Headline: “Moving towards standardised guidelines for life cycle and techno-economic assessment of carbon dioxide utilisation technologies”

Two parallel projects, both initiated and funded by CO2 Sciences and a number of organisations and corporations, aim at developing a standardised approach to lifecycle assessment (LCA) and techno-economic assessment (TEA) by establishing guidelines to determine the environmental and commercial viability of emerging CO2 utilisation technologies. CO2 utilisation technologies have shown the potential to reduce environmental impacts. However, benefits cannot be taken for granted, which is why it is acknowledged within the community that a comprehensive and standardised environmental and techno-economic assessment methodology is needed.

The output of both projects will be two comprehensive guidebooks for the lifecycle and techno-economic assessment of CO2 utilisation technologies from different sectors, with the aim of substantially reducing the ambiguity of results, avoiding pitfalls, and facilitating comparison and benchmarking of emerging technologies, thus accelerating funding decisions and promoting further technology development.

In the first four months of the projects, gaps, challenges and key issues in current LCA and TEA methods were identified. Subsequently, proposed solutions to these issues were discussed in the first expert workshop in November 2017. With the experts’ input, LCA and TEA guidelines that ensure comparability and transparency of the results are being developed. In the second expert workshops in April 2018, a first draft of the guidelines together with an exemplary case study will be presented to the experts, providing an opportunity for further improvement an development before the guidelines are finalised. After the second workshop, a finalised version of the guidelines will be published along with further case studies.


Format and expected outcome

Participants in the second workshop will be key LCA and TEA experts from industry, policy and academia who will contribute to the further improvement of the guidelines and critically evaluate the case study results. The guidelines and case study results of the TEA will be discussed on day one and the LCA results will be discussed on day two.

Project consortia

The LCA project team comprises the RWTH Aachen (lead), University of Sheffield and IASS Potsdam; the TEA project team consists of TU Berlin (lead), University of Sheffield and IASS Potsdam.