Using Life Cycle Assessment to Inform CBI Research Priorities

Research output: NRELPoster


Life cycle assessment (LCA) is used within the Center for Bioenergy Innovation (CBI) to provide information about how feedstock agricultural practices, supply chain logistics, biorefinery operating parameters, and the slate of biofuels and products contribute to environmental impacts, and how CBI's research priorities can result in less impactful biofuel supply chains. This poster provides an overview of the LCA methodology used within CBI and focuses on data needs in general and from other CBI teams. Assumptions and simplifications within biofuel LCA studies are reviewed, including options for modeling multi-functional processes. Calculation details for life cycle environmental impacts used within CBI - global warming potential, cumulative energy demand, and the Available Water Remaining indicator - are presented, along with a discussion of carbon intensity as an alternative metric for evaluating sustainable aviation fuel and other biofuels. The process of interpreting impact results to guide research priorities is discussed, with examples drawn from CBI's upcoming manuscript on switchgrass yield and cell wall composition.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the Center for Bioenergy Innovation Annual Science Meeting, 6-8 June 2023, Asheville, North Carolina

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-6A20-86294


  • bioenergy
  • biofuels
  • biomass
  • cumulative energy demand
  • global warming potential
  • life cycle assessment
  • poplar
  • switchgrass


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