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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.

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Datasets

20 datasets

Development of Life Cycle Inventory Data for U.S. Swine Production Scenarios

    The swine production datasets are the product of ongoing work by the University of Arkansas Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Pork Board. The data documentation in this metadata record describes the project background and nomenclature, in addition to a description of the dataset structure, individual unit processes, and production scenarios. Flow-level metadata descriptions for selected unit processes within the U.S. swine dataset can be found in the Appendix section.

    Product system model for distributed renewable syngas production

      This product system model 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.

      Unit process data for lignin extraction in a softwood kraft pulp mill

        This unit process represents the gate-to-gate production of 1 air-dried metric tonne of kraft lignin, coproduced with southern bleached softwood kraft pulp (SBSK), high voltage electricity and unrefined tall oil soap. The pulp is derived from pine or loblolly pine in a kraft pulping process at a mill in the southern United States (U.S.). Lignin is extracted via precipitation and acid washing. All flows are production weighted to kraft lignin. The SBSK pulp production technologies are an aggregation of those applied in the southern U.S. in 2013.

        Product System Model of United States Poultry Production 2010

          This product system represents the poultry meat produced for human consumption as a result of producing one broiler. Both types of live weight poultry are at the farm gate, ready for transport to the processing plant, although not necessarily at the same farm. It includes the fraction of a spent hen attributable to the production of one broiler.

          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.

            Product System Model for Beef Production 2011

              Product system boundaries (cow-calf-finisher, CCF) include all material and energy flows associated with crop production and live cattle operations. Cattle inventory flows include the cow-calf operation and end with market weight finisher cattle and culls resulting from one full year of operation. The total live weight produced in one year is 2914841.44 kg and is comprised of the following animals: Finished cattle: 3724 (581 kg/finisher), Culled cows: 1156 (636 kg/cow), Culled bulls: 58 (908 kg/cow). These data were developed using Integrated Farm System Model and are intended to represent the MARC cattle operation in Nebraska in 2011. The data were a product of a project funded by the National Cattleman's Beef Association.

              Unit Process for Torrefied Wood Chips, 2016

                This unit process dataset represents the production of 0.0436 oven-dried kg (1 MJ) of torrefied chips at torrefier (Biogreen, ETIA Group, Compiègne, France, and Norris Thermal Technologies, Tippecanoe, Indiana, USA) at Samoa, California. Additional details on the process can be found in Alanya-Rosenbaum et al (2018).

                Unit Process for Wood Chip Briquette Production, 2016

                  This unit process dataset represents the production of 1 dry ton of wood chip briquette from wood chips using RUF200 model briquette (RUF Briquetting Systems, Zaisertshofen,Germany) in Big Lagoon, California. Additional details on the process can be found in Alanya-Rosenbaum et al (2018). Briquettes are produced using RUF200 model briquetter (RUF Briquetting Systems, Zaisertshofen,Germany), which uses dried woodchips generated from forest residues as feedstock. Capacity of 200 kg/hr.