With our Life Cycle Research Highlights we are putting a spotlight on open access papers we feel deserve special attention! Each month, we highlight four papers that we consider innovative, insightful and well written. Support us in identifying great research and submit a paper for consideration by our selection committee here. Subscribe to our dedicated project newsletter and receive our summaries each month directly in your mailbox!


Economic Indicators for Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment: Going beyond Life Cycle Costing


Our Summary:

The article emphasizes the need to establish a broader framework for addressing the economic dimension of LCSA. Accordingly, the Environmental LCC approach is incorporated to assess all internal and external costs associated with a product's life cycle, including monetized externalities. The review resulted in 21 indicators, with a high level of measurability and usability, grouped into six economic impact categories: profitability, stability, autonomy, productivity, customers, and innovation. Therefore, this catalogue provides decision-makers with a diverse representation of economic performance.

Life Cycle Gap Analysis for Product Circularity and Sustainability—a Case Study with Three Different Products


Our Summary:

This paper evaluates life cycle gaps of three products, plastic bottles (54%), rechargeable batteries (61%) and t-shirts (98%) and compares the three. It concludes that there is a large potential in improving current life cycle systems of several industries and product groups. Furthermore, a methodological weakness is also identified, i.e. the fact that a life cycle gap analysis assumes the general necessity of a product or service as opposed to evaluating whether circularity can be improved with more disruptive innovations.

Life cycle assessment of behind-the-meter Bitcoin mining at US power plant


Our Summary:

The study conducts a Life Cycle Assessment of a natural gas power plant that produces 88,840 metric tons of CO2-eq annually to mine Bitcoin behind-the-meter. If the powerplant directed 100% of its electricity production for mining Bitcoin, it would emit 656,983 metric tons of CO2-eq . In behind-the-meter Bitcoin mining, 79% to the major GHG emissions are attributed to the mining itself. This is especially relevant for the New York State as it aims to curb 85% of GHG emissions...

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