Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)

Capability Title Life-cycle analysis (LCA)
Laboratory Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)
Capability experts Thathiana Benavides (ANL), Hao Cai (ANL), Troy Hawkins (ANL)
Description Life-cycle analysis (LCA) explores key sustainability metrics critical to ensure that an underlying integrated process will be an environmentally beneficial design, which is the ultimate desired outcome when pursuing biomass-derived fuels and chemicals. The Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) model is used to quantify the life cycle emissions, energy use, and water consumption for fuel pathways considered for Co-Optima research (
  • Understand which baseline or incumbent technology to compare new technologies
  • Lack of data – can be estimated using surrogate information
  • Uncertainties in process design and potential improvements over time and with scale-up – evaluate impacts with sensitivity analysis
Unique aspects The GREET model provides a holistic and transparent platform for LCA of conventional and alternative fuel and vehicle technologies. It also includes pathways for materials required in fuel and vehicle supply chains as well as conventional and alternative pathways for a number of chemicals. GREET is publicly available and free of charge since its original release in 1995. The model is regularly updated and expanded with new versions released on an annual basis.
Availability The analysis team is available for consultation with industry and academic partners.

Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Transportation (GREET) model. (

Dunn, Jennifer B; Biddy, Mary; Jones, Susanne; Cai, Hao; Benavides, Pahola Thathiana; Markham, Jennifer; Tao, Ling; Tan, Eric; Kinchin, Christopher; Davis, Ryan; Environmental, economic, and scalability considerations and trends of selected fuel economy-enhancing biomass-derived blendstocks. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 6(1),561-569, 2017.

Cai, Hao; Markham, Jennifer; Jones, Susanne; Benavides, Pahola Thathiana; Dunn, Jennifer B; Biddy, Mary; Tao, Ling; Lamers, Patrick; Phillips, Steven; Techno-economic analysis and life-cycle analysis of two light-duty bioblendstocks: isobutanol and aromatic-rich hydrocarbons. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 6(7), 8790-8800, 2018.

Dunn, Jennifer; Newes, Emily; Cai, Hao; Zhang, Yimin; Brooker, Aaron; Ou, Longwen; Mundt, Nicole; Bhatt, Arpit; Peterson, Steve; Biddy, Mary. Energy, Economic, and Environmental Benefits Assessment of Co-Optimized Engines and Bio-Blendstocks. Energy & Environmental Science, in review.

Cai, Hao; Han, Jeongwoo; Wang, Michael; Davis, Ryan; Biddy, Mary; Tan, Eric; Life‐cycle analysis of integrated biorefineries with co‐production of biofuels and bio‐based chemicals: co‐product handling methods and implications. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining 12(5), 815-833, 2018.

Han, Jeongwoo; Forman, Grant S.; Elgowainy, Amgad; Cai, Hao; Wang, Michael; DiVita, Vincent B.; A comparative assessment of resource efficiency in petroleum refining. Fuel 157, 292-298, 2015.

Elgowainy, Amgad, Han, Jeongwoo; Cai, Hao; Wang, Michael; Forman, Grant S.; DiVita, Vincent B.; Energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission intensity of petroleum products at US refineries. Environmental science & technology, 48(13), 7612-7624, 2014.

Canter, Christina E.; Dunn, Jennifer B.; Han, Jeongwoo; Wang, Zhichao; Wang, Michael; Policy implications of allocation methods in the life cycle analysis of integrated corn and corn stover ethanol production. BioEnergy Research, 9(1), 77-87, 2016.