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.

Filter by User-supplied tags

Filter by Author Name

Browse Life Cycle Assessment Resources

Datasets

18 datasets

Unit process data for field operations: work processes and farm implements version 1

This document describes the preparation of datasets for the LCA Commons that represent unit process/ gate-to-gate operations for field operations (a.k.a. work processes e.g., soil preparation and planting for conventional tillage, applying fertilizer with incorporation) and farm implements (e.g., operation of moldboard plows, broadcast sprayers) used in the production of field crops. The data cover 49 types of field operations and 104 types of farm implements for 9 crops in 36 U.S. states, resulting in the development of almost 19,000 unit process datasets. The field operation and farm implement datasets described herein fall between the field crop production and the aggregated fleet equipment datasets already in the Commons.

Life Cycle Assessment program

LCA Commons

The USDA Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Commons provides access to data, tools, and resources that support life cycle assessment for U.S. agricultural production and agriculturally derived products.

Life Cycle Assessment program

Unit process data for bio-jet fuel production from poplar biomass via bioconversion at a biorefinery

A partial Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is conducted to investigate the life cycle impacts of a biorefinery designed to convert poplar tree chips into jet fuel via fermentation and subsequent hydrogenation. The goal of producing jet fuel from Populus (poplar) trees (bio-jet) is to create an alternative to petroleum based jet fuel (petro-jet). Currently no jet fuel producing biorefineries are in commercial operation and the results of this LCA will be used to assess a potential environmental impact that could result from scaling up the proposed system. Work is part of the Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest project.

Life Cycle Assessment program

Data from: Comparative farm-gate life cycle assessment of oilseed feedstocks in the Northern Great plains

This MS Word document contains the oilseed feedstock farm-gate model inventories, results, and uncertainty analyses for the Northern Great Plains discussed in Moeller et. al 2017. Analysis was conducted using IPCC GHG standardized emissions. Methodology is detailed in the associated publication (doi: 10.1007/s41247-017-0030-3). The supplementary information contains the names of the ecoinvent inventories; oilseed yield, seeding rates, and fertilization rates per USDA crop management zone (CMZ); climate change, freshwater eutrophication, and marine eutrophication percent contributions ReCiPe results per CMZ; Monte Carlo uncertainty results per CMZ; and farm-gate energy balance analysis results per CMZ.