Author Topic: Dissolved identity of process name and reference flow (product) of the process  (Read 4365 times)

Offline pbeilschmidt

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In addition to the differences in material names (flows/exchanges) between ecoinvent v2.2 and ecoinvent v3, it is also important to know that the "link" between the process name and the reference flow (product) of the process has been dissolved.

In ecoinvent v2.2 the reference flow of a process had the same name as the process itself. For example, if you used a process "polypropylene, granulate, at plant [RER]" from ecoinvent, you could be sure that the product yielded by this process was the intermediate "polypropylene, granulate, at plant [RER]". This has changed in ecoinvent v3 and the name of the reference flow of a product can be different from the process that delivers it.

For the above example, in ecoinvent v3 the intermediate flow "polypropylene, granulate" does not have any geographical reference any more, and is delivered by the processes "market for polypropylene, granulate (Global)", "polypropylene production, granulate (Europe)" and "polypropylene production, granulate (Rest-of-World)".

Now while this may still be somehow understandable and traceable by looking at the flow name, the follwing example proves that in some cases the link between the intermediate and the activity that "produces" the material is not obvious any more: the intermediate "copper" is yielded by some 80 different processes: of course from the "market for copper", "copper production, primary", and "copper refinery (Sweden)", but also from such processes such as "treatment, used cable", "treatment of copper scrap by electronic refining", or "computer production, laptop" (where copper is probably a by-product that is sold back to the market).

The Expand Process Chain feature is a good way of exploring the sources of materials, and how market activities are composed, BTW.
Peter Müller-Beilschmidt
myUmberto Moderator
ifu Hamburg GmbH