Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Progress in Life Cycle Impact Assessment: Water Vapor Emissions and Respiratory Inorganics

Version 1 : Received: 30 June 2021 / Approved: 1 July 2021 / Online: 1 July 2021 (11:16:42 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Andrae, A. Progress in Life Cycle Impact Assessment: Water Vapor Emissions and Respiratory Inorganics. Sci 2021, 3, 33. Andrae, A. Progress in Life Cycle Impact Assessment: Water Vapor Emissions and Respiratory Inorganics. Sci 2021, 3, 33.

Journal reference: Sci 2021, 3, 33
DOI: 10.3390/sci3030033

Abstract

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is being included formally in EcoDesign regulations. Especially product carbon footprint will be mandatory in Europe. However, life cycle impact assessment including global warming potential (GWP) in LCA is hampered by several challenges. One of these is lack of water vapor characterization indexes for GWP. A life cycle inventory profile for air transport fuel including water vapor emissions is evaluated with state-of-the-art practice, i.e. EF Method and ILCD 2011 Midpoint+ and neglecting water vapors high altitude GWP compared to carbon dioxide. Then the characterization factor in GWP100 for water vapor and alternate normalization for particulates are introduced. The results are compared. The main findings are that the EF method and ILCD both generate rather realistic results for Particulate Matter and Respiratory Inorganics mid-point indicators, respectively, but the amount of premature deaths should be better allocated to different specific emissions, and that water vapor may dominate the GWP100 result over the usual carbon dioxide. LCIA mid-points need measurable and understandable bases. The common knowledge of water vapor’s GWP100 should not be neglected in LCIA for air transport and beyond where relevant.

Keywords

characterization; life cycle assessment; life cycle impact assessment; normalization; particulate matter; respiratory inorganics; water vapor

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