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Hi everyone,

currently I try to teach myself how to conduct an LCA with OpenLCA. I downloaded the software and started with an online tutorial how to implement databases and LCIA.

I downloaded three different databases:

(1) elcd_3_2_greendelta_v2_18 (downloaded from https://nexus.openlca.org/databases)
I can open processes and there are results for Impact analyses. However, data is limited so I was looking for further databases.

(2) NREL (downloaded from https://www.lcacommons.gov/)
There are many different processes and Inputs and Outputs are listed. However, Impact Analyses are empty, regardless of the LCIA I select (I believe). Why?

(3) EPA (downloaded from https://www.lcacommons.gov/)
There are many different processes and Inputs and Outputs are listed. Unit of Inputs and most Outputs is USD(?). I don't know how to interpret this?

Sorry if those questions are dumb...I am still in my beginnings. Do you have any recommendations for a good case study that can be conducted with a database free of charge?

Best regards and thanks :-)
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1 Answer

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It is important that the LCIA methods you use match your database, because the elementary flows used in your processes must match the flows used in the methods.

The databases from the Federal LCA commons are transitioning to using the Federal Elementary Flowlist, but not all have been converted yet. The NREL database (USLCI) uses these flows and therefore you should use the LCIA which is available for these flows, currently TRACI and ReCiPe (see this note).

The EPA database you describe sounds like USEEIOv1.1, which is an economic input output model. Because this database is older, it still uses the flows in the openLCA reference pack, and therefore you can use the default openLCA LCIA methods found on the nexus.

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