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Dear forum,

I was assigned to prepare an EPD using openLCA and ecoinvent (I`m using v.3.3) database. I am aware of the provisions of EN 15804 and my question is related to the cut-off data limitations. One of the components I am modelling is a mix of multiple chemical substances our client imports from other manufacturers and for some of them the composition and manufacturing processes are confidential, i.e. we rely on information from ecoinvent. However, ecoinvent provides very little directly relevant data on these substances. For some cases I have found the primary chemical compound from which our substances are derivatives but they do not fully describe the ingredient in our product. Excluding these substances from the model due to insufficient data would lead to exceeded cut-off threshold (more than 5% of the mass of the whole product is excluded).

I would be grateful, if you share your experience or if you have any suggestions how to resolve this issue. I realize that the database does not cover all available chemical substances, but still the limitation of EN 15804 must be met.

Kind regards,
Yana
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Dear Yana,
good question but I am afraid with not an easy answer - I assume that for the EPD you are boun to ecoinvent as background database, thus a combination of several databases is somehow not possible? You can try to model with more generic chemicals, and you can add a "safety margin" to these processes, but this is of course not perfect.
Best wishes,
Andreas
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Dear Andreas,

Thank you for your reply. Yes, I am currently working only with ecoinvent and I was thinking about the same approach as you suggested but I assume there will still be a gap in the analysis.

If we purchase another database, which we are considering for the near future, is it possible to merge them in openLCA, I mean units processes mainly? How long time would it consume, based on your experience, to merge e.g. GaBi (for construction products) and ecoinvent?

Kind regards,
Yana
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