ESTIMATe – Early Stage Impact Assessment Tool
BackgroundCopyright: Institute of Technical Thermodynamics
Novel technologies such as carbon capture and utilization (CCU) could help the petrochemical industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the use of fossil resources. Ensuring these reductions of environmental impacts in practice requires a sound assessment of the actual environmental impacts. A well-established method for accounting of environmental impacts is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). LCA is a standardized methodology according to ISO and widely accepted by industry and politics.
However, LCA requires detailed data about the assessed technologies and how they are deployed in practice. In consequence, LCA studies are mostly conducted for technologies that are already established and where high quality data is available. For novel technologies, the lack of data in early development stages hinders the application of LCA. Nonetheless, early-stage LCA is essential to identify environmental impacts of novel technologies and to support both process development and decision-making leading ultimately to savings in money, time – and environmental impacts.
The ESTIMATe project aims to provide a method for early-stage LCA of novel technologies with low data availability. In order to tailor the early-stage assessment method to real-world process development in the petrochemical industry, the method is developed in close cooperation with TOTAL. The outcome of the ESTIMATe project will be a software tool enabling non-LCA experts within the chemical industry to conduct early-stage LCA studies during process development.