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How is a dynamic LCA performed with OpenLCA? So how is the durability and time variable included, mainly in terms of limited technical cycles of materials, adding different reprocessing methodologies depending of the usage period and the strategy of circularity?
In example, for polymers, that will not provide the same mechanical properties after certain number of mechanical recycling, they need to be sent to chemical recycling, or when designing for reparability, when a component breaks or needs to be substituted after time but it is refurbished instead of replaced by a completely new item?
in openLCA by (120 points)

2 Answers

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by (85k points)
Hi Karina,

interesting question - so far, openLCA does not at all do a dynamic model and assessment, although this would be quite possible. I wrote another LCA application before we made openLCA which did this time-based LCA model, in a project where we assessed train carriages over their life time, with maintenance and accidents etc. Basically, you need to calculate several "threads" over time, and get then results over time (which then raises the question: is an emission in 30 years worse, better, or equal to an emission that takes place now?).

If you see a possibility to implement this, let me know.

Material degradation can be modeled though without time, just by counting the number of recycling iterations e.g..

Best wishes,

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by (12k points)
Dynamic calculations are not possible via the user interface (currently), but you could do it with a script. For example, you could define a global parameter `time` and bind it in formulas for input and output amounts in your system. Then in a script, you would iterate over a range for the `time` parameter and run a calculation for each parameter value. Here is a nice example that exactly does such an iteration (not with a `time` parameter but the principle is exactly the same here; also, the script does a bit more, you just need the things in the `Calculation` section): https://github.com/GreenDelta/openlca-python-tutorial/blob/master/exemplary-notebooks/%23Example-parametrized-process.ipynb