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Postdoc: Big Data for LCA

In December 2015, the Swedish Research Council Formas offered postdoctoral funding for the following project:

Utilizing Big Data to Enhance Life-Cycle Inventory Analysis: Methodology and Case Study

Mohammad Ahmadi Achachlouei, Ph.D.

Abstract

Despite its substantial contributions to the field of environmental assessment and footprinting, lifecycle assessment (LCA) has limitations. It is constrained by limited coverage of inventory data and mainly relies on average and aggregated inventory data on production processes and consumption patterns.

With the advent of Big Data, the quality and quantity of data on economic and social activity are expanding rapidly. Big Data can be used to provide high-resolution data for life-cycle inventory analysis (LCI), which is a key phase in the LCA approach.The overall aim of this project is to develop a methodology for utilizing Big Data to enhance LCI data. The project will discuss the ways in which the Big Data sources, tools and techniques are affecting process-based LCI, economic input-output LCI (EIO-LCI), and hybrid LCI.

This project will employ literature review, case study and Delphi method to address the following research questions considering process-based LCI, EIO-LCI and hybrid LCI:

  • How can Big Data enhance the coverage of LCI data for the production and distribution phase, for the use phase and consumption patterns, and for the disposal phase?
  • What are the new data sources, new data types, and new data management and analytics tools and techniques?
  • What are the challenges LCI studies confront when employing Big Data sets and associated techniques and tools ?

The project is a timely response to recent calls in the LCA research community to utilize Big Data technologies. By examining advanced open-source Big Data tools and techniques for data capture, cleansing, storage, processing, and analysis, the project will develop a methodological guide to harness the potential of Big Data in LCA

*** More about Formas funding: http://www.formas.se/en/financing/calls-for-proposals/formas-annual-open-call-2015-for-mobility-starting-grants-for-young-researchers


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