Life Cycle Impact assessment of pollutants causing aquatic eutrophication

LCA methodology

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Air emissions aquatic eutrophication biomass production fate modelling impact indicators LCIA life cycle impact assessment nitrogen phosphorus soil emissions water emissions 

References

  1. Alcamo J, Shaw R, Hordijk L (eds) (1990): The RAINS model of acidification. Science and strategies in Europe. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, the NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  2. Anonymous (1997): Oxford Encyclopedic World Atlas, 4th edition. Oxford University Press, New York, USAGoogle Scholar
  3. Beusen AHW, Klepper O, Meinardi CR (1995): Modelling the flow of nitrogen and phosphorus in Europe: from loads to coastal seas. Water, Science and Technology31 (8) 141–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bouwman AF, Lee DS, Asman WAH, Dentener FJ, Van der Hoek KW, Olivier JGJ (1997): A global high-resolution emission inventory for ammonia (Paper 97GB02266). Global Biogeochemical Cycles11 (4) 561–588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brentrup F, Küsters J, Lammel J, Kuhlmann H (2000): Methods to estimate on-field nitrogen emissions from crop production as an input to LCA studies in the agricultural sector. Int J LCA5 (6) 349–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Caraco NF (1995): Influence of human populations on P transfers to aquatic systems: a regional scale study using large rivers. In: Tiessen H (ed) Phosphorus in the global environment. Transfers, cycles and management. John Wiley & Sons, West Sussex, United Kingdom. Ch 14Google Scholar
  7. Cederberg C, Mattsson B (2000): Life cycle assessment of milk production-A comparison of conventional and organic farming. Journal of Cleaner Production8, 49–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Draaijers GPJ, Berdowski JJM, Leneman H, Rood GA, De Vries DJ, Zonneveld EA (1997): Emissies in Nederland. Trends, thema’s en doelgroepen 1995 en ramingen 1996. Publicatiereeks Emissie-registratie Nr 38. Hoofdinspectie Milieuhygiëne, The Hague, The Netherlands (in Dutch)Google Scholar
  9. Ekholm A (1998): Algal-available phosphorus originating from agriculture and municipalities. Monographs of the Boreal Environment Research 11. Finnish Environment Institute, FinlandGoogle Scholar
  10. EMEP/MSC-W (1999): EMEP emission data. Status report 1999. Research report no. 26. The Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo, NorwayGoogle Scholar
  11. EMEP/MSC-W (2000): Emission Data. The Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo, Norway, http://www.emep.int/emissions.htmlGoogle Scholar
  12. European Communities (1998): Europe’s environment: statistical compendium for the second assessment. Compiled jointly by Eurostat, European Commission and the European Environment Agency. Office for official publications of the European Communities, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
  13. European Communities (1999): Towards environmental pressure indicators for the EU. First edition. Office for official publications of the European Communities, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
  14. Eurostat (1995): Europe’s environment. Statistical compendium for the Dobriš assessment. Office for official publications of the European Communities, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
  15. FAO (2000): FAOSTAT database. Agricultural data. http://apps. fao.org/Google Scholar
  16. Finnveden G, Potting J (1999): Eutrophication as an impact category. State of the art and research needs. Int J LCA4 (6) 311–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Galperin M, Sofiev M, Afinogenova O (1995): Long term modelling of airborne pollution within the northern hemisphere. Water, air and soil pollution85, 2051–2056CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Galperin MV, Sofiev MA (1998): The long-range transport of ammonia and ammonium in the northern hemisphere. Atmospheric environment32 (3) 373–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Heijungs R, Guinée JB, Huppes G, Lankreijer RM, Udo de Haes HA, Wegener Sleeswijk A, Ansems AMM, Eggels PG, Van Duin R, De Goede HP (1992): Environmental life cycle assessment of products. Guidelines and backgrounds. Centre of Environmental Sciences, Leiden, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  20. Huijbregts MAJ, Seppälä J (2000): Towards region-specific, European fate factors for airborne nitrogen compounds causing aquatic eutrophication. Int J LCA5 (2) 65–67Google Scholar
  21. Huijbregts MAJ, Schöpp W, Verkuijlen E, Heijungs R, Reijnders L (2000): Spatially explicit characterization of acidifying and eutrophying air pollution in lifecycle assessment. Journal Industrial Ecology4 (3) 75–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. IPCC (1996): Revised 1996 IPCC guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories. Reference manual (Volume 3). http://www.ipcc.ch/Google Scholar
  23. ISO (1998): Environmental management — Life Cycle assessment —part 3: Life cycle impact assessment. International Organization for Standardization, Committee draft May, ISO/CD 14042.3, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  24. Matthews E (1994): Nitrogenous fertilizers: global distribution of consumption and associated emissions of nitrous oxide and ammonia. Global Biogeochemical Cycles8 (4) 411–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mosier A, Kroeze C, Nevison C, Oenema O, Seitzinger S, Van Cleemput O (1998): Closing the global N2O budget: nitrous oxide emissions through the agricultural nitrogen cycle. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems52 (2/3) 225–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Olivier JGJ, Bouwman AF, Van der Maas CWM, Berdowski JJM, Veldt C, Bloos JPJ, Visschedijk AJH, Zandveld PYJ, Haverlag JL (1996): Description of EDGAR Version 2.0. A set of global emission inventories of greenhouse gases and ozone-depleting substances for all anthropogenic and most natural sources on a per country basis and on 1°x1° grid. Report nr 771060002. National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  27. Olivier JGJ, Bouwman AF, Van der Hoek KW, Berdowski JJM (1998): Part 4: Emissions — Global air emission inventories for anthropogenic sources of NOx NH3 and N2O in 1990. Environmental Pollution102 (1) 135–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Posch M, De Smet PAM, Hettelingh J-P, Downing RJ (Eds) (1999): Calculation and mapping of critical thresholds in Europe. Status report 1999. Coordination Centre for Effects, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  29. Redfield AC, Ketchum BH, Richards FA (1963): The influence of organisms on the composition of sea-water. In: The sea: ideas and observations on progress in the study of seas. Vol 2. MN Hill (ed), Interscience Publishers, LondonGoogle Scholar
  30. Seitzinger SP, Kroeze C (1998): Global distribution of nitrous oxide production and N inputs in fresh water and coastal marine ecosystems. Global biogeochemical cycles12 (1) 93–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Seppälä J (1999): Decision analysis as a tool for life cycle impact assessment. In: Klöpffer W, Hutzinger O (Eds) LCA Documents Vol 4, ecomed publishers, Landsberg, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  32. Stapleton L, Lehane M, Toner P (Eds) (2000): Ireland’s Environment. A millenium report. Environmental Protection Agency, Wexford, IrelandGoogle Scholar
  33. UBA (1998): Environmental data Germany 1998. Umweltbundesamt, Berlin, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  34. Van Harmelen AK, Coenen PWHG, Draaijers GPJ, Leneman H, Nagelhout D, Rood GA, De Vries DJ, Zonneveld EA (1999): Emissies en afval in Nederland. Jaarrapport 1997 en ramingen 1998. Rapportagereeks doelgroepmonitoring. nr 1. CCDM, Hoofdinspectie Milieuhygiëne. The Hague, The Netherlands (in Dutch)Google Scholar
  35. World Resources Institute (1996): World Resources. A guide to the global environment. Oxford University Press, New York, USAGoogle Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations