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Life Cycle Assessment is a tool to assess the environmental impacts and resources used throughout a product's life cycle, i.e., from raw material acquisition, via production and use phases, to waste management. The methodological development in LCA has been strong, and LCA is broadly applied in practice. The aim of this paper is to provide a review of(More)
Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is a method for evaluating the environmental impacts of products holistically, including direct and supply chain impacts. The current LCA methodologies and the standards by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) impose practical difficulties for drawing system boundaries; decisions on inclusion or exclusion of(More)
Prior studies have estimated that a liter of bioethanol requires 263-784 L of water from corn farm to fuel pump, but these estimates have failed to account for the widely varied regional irrigation practices. By using regional time-series agricultural and ethanol production data in the U.S., this paper estimates the state-level field-to-pump water(More)
Metrics on resource productivity currently used by governments suggest that some developed countries have increased the use of natural resources at a slower rate than economic growth (relative decoupling) or have even managed to use fewer resources over time (absolute decoupling). Using the material footprint (MF), a consumption-based indicator of resource(More)
Materials flow analysis models have traditionally been used to track the production, use, and consumption of materials. Economic input-output modeling has been used for environmental systems analysis, with a primary benefit being the capability to estimate direct and indirect economic and environmental impacts across the entire supply chain of production in(More)
Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are a relatively new strain of materials for which little is understood about their impacts. A species sensitivity distribution (SSDs) is a cumulative probability distribution of a chemical's toxicity measurements obtained from single-species bioassays of various species that can be used to estimate the ecotoxicological(More)
Previous studies on the life-cycle environmental impacts of corn ethanol and gasoline focused almost exclusively on energy balance and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and largely overlooked the influence of regional differences in agricultural practices. This study compares the environmental impact of gasoline and E85 taking into consideration 12 different(More)
Mercury emissions in China have increased by 164% during 1992-2007. While major mercury producers were among energy combustion and nonferrous metal sectors, little is known for the socioeconomic factors driving the growth of emissions. In this paper we examine the underlying drivers and their contributions to the change of mercury emissions. Results show(More)
The rapid increase in human mobilization of phosphorus has raised concerns on both its supply security and its impact on the environment. Increasing the efficiency of phosphorus use is an approach to mitigate the adverse impacts associated with phosphorus consumption. This study estimates the life-cycle phosphorus use-efficiency of the US food system. A(More)