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Sourcing Life Cycle Inventory Data
Curran, M. Sourcing Life Cycle Inventory Data. Chapter 5, Sourcing Life Cycle Inventory Data. Wiley-Scrivener, Salem, MA, 1(1):105-141, (2012).
To present sources of life cycle inventory data that can be used in conducting life cycle assessments.
The collection and validation of quality lifecycle inventory (LCI) data can be the most difficult and time-consuming aspect of developing a life cycle assessment (LCA). Large amounts of process and production data are needed to complete the LCI. For many studies, the LCA analyst will at some point need to collect process data from original sources. In these instances, the increasing sophistication expected of LCA studies has tended to make the data collection task more demanding, rather than less, as the scrutiny placed on published LCA results has grown. As a result, a growing number of public databases of LCI data are becoming available to provide data for the more common commodity processes and services. This chapter discusses historical and current practices in sourcing LCI data (other than using the data that come with commercial of the shelf (COTS) LCA tools). Acquiring data can be accomplished by utilizing dedicated LCI databases, non-LCI databases, publications and sources, as well as implementing estimation techniques that use economic input/output tables to generate LCI data where field measurements cannot be made easily. Finally, the chapter discusses emerging approaches for reporting process inventory data, including manufacturer self-reporting, using open-source models for data collection and annotation, and ?crowdsourcing? of LCI data.