Main results of the Life Cycle Assessment of INGRID project by P&R Project

Description:  The study of life cycle assessment (LCA) is a methodology which allows to provide the assessment of the global environmental impacts throughout the life cycle of a product/service from “cradle to grave”, considering raw material, materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and/or maintenance and waste or recycling of the finished product. In the INGRID project, the role of the LCA study is to calculate the environmental impacts of the pilot plant and to calculate environmental and economic impacts associated with different scenarios system use.

The specific study will be integrated with the Input-Output (IOA) analysis for the detection and quantification of the flows within the process production and LCA analysis and the life cycle cost (LCC) analysis, in order to quantify both the impact environmental and the economic impact to define further development of the demonstrator plant.

The study will be performed using the model of thinkstep GABI v.6 and the relative database Ecoinvent v3.3. If necessary other data from scientific literature will be adopted. Furthermore, the functional unit (FU), which is a measure of the performance of the functional outputs of the product system, will be calculated. According to the PCR, the FU is 1 kWh of net energy produced/accumulated and distributed. The time span of the study goal is 20 years.

The LCA analysis will be carried out in 3 phases (summarized in the picture below):

  • Phase of the "Upstream". This phase encompasses environmental information "cradle to gate" in relation to the production and transport of energy carriers, auxiliary substances. The IOA analysis will applied, drawing up a matrix for defining and assessing the quality of data to be used to carry an LCA report out. 
  • Phase of the "Core". According to the PCR, the process flow also includes the end of the plant life (20 years, parametrically based on the process variables). This parameter will allow to evaluate and reduce processing time scenarios resulting from different assumptions. Data will be collected using collection sheets through personal contacts with project partners and visits on sites and surveys. 
  • Step of "Downstream". This phase encompasses processes post installation plant and the study of all subsequent processes to the phase of production with the relative scenario assumptions. Primary data will be used and, where not available, the Ecoinvent database will be used.

The results will be stated according to parameters listed in CPC 171 and 173 which are outlined in the following way:

  • GWP. 100 years (Global Warming potential) – Emission of greenhousegases in carbon dioxide equivalents; 
  • Acidification potentials - Emission of acidifying gases in sulphur dioxide (SO2) equivalents; 
  • Ozone Creating potential – emissions of gases that contribute to the creation of ground level ozone in C2H4 (Ethylene) equivalents; 
  • Eutrophication potential EP – emission of substances to water contributing to oxygen depletion in phosfate equivalents.

The results of the study will be useful for stakeholders and policy makers to validate INGRID project in order to support decisions for future projects development.

INGRID - High-capacity hydrogen-based green-energy storage solutions for grid balancing
Work partially supported by European Community under the ENERGY programme of the 7th FP for RTD - project INGRID, contract 296012. The Author is solely responsible for the content of this paper. It does not represent the opinion of the European Community, and the European Community is not responsible for any use that might be made of data appearing therein.

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