Skip to main content
main-content
Top

Hint

Swipe to navigate through the articles of this issue

15-02-2021 | UNCERTAINTIES IN LCA | Issue 3/2021

The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 3/2021

Integrating life cycle assessment (LCA) and quantitative risk assessment (QRA) to address model uncertainties: defining a landfill reference case under varying environmental and engineering conditions

Journal:
The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment > Issue 3/2021
Authors:
Giovanna Sauve, Karel Van Acker
Important notes
Communicated by Mark Huijbregts

Supplementary information

The online version contains supplementary material available at (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s11367-020-01848-z).

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Purpose

Model uncertainties in life cycle assessment (LCA) can arise due to the lack or limited knowledge of the system (epistemic), or due to the inherent spatial and/or temporal variability of the processes that characterize it (stochastic). Scenario analysis is often used to address such uncertainties. However, the analysis does not provide information on which scenario is more representative of the system, or more likely to occur. To account for model uncertainties in LCA, the approach presented here estimates the likelihood of occurrence of the scenarios by assigning probabilities to the events characterizing them.

Method

An integrated life cycle assessment (LCA) and quantitative risk assessment (QRA) approach was developed to include the likelihood of occurrence of future events, and their consequences, in the definition of one representative scenario. The integration of the two tools was conceived at a framework level, with the inclusion of probability estimates as weighting factors for the scenario results. These probability estimates for each scenario allow improving the spatial and temporal representativeness of the model of the system.
The approach was applied to a landfill case study to test its applicability in defining the impacts of a landfill reference scenario. Twelve scenarios were developed to represent the potential variation of landfill conditions over time. In particular, the degradation and failure of the containment systems, and the flooding of the site, were the main events considered in the scenario definition. An event tree was built to estimate the probability of occurrence of each scenario.

Results

Expected values and standard deviations were computed for all impact categories based on the impacts and their probabilities. Additional information on the probability of obtaining a certain impact was further provided by the impact curve built as function of the impacts and their cumulative probability.

Conclusions

Overall, the results of the study highlight the potential of the approach and the relevance of the information that the results can provide on the impact of a landfill, and more generally a system, under varying conditions over time.

Please log in to get access to this content

To get access to this content you need the following product:

Springer Professional "Wirtschaft+Technik"

Online-Abonnement

Mit Springer Professional "Wirtschaft+Technik" erhalten Sie Zugriff auf:

  • über 69.000 Bücher
  • über 500 Zeitschriften

aus folgenden Fachgebieten:

  • Automobil + Motoren
  • Bauwesen + Immobilien
  • Business IT + Informatik
  • Elektrotechnik + Elektronik
  • Energie + Umwelt
  • Finance + Banking
  • Management + Führung
  • Marketing + Vertrieb
  • Maschinenbau + Werkstoffe
  • Versicherung + Risiko

Testen Sie jetzt 30 Tage kostenlos.

Springer Professional "Technik"

Online-Abonnement

Mit Springer Professional "Technik" erhalten Sie Zugriff auf:

  • über 50.000 Bücher
  • über 380 Zeitschriften

aus folgenden Fachgebieten:

  • Automobil + Motoren
  • Bauwesen + Immobilien
  • Business IT + Informatik
  • Elektrotechnik + Elektronik
  • Energie + Umwelt
  • Maschinenbau + Werkstoffe




Testen Sie jetzt 30 Tage kostenlos.

Supplementary Material
Available only for authorised users
Literature
About this article

Other articles of this Issue 3/2021

The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 3/2021 Go to the issue

LIFE CYCLE SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT

Teaching life cycle assessment in higher education