Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is now a mature environmental management strategy that is internationally standardized. A cornerstone of LCA involves Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) databases, which are largely implemented in several types of research. Finding consistent and transparent LCI data for LCAs still remains difficult. Setting up inventory data can be one of the most labour- and time-intensive stages of LCA. It is often challenging due to the lack of appropriate data for the product system under study (e.g. for production of chemicals).
With the aim of bridging this gap, this paper proposes the combined use of a process simulation tool, experimental process data and LCA for the computation of energy-related emissions in connection with a given process. The case studies address the environmental impact assessment associated with steam production from a gas turbine. - The practical application of the methodological framework is that different operating conditions and technologies can be modelled and evaluated systematically by an energy production simulator, in order to mitigate the effect of lack of data on environmental impact assessments. The combination of LCA and process modelling enables various alternatives for the energy production process to be assessed and can thus be used as a support for decision-making in a system-based approach. © 2017 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg