New publication on life cycle assessment (LCA) guidelines for CCU technologies
Proponents of Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) associate great expectations with this technology, particularly in terms of its climate change mitigation potential. While Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in geological formations can undoubtedly contribute to climate protection, this is not a priori clear for CCU technologies.
Life cycle assessments are the tool of choice to provide scientific answers to questions about CCU and to quantify the potential environmental impact of a CCU product. The ISO standards 14040 and 14044 set the methodological framework for any kind of product (goods and services), including CCU products. However, since LCA practitioners have to make a number of decisions, additional decision support for individual product categories may be useful. For this purpose, the EU Commission's Directorate-General for Energy convened a panel of experts, which has now published guidelines for life cycle assessment of CCU technologies after two years of work. The guidelines can be downloaded here. ifeu expert Nils Rettenmaier is one of the authors.