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Dear OpenLCA community,

I am a bit confused with the compatibility of the Agri-footprint 5 database with the LCIA methods. The “Data-base notes – Agri-footprint: LCA food database” says that the database is “compatible with the openLCA LCIA 2.0.5 method package”. 

Recipe 2016 is one the LCIA methods listed in the “openLCA LCIA 2.0.5 method package”, so it should be compatible with Agri-footprint 5.

However, let’s take the following example: “Rapeseed, at farm Economic – DK” -> “Inputs/Outputs” tab -> “Output” -> “Chromium” (emissions to soil/agricultural and water/unspecified).

In Recipe 2016 a chromium emission should be defined as “Chromium III”, “Chromium VI” or “Chromium ion” in order to be accounted for during the conversion of this emission to an impact to the environment (e.g. Freshwater ecotoxicity or Human non-cancerogenic toxicity).  

Let's go back to our “Rapeseed, at farm Economic – DK” example and open the "impact analysis" tab, selecting Recipe 2016 Midpoint (H) as impact assessment method: our chromium emissions are not contributing to any impact across the individual impact categories (perfectly in line with what I mentioned above).

On the other hand, if I were to select the “EF Method (adapted)”, the impacts of "Chromium" (e.g. on "Ecotoxicity freshwater" and "Non-cancer human health effects") would have been calculated correctly (because “Chromium” is the correct nomenclature used for this substance in the “EF Method (adapted)”)

I thought that meaning of "compatible" was that I could use Agri-footprint 5 with any of the methods listed in the “openLCA LCIA 2.0.5 method package” (e.g. Recipe 2016), without worrying that some elementary flows were not taken into account during the impact analysis phase. However, I must have missunderstood something.
Can anyone clarify the "compatibility" issue that I am experiencing?
All the best,
in openLCA by (430 points)

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by (111k points)
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Hi Alberto,

sorry for not replying earlier – I am not sure I am getting your post, the AFP database has just chromium emissions to soil for this process; are you saying that the database is incorrect (regarding ReCiPe) because it does not state the type of the ion and just says Chromium? Of course, ReCiPe considers the ion form which makes sense, but also Chromium is considered in the method pack (I checked 2.1.1, not 2.0.5 though which is from 2 years ago), therefore the LCIA analysis gives this result for ReCiPe 2016 H:

So my recommendation would be to update the LCIA method, in case 2.0.5 does not consider this. The compatibility statement with 2.0.5 is because that was the current version number when AFP5 was out I think, but we are of course, like everybody, fixing issues we detect in the methods over time.

All the best,


by (111k points)
thank you Alberto and yes we should update the method recommendation in Agri-Footprint