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Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and carbon assessments

Photobioreactors at the Necton algae facility in Olhão, PortugalPhotobioreactors at the Necton algae facility in Olhão, Portugal

We provide Life Cycle Assessments compliant with ISO 14040/44 for a range of energy and algae based technologies. We also undertake independent assessments of ERDF projects, which include an assessment of the accuracy of C34 (estimated GHG reductions) from the projects, recalculating the emission reductions for each SME supported, and validating methodologies.

Life Cycle Assessment

Life Cycle Assessment is the assessment of the environmental impacts of the full supply chain of a process.

We can provide detailed ISO 14040/14044 compliant studies, enabling you to compare products, and to identify hotspots within your process where there are large environmental impacts.

Impact Categories

We provide assessments that cover a wide range of impact categories, including climate change, toxicity, eutrophication, particulate matter, ionising radiation, ozone depletion and others. We usually use ReCiPe Hierarchist Mid Points

Software

The software we usually use is either OpenLCA or GaBi, and the databases we usually use are Ecoinvent and GaBi Professional. For Social impacts (S-LCA) we use the SOCA database.

Monitoring

We utilise the skills and expertise of our teams, which is mainly used on energy efficiency studies and field trials, to install a range of energy monitoring systems within facilities, to understand the exact energy use, to feed into the LCA models.

Specialism

Our specialisation within LCA is of the study of renewable energy and biofuel-based products, with a very high level of knowledge of the LCA of microalgae based products and their competitors

Funded Projects

Our LCA is currently delivered for funded projects, specifically historically Horizon 2020, FP7, Innovate UK and ERDF projects. If you require a partner for your LCA work package, please do get in touch. Please note we are open to commercial projects

Please note, UK based organisations are eligible for all Horizon 2020 applications with due dates before the 31st December 2020, and there are specific agreements between the European Commission and UK government so that no Horizon 2020 project will experience issues from the inclusion of a UK partner.

ERDF C34 Assessments

We undertake independent assessments of ERDF projects, which include an assessment of the accuracy of C34 (estimated GHG reductions) from the projects, recalculating the emission reductions for each SME supported.

We utilise the expertise of our teams who deliver ERDF projects, and have a high and specialised knowledge of low carbon and renewable energy technologies, in order to understand if recommendations and grant support truly led to the emission reductions claimed. Through this process, to inform the C34 outputs, we may also calculate the C34 (Decrease of annual primary energy consumption of public buildings) indicator.

Please note, we offer further wide-ranging ERDF assessments, outside of C32 and C34 calculations and assessments.

Other sustainability assessments

We can provide a range of sustainability assessments, using a wide range of methodologies. If you wish to look at something outside of ERDF and ISO 14040 methodologies, please do get in touch.

The other elements of our business focus on energy audits, field trials, techno-economic studies of renewable energy and grid connection, all of these can be brought together to offer a full sustainability appraisal of your business or product.

Previous and current projects

  • LCA and S-LCA lead for the Magnificent Horizon 2020 project, studying the environmental impacts of high value algae products and their competitors
  • LCA lead for the InteSusAl FP7 project, comparing microalgae-based biofuel with fossil fuels, utilising data from a one-hectare facility in Olhão, Portugal.
  • LCA comparing a novel grid infrastructure system with existing systems
  • LCA study of graphene-based paints
  • Training course for architects on LCA and OpenLCA
  • LCA study of a novel wind turbine design
  • C34 impact assessment for the Low Carbon Innovation Fund (LCIF)
  • Sustainability Audit of the Tees Valley LEP draft European Structural and Investment Fund Strategy (ESIFS) and Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).
  • Contributed to the European Commission’s LCA4CCU report, which provided science-based guidance on the LCA of Carbon Capture and Utilisation systems.