About the Project
The goal of the LCA Digital Commons Project at the National Agricultural Library is to develop a database and tool set intended to provide data for use in LCAs of food, biofuels, and a variety of other bioproducts. Initial unit process data have been developed by researchers at the University of Washington Design for Environment Laboratory under the direction of Dr. Joyce Cooper using USDA NASS and ERS datasets. Core software for the Commons database is provided by OpenLCA. . Development of visualization tools is underway with Earthster.
The diagram below provides an overview of the LCA Digital Commons infrastruture.
Articles about the Project
Cooper, J.S., E. Kahn “Commentary on issues in data quality analysis in life cycle assessment.” International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Volume 17, Number 4 (2012)
Cooper, J.S., M. Noon, E. Kahn, “Parameterization in Life Cycle Assessment Inventory Data: review of current use and the representation of uncertainty.” International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Volume 17, Number 6, Pages 689-695 (2012)
Cooper, J.S., E. Kahn, R. Ebel, “Sampling error in U.S. field crop unit process data for Life Cycle Assessment.” Accepted to the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment (2012)
Cooper, J. “Data uncertainty and quality: emerging issues for Life Cycle Assessment data and databases ” Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology, May 16-18, Boston, MA (2012)
Kahn, E., J.S. Cooper. “Variability and Uncertainty in Consumption of Freshwater for Field Crop Life Cycle Assessment. Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology, May 16-18, Boston, MA (2012)
Data sets currently under development
PHASE 1: Field crop production unit process data (Completed June, 2012)
Production from 1996-2009 of corn, cotton, oats, peanuts, rice, soybeans, and wheat (durum, spring, and winter) in US Program states covered by the USDA Economic Research Service annual Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) data.
PHASE 2: Irrigation, manure management, and farm equipment operation unit process data
Data representing irrigation, manure management, and farm equipment operation are being developed for use with the field crop data. Irrigation data represent pressure irrigation (central pivot; linear and wheel move systems; solid set and permanent; side roll, wheel move, or other mechanical move; traveler or big gun; and hand move) and gravity irrigation (down rows or furrows, controlled flooding, and uncontrolled flooding) using ground and surface water sources. Manure management data cover storage and application and will next be extended to include production. Farm equipment operation data cover farm work processes (e.g., cultivation with sowing, harvest, etc.).
PHASE 3+:Mineral, fertilizer, herbicide, insecticide, and fungicide data
Data representing mineral and organic fertilizer production; herbicide, insecticide, and fungicide production; crop storage; transport; and more will continue population of the Commons.