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Spatially-Explicit Absolute Life Cycle Assessment by Multi-Regional Hybrid Modeling: Computational Framework

Journal Title Journal of Cleaner Production
Published Date November 16, 2023
Research Type
Authors Jeffrey Bielicki
Kyuha Lee - Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (now at Argonne National Laboratory)
Soomin Chun - Environmental Science Graduate Program (now at National Renewable Energy Laboratory)
Bhavik Bakshi - Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (now at Arizona State University)


Human activities, environmental impacts, and the provision of ecosystem services vary by region. The existing regional environmental sustainability assessment approaches addressed such regional heterogeneity of inventory data at a single scale (i.e., either process or economy scale). However, depending on regional data availability and the assessment scope, a multiscale modeling approach that integrates existing data and models at various scales needs to be employed. This work introduces a general computational framework for spatially-explicit environmental sustainability assessment based on a multi-regional hybrid modeling approach. The developed framework accounts for regional activities at multiple scales by integrating the existing regional approaches at each scale. Also, the framework integrates the supply of ecosystem services, which vary by region as well, at multiple scales to perform spatially-explicit absolute environmental sustainability assessment. The proposed framework is demonstrated using an illustrative example of corn production in two regions. The results are discussed in comparison to the conventional approaches.