Welcome to BiorefineryLCA.com: A teaching and information resource for evaluating the environmental impacts of the bio-refinery
This site is under construction. When it is launched it will provide an open-access and open-source tool that will 1) teach the fundamentals of environmental life-cycle assessment and 2) be a resource of LCA data relevant to the bio-refinery.
Holistic evaluations of the environmental impacts of new bio-refinery products and processes will be critical to their acceptance. Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is the standard method for conducting these analyses. Thus, awareness of the principles of LCA is as necessary for researchers and students in the bio-refinery fields as is a basic understanding of economic principles.
LCA is based on the premise that the inputs and outputs to processes can be quantified, and that these measurements can be useful in understanding the total environmental impacts of products. Thus, LCA is data-intensive and success in evaluating the many potential components of the bio-refinery will necessarily involve the collaboration of many people. Furthermore, most of the components of the bio-refineries of the future remain under development. Thus, LCA for the bio-refinery must be continually updated and adapted in concert with research progress.
This will be a transformative program that will draw together the wide range of stakeholders - researchers, students, policy-makers, farmers, citizens - with an interest in the bio-refinery. It will result in a science-based focus on the potential environmental impacts of the bio-refinery, which must be considered at every step of development.