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I am new to openLCA. I have understood the meaning of the terms Product Flow, Elementary Flow and Waste Flow. But I don't understand what is the need to classify a new flow I create in openLCA into one of these categories?

Does it just help the software in finding the search results quickly from reference data or does it impact our calculations?

For eg: I make a new flow - PET Granulates and classify it as Product Flow. I am using the ELCD Database. So does this classification of "Product Flow" help the software to figure out what reference data to look up quickly or will it impact back end calculations in any way?

Thank you for any insights.

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Elementary flows can not be selected as the reference flow of a process. Only product flows or waste flows can be reference flows. Elementary flows are not produced by any other process but rather must come directly from or to the environment. As a result, they can not be used to link between processes.
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Thank you for the answer!