The update of ecoinvent to version 3.6 is now available for openLCA via our openLCA Nexus store. Summed up, the update includes 2000 new datasets, 2500 updated datasets and 247 new products. Additionally, it is now possible to use the material flow logic approach for end-of-life modelling in ecoinvent v3.6.

In the new version, two core sectors, electricity and transport, have been updated and further refined. The electricity mixes for all countries were updated to the most recent year available. In the transport sector, freight transport was specified as belly-freight and dedicated freight, tankers are now divided into petroleum and generic tankers and transoceanic ships are now split into container and bulk ships. Of course, the updates reach much further to sectors like refinery, building materials, metals, water supply etc.

The geographical coverage has been further improved, especially for South America. For instance, Brazil has been divided into several regions. Moreover, ecoinvent added two new sectors: Tourist accommodation and informal recycling. Tourist accommodation includes data for the construction of different hotel categories as well as for consumer goods like furniture or appliances in hotels. The informal recycling sector includes data on the informal recycling of electronic cables, domestic refrigerators and end-of-life tyres in Ghana and on the informal recycling of plastic from e-waste in India. All changes have been documented, so for further details, please check the report of changes or the ecoinvent website.

Regarding the end-of-life modelling, we introduced a major change in openLCA: Following the logic of material flows, wastes in the datasets of ecoinvent now appear as waste flows in openLCA for all system models. That means: A waste flow that is output of a process p1 and input of a waste treatment process p2 can now simply be modelled as such: as output of p1, and as input into p2 (!). Former ecoinvent databases in openLCA handled waste as product flows, which resulted in “double negative” modelling which was somewhat tricky, counter-intuitive, and error prone for new processes created by users. When migrating a version 3.5 (or older, from 3.3) versions of ecoinvent to 3.6, or product systems and own models that follow the old “double negative” waste flow logic, the modelling needs to be changed. To do so, please follow the instructions of our ecoinvent 3.6 in openLCA report. Please note that you can only use ecoinvent 3.6 for openLCA version 1.10.2 and later versions.

The ecoinvent 3.6 database is now available for download via our openLCA Nexus store. In case you need support, you can use our forum ask.openlca.org.  In addition, GreenDelta GmbH, developer of openLCA, offers openLCA users prioritised and guaranteed professional openLCA support via the GreenDelta helpdesk: https://www.openlca.org/service-contracts/.

Watch the webinar for details on ecoinvent 3.6 in openLCA and a live demonstration of model migration: