Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) is a growing and diverse market, which involves the re-use of carbon from various processes. This can range from coal power stations, steel making, cement works, and the capture of CO2 from geological processes and from the air.
Life Cycle Assessment is the calculation of the range of environmental impacts of a process. Whilst many organisations have been undertaking LCAs of CCU systems, there is much debate over the correct way to address various issues, such as double counting. The ISO 14040/14044 standards leave too much scope for individual methodological choices by the practitioner, making many analyses incomparable.
DG ENER, part of the European Commission, identified these issues, and so contracted a small group of international experts in LCA, which included one member from Decerna.
Outline & objectives
The purpose of the project was to create a set of scientific guidelines for the LCA of a CCU system, based outside of existing policy frameworks, to simply give a scientific view, which the Commission could choose to use an evidence base in the future if they wished.
The group worked together for two years, creating the guidelines which were released in March 2020. The work included various workshops with academic and industrial stakeholders, held in Brussels. These fed back the information and knowledge of the wider industry to help in the creation of the guidelines.
The guidelines can be downloaded from the European Commission at https://data.europa.eu/doi/10.2833/161308