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Umberto LCA+ => Data (ecoinvent v3, GaBi) => Topic started by: pbeilschmidt on November 07, 2012, 08:32

Title: ecoinvent v3: What are Market Activities?
Post by: pbeilschmidt on November 07, 2012, 08:32
(this post based on a post by 'unique' in the beta test board.)

Market activities are a new type of activities in ecoinvent v3. The distinctive feature separating these activities from ‘normal’ activities is, that there is no transformation of materials happening.
If you purchase a good  you often do not know where it was produced. Normally, you do not know either which production process was used, if there are several options for that. The market activity accounts for this and uses the average of the geographical origin and production processes that are traded of the specific product.

Simplified, the output of the market activity is the product plus some losses of this product occurring during trade and transports. The input side of the market activity are several flows of the product originating from different ‘normal’ activities with geographic attributions and production processes reflecting the market. The input of the product will be slightly bigger than the reference flow to account for the losses and there will also be some transportation and retail activities accounted for.

One could say that the output from a market activity is the consumption mix of this product.

Additionally to providing consumption mixes market activities also include average transport activiities as well as wholesaler and retailer activities and (possibly) losses in trade and transport.

Read more about market datasets in the ecoinvent report No. 1 Overview and Methodology (Data Quality Guidelines) p. 23-27 (chapters 4.3 and 4.4).

Below is an example of a market dataset ("market for magnesium, GLO 2012", screenshot from the EcoEditor freeware available from the ecoinvent website).


And this is what this dataset looks like in Umberto LCA:


The two inputs of magnesium are delivered by two different activities, magnesium production (Rest-of-World) with a share of 75% and magnesium production (Europe) with 25%.