Industrial process system assessment: bridging process engineering and life cycle assessment through multiscale modeling
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Conducting life cycle assessments (LCA) of complex multi-line, multi-product manufacturing facilities can be challenging. There is no standard method to assign or allocate resource use and environmental impacts to the individual products. The Industrial Process System Assessment method is presented to address this gap in current approaches for LCA allocation by making use of a multiscale model of process systems. Algorithms for the allocation procedure rectify process, ancillary, and non-process data from a facility such that inputs (e.g., raw materials) and outputs (e.g., emissions) can be assigned to a particular product from a particular line. The allocation approach demonstrates systematic multiscale process model development to avoid arbitrary allocation assumptions. This standardized method will enable LCA practitioners and process engineers to more clearly differentiate resource use and environmental impacts of co-products from complex facilities. The model could be further extended to provide product allocation based on individual unit operations when data are available.
author list (cited authors)
Sengupta, D., Abraham, J. P., Ceja, M., Gonzalez, M. A., Ingwersen, W. W., Ruiz-Mercado, G. J., & Smith, R. L.