LCA Introduction

LCA Introduction

Author: Sherri Cook

(SMART objectives)

At the end of the introductory lesson, students will be able to:

1) Define life cycle assessment (LCA) 

2) State and describe the 4 main components of an LCA

Video Lectures

  • 5-10 minutes on LCA Introduction:  definition, components, process, context/importance (quiz at end asking to define and describe)
  • Example:  5 min qualitative, 5 min quantitative with a worksheet that students fill in blanks and ask questions/make suggestions along the way (to discuss at the beginning of class)
  • next lecture is an example with the following objectives:  
  • At the end of the example, students will be able to, for a simple product (coffee maker):

    3) Determine a functional unit

    4) Set the system boundary

    5) Identify the mass and energy flows within this boundary

    6) Locate life cycle inventory data

    After the completion of the homework assignment, students will be able to:

    7) Identify main assumptions and LCI data limitations

In Class

  • start with class discussion of example and questions
  • group work:  choose from 5 objects (provided in class for students to take apart) and then talk through how to set up the LCA; provide data after group hands in thoughts on how to qualitative and have them analyze that quantitative data
  • individual work:  homework?  focused on data analysis and drawing conclusions (but student will need to understand system bounds and data limitations)
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