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Choice of system boundaries in life cycle assessment

Anne-Marie Tillman (Institutionen för teknisk miljöplanering) ; Tomas Ekvall (Institutionen för teknisk miljöplanering) ; Henrikke Baumann (Institutionen för teknisk miljöplanering) ; Tomas Rydberg (Institutionen för kemisk miljövetenskap)
Journal of Cleaner Production (0959-6526). Vol. 2 (1994), 1, p. 21-29.
[Artikel, refereegranskad vetenskaplig]

System boundaries in life cycle assessments (LCA) must be specified in several dimensions: boundaries between the technological system and nature, delimitations of the geographical area and time horizon considered, boundaries between production and production of capital goods and boundaries between the life cycle of the product studied and related life cycles of other products. Principles for choice of system boundaries are discussed, especially concerning the last dimension. Three methods for defining the contents of the analysed system in this respect are described: process tree, technological whole system and socio-economic whole system. The methods are described in the application's multi-output processes and cascade recycling, and examples are discussed. It is concluded that system boundaries must be relevant in relation to the purpose of an LCA, that processes outside the process tree in many cases have more influence on the result than details within the process tree, and that the different methods need to be further compared in practice and evaluated with respect to both relevance, feasibility and uncertainty.

Nyckelord: life cycle assessment, inventory, system boundaries

Denna post skapades 2006-12-01. Senast ändrad 2014-10-27.
CPL Pubid: 23738


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Institutioner (Chalmers)

Institutionen för teknisk miljöplanering (1900-2003)
Institutionen för kemisk miljövetenskap (1900-2003)



Chalmers infrastruktur