Life Cycle Analysis

Course Description: 

Life cycle analysis is an analytical method that considers system-wide impacts along the entire life cycle of a product, from extraction or harvest of natural resources, through production and consumption to final end- of- life disposal or recovery and reuse/ recycle. LCA provides a quantitative evaluation of a comprehensive list of environmental issues, and is intended to avoid shifting the burden to different life stages or different environmental concerns. The course will use a case study format to introduce the LCA methodology and demonstrate its application to a variety of product sectors and environmental concerns. There will also be hands on exercises to learn the basic functionality of SimaPro, one of the available commercial LCA software packages, as well as exercises to build and validate unit process data sets using literature searches and/ or customization of available processes in commercial databases, such as ecoinvent. The case studies will also be used to demonstrate current and emerging developments in the LCA methodology. The overall goal of the course is to provide the skills necessary to design and manage a formal LCA project in the business, consulting, or government sectors. It is recommended that students complete F&ES 884a - Industrial Ecology to provide a foundation for the LCA course. In addition, if constructing mass and energy balances, conducting dimensional analyses, etc. are not familiar topics, it is also recommended that students complete F&ES - 762a - Applied Math for Environmental Studies or F&ES 814a – Energy Systems Analysis

F&ES 838b