Research Grants/Fellowships/SBIR

NCCLC: Network for Rapid Assessment of Chemical Life Cycle Impact

EPA Grant Number: RD835579
Title: NCCLC: Network for Rapid Assessment of Chemical Life Cycle Impact
Investigators: Suh, Sangwon , Auston, David , Keller, Arturo A. , Scott, Susannah , Seshadri, Ram
Institution: University of California - Santa Barbara
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: March 19, 2014 through March 18, 2018
Project Amount: $4,887,644
RFA: EPA/NSF Networks for Characterizing Chemical Life Cycle (NCCLCs) (2013) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Endocrine Disruptors , Safer Chemicals



The objective of the project is to develop an open-access, online tool, the Chemical Life-Cycle Builder (CLB) to evaluate life-cycle impacts for chemicals and materials at an early stage of the chemical product development process, when the precise manufacturing routes and fates of the products are still uncertain. Specifically, the CLB will (1) enable rapid, high-throughput screening of life-cycle impacts for new chemicals; (2) provide a platform for accessing, generating and sharing information on the life-cycle impacts of chemicals; and (3) expand life cycle thinking in emerging professionals, high school students and the general public through highly accessible, targeted modules.


Modern societies generate and mobilize chemicals of enormous diversity and quantity. However, our understanding of the life-cycle environmental impacts of chemicals and materials has not kept pace with new discoveries, or with the production scale of chemicals. An international network that includes academic, industry and government partners will collaborate to develop the Chemical Life-Cycle Builder (CLB), an open-access, online tool. CLB will connect available online data with user-inputs through user-friendly graphical interface. Participants from a range of established and start-up companies will conduct pilot studies using a beta version of the CLB, providing feedback on its effectiveness, ease of use, and need for further improvements. The CLB will use common data exchange protocols to efficiently extract information from existing databases such as Integrated Risk Assessment System, Aggregated Computational Toxicology Tesource (ACToR), NIST Chemistry WebBook, TOXNET, eChemPortal, ToxCast, Cambridge Structural Database, REACH Database, and ZINC database, which together contain information on tens of millions of chemicals. The field knowledge and experience of the industry partners will ensure the relevance of the output.

Expected Results:

The project is expected to provide a platform for chemical and material life-cycle information exchange. A wide use of CLB will enable organically growing LCA database for chemicals and materials. The project is expected to help chemical producers understand potential environmental and human health consequences at an early stage of design, enabling informed decisions about design choices. CLB will provide an open-access platform for developing and sharing new data on the life-cycle impacts of chemicals. The project is expected to develop future chemical workforce via the active participation of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in their engagement in industry-academic partnerships, internships, and international experiences. The project will promote education of the public via accessible modules designed for use by high school students and the general public.

Supplemental Keywords:

risk assessment, ecological effects, human health, bioavailability, carcinogen, toxics, scaling, green chemistry, life-cycle analysis, alternatives, sustainable development, clean technologies, environmentally conscious manufacturing, public policy, decision making, environmental chemistry, modeling;