Journal article

Global Resource Indicator for life cycle impact assessment: Applied in wind turbine case study

Different methodological approaches under Life Cycle Assessment framework are used so far to address the impact of resource depletion. However, they provide partial visions, based on limited available data, and do not reflect resource related aspects. The aim of this article is to go beyond the current Life Cycle Impact Assessment methodologies to complete the existing indicators, by adding important parameters (e.g. recycling), not yet covered by Life Cycle Assessment resource impact assessment indicators. New Characterization Factors are developed, considering different criteria which affect the availability of resources through different life cycles. Global Resource Indicator integrates resource assessment aspects to better characterize the Resource. Both recyclability and criticality of resources are part of the multi-criteria indicator complementing scarcity. Results illustrate that the importance of different resources are influenced by introduction of recyclability and criticality. The new indicator assesses all types of resources including renewables and non-renewables using regeneration rates. The sensitivity of the Characterization Factors with regard to different input parameters is tested and discussed. The results are compared with Abiotic Depletion Potentials indicator and assessment is made on the differences. The newly developed factors provide a more exhaustive vision of the availability of resources and may be used in Life Cycle Assessment or circular economy approaches. Characterization Factors, derived from the new method are tested in a wind turbine case study and their applicability is validated. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


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