Life Cycle Assessment

The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) collection is a catalog and archive of data, tools, and resources that support LCA for agriculture and related areas of research. It is complementary to the USDA LCA Commons Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) database, and provides access to a wider range LCA data and tools.

Life Cycle Assessment (also known as life cycle analysis, or cradle-to-grave analysis) is a method of assessing environmental impacts associated with all stages of a product's life. For example, it measures impact from raw material extraction to materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and disposal or recycling. The goal of LCA is to compare the full range of environmental effects assignable to products and services by quantifying all inputs and outputs of material flows, and then assessing how these material flows impact the environment. This information is used to improve processes, support policy, and provide a sound basis for informed decisions.

Browse Life Cycle Assessment Resources


3 datasets

Unit process data for Rapeseed production in the U.S. wheat belt

Unit processes represent wheat-wheat-fallow and wheat-wheat-rapeseed crop production simulations that illustrate using the IPCC (Tier 1) method for calculating changes in soil C and the roundtable on sustainable biomaterials (RSB) method for estimating N2O emissions in different locations for the use in modeling the crop production portion of the HRJ lifecycle. Data are archived in a SimaPro .csv file, which can be imported into various life cycle assessment modeling tools.

Life Cycle Assessment program

Unit process data for distributed renewable syngas production

This unit process represents the generation of two co-products from forest or wood product mill operation residues using the Tucker Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) Thermochemical conversion process. The two co-products are a synthesis gas (syngas) and biochar (a form of charcoal made from woody biomass via pyrolysis, used as a soil amendment, and under investigation as an approach to carbon sequestration to produce negative carbon dioxide emissions). Data for this process were collected in St. Regis, Montana and Locust, NC, where the Tucker RNG conversion process has been tested and demonstrated.

Life Cycle Assessment program