Life Cycle Assessment

Definition - What does Life Cycle Assessment mean?

A life cycle assessment (LCA) is a technique used to evaluate the environmental impact of a product throughout the span of its lifetime. It is an all-inclusive tool for assessing the range of environmental effects across the lifetime of a product, from raw materials compilation through manufacturing, use and final disposal.

Corrosionpedia explains Life Cycle Assessment

Attributional LCA's are used to establish the environmental strain linked with the production and use of a product, or process, at a given point in time.

There are four linked components of LCA:

  1. Goal definition and scoping: determination of the purpose of the assessment and the expected products of the evaluation
  2. Life-cycle inventory: quantifying the energy and raw materials required to manufacture the product and their corresponding environmental impact
  3. Impact analysis: evaluating the impacts on health and the environment associated with energy and raw material inputs required for the product's generation
  4. Improvement analysis: determining avenues to reduce energy consumption, materials required or environmental impacts at each step of the product generation and life cycle

LCAs can be incorporated when designing or building metallic vessels, components, or other materials for mass distribution or industrial use. As such, the impact of such metals on the immediate and future environment must be evaluated accordingly, including the implications that the corrosion such a material may involve.

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