The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment

, 6:339

Life Cycle Impact assessment of pollutants causing aquatic eutrophication

LCA methodology

DOI: 10.1007/BF02978864

Cite this article as:
Huijbregts, M.A.J. & Seppälä, J. Int J LCA (2001) 6: 339. doi:10.1007/BF02978864


In life cycle impact assessment (LCIA), limited attention is generally given to a consistent inclusion of a fate analysis in the derivation of aquatic eutrophication potentials. This paper includes fate and potential effects in the calculation of aquatic eutrophication potentials of NH3 and NOx emitted to the ait, N and P emitted to water, and N and P emitted to soil. These characterisation factors were calculated for the Netherlands, West-Europe and the world, respectively. Implementation in current LCIA practice is further facilitated by calculating normalisation scores for the Netherlands in 1997, West-Europe in 1995 and the world in 1990. Although the results presented may be a step forward, significant improvements are still needed in the assessment of pollutants causing aquatic eutrophication. In particular, the fate factors representing transport of NOx and NH3, air emissions via soils to the aquatic environment should be improved. In addition, differences in the biological availability of nutrients and differences in the sensitivity of aquatic environments should be included in the calculation of effect factors for aquatic eutrophication.


Air emissionsaquatic eutrophicationbiomass productionfate modellingimpact indicatorsLCIAlife cycle impact assessmentnitrogenphosphorussoil emissionswater emissions

Copyright information

© Ecomed Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem DynamicsUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Environmental StudiesUniversity of NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Finnish Environment InstituteHelsinkiFinland