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Title: Temporal discounting in life cycle assessment: A critical review and theoretical framework

Temporal homogeneity of inventory data is one of the major problems in life cycle assessment (LCA). Addressing temporal homogeneity of life cycle inventory data is important in reducing the uncertainties and improving the reliability of LCA results. This paper attempts to present a critical review and discussion on the fundamental issues of temporal homogeneity in conventional LCA and propose a theoretical framework for temporal discounting in LCA. Theoretical perspectives for temporal discounting in life cycle inventory analysis are discussed first based on the key elements of a scientific mechanism for temporal discounting. Then generic procedures for performing temporal discounting in LCA is derived and proposed based on the nature of the LCA method and the identified key elements of a scientific temporal discounting method. A five-step framework is proposed and reported in details based on the technical methods and procedures needed to perform a temporal discounting in life cycle inventory analysis. Challenges and possible solutions are also identified and discussed for the technical procedure and scientific accomplishment of each step within the framework. - Highlights: • A critical review for temporal homogeneity problem of life cycle inventory data • A theoretical framework for performing temporal discounting on inventory data •more » Methods provided to accomplish each step of the temporal discounting framework.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53211 (United States)
  2. Department of Engineering Management and Technology, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN 37403 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22479726
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Impact Assessment Review; Journal Volume: 51; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2015 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ENERGY POLICY; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT; RELIABILITY; REVIEWS