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February 28th, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Life-Cycle Analysis

Life-Cycle Analysis

LCA is the abbreviation when used for the analysis of the life cycle and for evaluating the life cycle. However, there are two different concepts: life-cycle analysis is the scientific and technical analysis of the impacts associated with a product or system, while the evaluation of the life cycle is the political assessment on the basis of analysis.

The need to integrate the study of environmental impacts in all the assessment activities carried out in our society, the assessment of consumer products for a long planning decisions in the long term, it is increasingly accepted. Energy systems were among the first to be subjected to LCA, trying to identify environmental impacts and social impacts related to health, for example, or in other words to include analysis of impacts that have not traditionally been reflected in the prices paid market. This focuses on the sometimes enormous differences between direct costs and the total cost, including the so-called externalities: the social costs that are not incorporated in market prices. It has been seen as the role of society (read governments) to ensure that indirect costs are not neglected in consumer choice or decision-making on the planning of a company. The way in which externalities are included will depend on political preferences. The tracks range from the possible imposition of a legislative regulation.

The analysis of the life cycle is a suitable tool to assist planners and decision makers to carry out the necessary assessments of external costs. The LCA method is to assess all direct and indirect impacts of a technology, if a product, an industrial plant, a system or an entire sector of society. LCA incorporates the temporal effects, including impacts arising from material or equipment used in the manufacture of tools and equipment for the process under study, and includes the final disposal of equipment and materials, also involving the reuse, recycling or waste. The two important features of LCA are:

* Insert “cradle to grave” impacts
* Including indirect effects rooted in the materials and equipment

The ideas behind the LCA have been developed in the course of 1970, and went by different names such as “comprehensive evaluation”, “including externalities,” or “least cost planning”. Some of the first applications of LCA have been in the energy sector, including both individual energy technologies and power systems of all energy. E ‘was soon realized that the acquisition of all required data has been a difficult problem. As a result, the focus has gone toward the LCA applied to individual products, where processing of the data seemed more manageable. However, it is still a very open process, for manufacture of say a container of milk requires materials and energy, and to assess the impacts associated with the absorption of energy demand, however, an LCA of energy supply system. Only the collection of these data is in progress for some time, it becomes possible to perform credible LCA.

LCA of the product in recent years promoted by organizations such as SETAC (Consoli et al., 1993) and many applications have appeared in recent years (eg Huppes and Mekel, 1990; Pommer et al., 1991, Johnson et al., 1994 ; DATV, 1995). LCA and site-specific technology energy systems have been addressed by the European Commission (1995f) and other recent projects (Petersen, 1991, Inaba et al., 1992, Kato et al, 1993, Meyer et al., 1994; Sørensen and Watt, 1993, Sørensen, 1994b; Yasukawa et al. 1996; Sørensen, 1995a, 1996c; Kuemmel et al., 1997). Methodological issues were addressed by Baumgartner (1993), Sørensen (1993, 1995b, 1996b, 1997b); Engelenburg and Nieuwlaar (1993) and considerations of the energy system wide by Knoepfel (1993); Kuemmel et al. (1997) and Sørensen (1997c), the latter with special emphasis on the impact of greenhouse gases.

Tags: Abbreviation, Assessment Activities, Consumer Choice, Cra, Decision Makers, Different Concepts, Energy Systems, Enormous Differences, Imposition, Indirect Costs, Indirect Impacts, Lca, Legislative Regulation, Life Cycle Analysis, Necessary Assessments, Planning Decisions, Political Preferences, Social Impacts, Suitable Tool, Temporal Effects
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