New LCA-based framework can help balance the economy while saving the planet

If you make your bio-product 100% sustainable it may be way too expensive to produce. If you make it less environmentally friendly, you may, at some point, end up having a feasible product that can compete on market terms. But is it still sustainable?  

This balancing game is very real to lots of companies producing bio-chemicals; that is chemicals produced from biomass instead of petroleum which chemicals are conventionally made from. 

Now, a group of scientists specializing in techno-economic analyses (TEA) and life cycle assessments (LCAs) have come up with a framework to ease this balancing. The framework is important to make informed decisions, explains Adjunct and first author behind a recent study in Trends in Biotechnology, Ólafur Ögmundarson: 

“By combining economic and environmental impacts in a monetary single score we can measure the trade-offs between these two indicators when assessing sustainability of biochemicals or biochemical processes. This is necessary, because biochemicals are not per default sustainable just because they are bio-based,” he says. 

Read more here.

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