I'm trying to understand how does LCA softwares does quantification of pollutants. For example - addition of a resource flow (such as one tonne of anthracite coal) will lead to 'x' grams of Particulates / 'y' grams of Oxides of sulphur etc.
Quantification is straight forward for some of pollutant / midpoint impacts such as GHG gases, air pollutants etc. But, when I look at 3000+ organic and inorganic pollutants which is used to estimate endpoint impacts such as human or ecological toxicity, how does the quantities / volumes of these 3000+ organic and inorganic pollutants are calculated?
Some of the resource flows has this embedded information i.e. 1 tonne of coal use leads to x , y, z ... grams of pollutant release, but this list is very limited and LCA softwares calculates this for all the input resource flows.
In usual footprint calculations, I would use an emission factor for quantification, but the challenge is that I have not yet found a comprehensive set of emission factors for organic and inorganic pollutants. Is there any way to extract this for each resource flow? Or is there any underlying database of emission factors for each pollutant (as we have characterization factors for endpoint impacts for each pollutant).
Please help me understand this further, any help is much appreciated. Thanks in Advance.