Life cycle assessment of new and emerging materials

Wednesday, 14 Apr 2021


East Midlands Materials Society (EMMS), a local society affiliated to the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), is holding a talk by the NCC's Dr Sophie Parsons, a specialist in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). 

As we transition towards net zero carbon emissions by 2050, it is more important than ever that new technology to enable this transition is environmentally sustainable. With so much environmental impact locked-in to technology from an early stage of design, it is important that we quantify impact early on to avoid environmental burden shifting.

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is used to understand environmental impact across a product’s life cycle – from cradle to grave. It is a useful tool for understanding new technology as it enables us to evaluate it from a systems perspective. However, there are challenges in applying LCA to new technologies at low Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) where there is a high degree of uncertainty on what that technology will look like at scale.

Sophie will give an overview of LCA during this talk, particularly directed at new advanced materials and technology. It will explore uncertainty and some of the challenges of modelling technology at scale, as well as giving some example case studies of how LCA has been used to do this.

The talk will start at 19:00 and last around 45 minutes.

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