Evaluation of biotic and abiotic resource use in the mobility sector - development of LCA compatible impact indicators, methods and concepts
September 1, 2017
August 31, 2020
In published life cycle assessment (LCA) studies the focus is mainly on emissions to air and their associated impacts (e.g. climate change, acidification, toxicity). With the exception of the cumulated primary energy demand, the demand of a comprehensiveset of abiotic resources is usually neglected and the applied abiotic depletion potential indicators show methodological deficits. Even in the most comprehensive studies to date, supply risks and future scarcity of abiotic as well biotic resources including water and soil are not fully addressed. The aim of this proposal is to develop an LCA compatibleapproach for the assessment of the use of biotic and abiotic resources including water and soil which is applicable to all kinds of products and services. This assessment method will be exemplarily applied and tested for different alternative mobility options, i.e. the use of biofuels and new powertrain technologies. This challenging and complexapplication test is intended to demonstrate both practical feasibility and scientific robustness of the approach. Compared to the current state of the art, two main gaps are addressed: First, the impact spectrum covered by LCA methodology is broadened by adding complementary indicators which further improves its applicability and scientific robustness for a really comprehensive environmental assessment and comparison of technologies. The developed solutions and resulting methodological improvements can be applied by a variety of stakeholders for different use cases like the choice between product alternatives, the assessment of innovative technologies or the improvement of existing production processes. Based on the intended methodological improvements additional environmental impacts are covered which are directly applicable in the context of more comprehensive sustainability assessments. Second, the extended LCA approach will be applied to future mobility concepts in order to test the practical applicability and in order derive more robust conclusions on the technologies. The comparison of the mobility options allows the identification of opportunities and risks associated with the respective technological solution which serves as decision making support for the strategic decisions with regard to sustainable mobility. Concurrently, the verification of the applicability for such a complex test case is intended to demonstrate, that the extended LCA evaluation leads to meaningful and practically relevant results.