm ...
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8 votes
2 answers
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Whole-of-life impact of liquid soap vs solid bars of soap

My wife recently replaced the soap dish in our kitchen (and the soap on it) with a liquid soap dispenser. Within about a week, we've used about half the bottle of liquid soap, whereas solid bars of ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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How do you identify what is sustainable without reverting to lists and other people's ideas?

This question is important because all too often we understand what is sustainable only if we are told. This approach demands marketing of ideas, and it takes time for ideas to disperse. I want to ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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Are "eco-friendly" pens and pencils actually more sustainable than the conventional models?

There are a number of "eco-friendly" pens and pencils on the market advertising recycled content and other "green" features, but are they really as good as they look? Many standard wooden pencils use ...
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32 votes
3 answers
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Which solar power technology has the highest energy return on investment (EROI aka EROEI)?

Which solar-electric technology had the highest EROEI? Energy Returned On (Energy) Invested, also known as EROI and as EROEI, has become something of a fashionable metric *but see footnote. It is ...
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13 votes
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Sustainability of LED production?

Not all LEDs are the same. Standard LEDs use various combinations of indium, gallium, arsenic, silicon, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, and a couple other elements. Most of these need to be mined from the ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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Which ecolabels take the whole life cycle of food products into account?

Many ecolabels that certify certain sustainability aspects of food products only consider a small portion of the food product's life cycle. A prominent example may be the MSC label which addresses ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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How to measure the embodied energy of a regulation. Is data available?

Is there sufficient data to measure the energy spent managing regulation on both sides (energy spent on compliance, enforcement, permit application processing, and the like)? Are there tools ...
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16 votes
6 answers
2k views

What are freely available tools or databases for Lifecycle Assesment?

Often, a Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) can be useful to judge the ecological and social impact of a product or procedure. What tools to produce an LCA are freely available? Especially of interest would ...
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7 votes
4 answers
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Buying used or self-assembly furnitures when expecting to move frequently

Given the following conditions: One expects to have to move multiple times One would like to keep the furniture Is it possible to make a generalization as to which is more sustainable: Buying used ...
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13 votes
2 answers
113 views

When to buy new, when to keep the old?

How can I calculate if it makes sense from a resource-conservation perspective to purchase a new, more energy efficient appliance, and when it makes sense to use an old appliance until it is beyond ...
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17 votes
1 answer
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Long-term sustainability concerns of compact flourescent vs incandescent light bulbs

There is a strong movement to push people away from using incandescent lightbulbs in favor of compact flourescent bulbs in order to save energy, but the pollution profiles of these bulbs are very ...
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62 votes
5 answers
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Which is more sustainable: aluminium can, plastic bottle or glass bottle?

I was wondering which drink container is the most sustainable one, when looking at the big picture (complete life cycle analysis). So far, I can see the few following points: Transport: plastic and ...
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8 votes
2 answers
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Minimum amount of time to use a consumer electronic?

I have read that the total embodied energy cost of consumer electronics (e.g. computers, smart phones, digital cameras, etc.) identifies these devices as products of an unsustainable energy economy. ...
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24 votes
1 answer
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Do small portable solar chargers generate more energy than it costs to produce them?

I know large solar panels generate more energy than is needed to manufacture them, but what about small portable solar chargers for mobile phone or radio? I've read somewhere that their efficiency is ...
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24 votes
5 answers
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How to determine whether hybrid cars are really more sustainable than traditional cars?

I purchased a Prius many years ago, but many of my friends have put forth claims that the batteries are very toxic and thus I may in fact be creating more harm than good in using a hybrid and that ...
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