BSEN40400 LCA Applications

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module is based around using industry standard LCA software to create an LCA model for a bioresource system (renewable energy system; food system, environmental system, agricultural system). It provides an advanced understanding of how LCA can be used in the context of tehcnology deployment in a system context. Typical project examples are: (i) energy: biofuels; hydro; biorefinery; wind;wave; photovoltaic; (ii) agriculture: meat; dairy; crops; poultry; feeds; (iii) food: fast-foods; process technology; drinks; and (iv) other bioresources. You will use industry standard software tools to model a complete system, including supply and demand, to calculate the environmental impacts of introducing a 'green' or 'clean' technology to replace a conventional approach. The module will consider the types of problems best addressed by LCA, activity data requirements, emission factors, characterization factors and comparison of atrributional LCA with other methods including consequential LCA. You will learn how to interpret data in a manner meaningful for a range of industry and society stakeholders.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

(1) Explain the different approaches to LCA that are available, critically assess which is most appropriate for a particular problem;
(2) Develop a full LCA using industry standard LCA software, databases and characterisation methods, be able to critically assess and evaluate data and information sources and defend the choices made to develop the LCA model and interpret it;
(3) Convey the meaning and implications of a complex system analysis in straightforward written and spoken English through reports and oral presentation.

Indicative Module Content:

(1) Review of LCA methodology
(2) Introduciton to Gabi software
(3) Activity data
(4) Parameters in a Gabi model
(5) characterisation methods
(6) Understanding the outputs from Gabi
(7) Allocation and system expansion
(8) The model development process

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities




Computer Aided Lab




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
1. Self directed project work is at the heart of this module.
2. Practical sessions focus on learning skills, which are then implemented in a personal project.
3. Lectures focus on the concepts around thinking of a technology in a systems context rather than as a stand alone idea.
4. There is a strong emphasis on critical thinking 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

Kowneldge of agriculture, food, energy or environmental technologies or systems

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
BSEN30360 - Life Cycle Assessment

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Goal and Scope Week 2 n/a Graded Yes


Assignment: Draft 2 of LCA model Week 9 n/a Graded No


Assignment: Draft 1 of LCA model Week 6 n/a Graded No


Assignment: Full LCA report Week 12 n/a Graded Yes


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Group feedback following each assignment.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Tues 12:00 - 12:50
Tutorial Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Wed 15:00 - 15:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31 Wed 16:00 - 17:50