The CO2nsistent project builds on the previous project which developed guidelines for conducting TEA and LCA of carbon capture and utilization (CCU) projects. The aim is to further enhance guidance to ensure comparability and transparency across technologies in the CCU arena.
As interest continues to grow in the potential for the utilisation of CO2 to replace and reduce dependence on fossil carbon sources and products, the need to assess the economic and environmental capabilities of these emerging, competing CCU technologies also grows.
Life cycle assessment (LCA) and techno-economic assessment (TEA) studies can provide insight into deployment potential however challenges exist in ensuring these studies are fit for purpose.
Despite the existence of general good practice guidance (such as the ISO standards for LCA), the CCU guideline project was driven by the acknowledgement of TEA & LCA practitioners and other stakeholders that too many substantial methodological decisions remained open allowing for significant divergence in reported outcomes from studies specifically for CCU projects.
Fundamental differences in the scope of studies; the designation of a suitable functional unit and other elements such as the method for selecting a suitable system boundary made like-for-like comparisons difficult.
Published as part of the CCU guideline project, the Techno-Economic Assessment & Life Cycle Assessment Guidelines for CO2 Utilization provide significant guidance for practitioners when making methodological decisions and aiding in the avoidance of common pitfalls that have been identified and addressed through consultation with a broad range of practitioners.
Whilst the release of the original version of the above Guidelines has been welcomed and validated by the community, the working group acknowledges that significant challenges remain and that further developments are required to provide holistic guidance to all stakeholders.
CO2nsistent looks to address some of these issues by:
- Further improving the existing guidelines based on feedback from the initial launch phase including addition of further worked examples
- Expanding the scope to include guidance for policy makers, commissioners of studies and other decision makers
- Guidance for conducting low TRL-related assessments
- Integrating TEA & LCA for CCU technologies to allow for analysis of both environmental and economic factors simultaneously and to produce composite environmental-economic performance metrics. Such an analysis can also be useful in determining the effects of prioritising of specific environmental and economic factors over others as part of a structured analytical decision-making process
- Removing other barriers to harmonisation such as the need to develop a common assessment language as part of a wider attempt to improve communication throughout the community
Like the guideline project that proceeded it, CO2nsistent will feature significant stakeholder engagement to ensure that future iterations of the guidelines remain a reflection of best practices as dictated by the assessment community. The work is being conducted by research groups at the University of Sheffield (P. Styring), IASS Potsdam (B. Olfe-Kräutlein), TU Berlin (R. Schomäcker), and RWTH Aachen (A. Bardow).
To be a part of this collaborative approach please contact us for further details.
This project is co-funded by the Global CO2 Initiative and EIT Climate-KIC.