One of the evolving trends in chemical fields but not
often developed in education programs is life cycle
assessment. I learned about this as part of reviewing
EPA proposals. This was one of the aspects that proposals
could enhance their consideration for support.
Only one proposal incorporated an LCA.
What motivated entering this topic into the blog also was seeing
LCA in a psychology and ’science of attention’ book by
Daniel Goleman. He talks about human brains’ ability to
have a razor-sharp focus on certain things, like smiles, frowns,
growls and babies, while we have “zero radar” for threats to the
global systems that support human life.
Goleman talks about LCA profiles using glass making as
his example which has 659 ingredients in its manufacture.
There are “too many factors to assess.” We need, however, to
focus in on a manageable number in meaningful patterns to
deal with them.
For the present readership BASF and SKB 2 have delivered
meaningful ACS presentations on how they have developed
Life Cycle Inventories and assessments for specific processes.
They used a process flow diagram that has co-products and side
reactions, energy inputs and outputs for sustainable development
Life Cycle Analysis is as meaningful an area for technical people to
have some grounding in as hazards analysis and review.
LCA is life cycle assessment, also known as ‘cradle-to-grave,’ analyzes
the human impacts of a product’s life from cradle to grave. Wikipedia
describes Life Cycle Supply Chain, Life Cycle Inventory and Total
Life Cycle Impacts.