Advancing LCA practice and consistency in Biogenic carbon accounting

Main Presenter: Deepa Govindarajan 

Co-Authors: Ananda Sekar Ashok Menon

Bio-based chemicals and polymer products have potential to play a central role in decarbonization of petrochemical industry and deliver the cascaded value to downstream users of the products. Standardization of biogenic carbon accounting in various methodological frameworks within and outside LCA framework becomes very crucial to ensure consistency in measurement and tracking. Key recent developments linked to methodological frameworks for accounting of biogenic carbon emissions include but not limited to EF Method 3.0 as part of PEF initiative, EN 15804+A2:2019 method that is used for EPD of construction products, PAS 2050 and GHG Protocol.

Recent approaches to this topic in LCA studies also take into account the temporal aspects of biogenic carbon removals, storage and re-emissions, under the overarching concept of dynamic carbon accounting. In context of polymer products that can also potentially be recycled into other products, it becomes important to establish a fair and consistent accounting of biogenic carbon that reflects the removals and emissions in reality. The complexity of this topic and the potential variations to results that can be possible based on choices in methodological considerations are presented using a case study example of bio-based polyolefins using tall oil derived feedstock.

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