ecoinvent 3.8 now available for openLCA.
The latest version of the ecoinvent database, version 3.8, released on 21st September 2021, includes major updates and 360 new processes (datasets), 700 updated datasets and 50 new products. A few of the major updates and additions are listed below:
- Brazilian data: the available data in the previous ecoinvent version was updated and completed, providing a regionalised Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) for Brazil. The main sectors updated are related to crude petroleum oil and natural gas, biodiesel production, diesel distribution, and transportation by lorry.
- Agriculture: Some new products were included (e.g., lentil and peas) and several processes of Canada were updated.
- Batteries: Datasets created by the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) for three different types of batteries (NCA, NMC111, NMC811 Li-ion batteries) divided into their components were included.
- Chemicals & Plastics: Through a collaboration with PlasticsEurope, ecoinvent updated the data for styrene production. A cooperation with EUROPUR resulted in updated and new datasets for polyurethane foam production.
- Electricity: For most countries, the attributional data was updated to 2018, while for US and Canada, the updated information refers to 2019. For Switzerland, the transformation from high to medium and from medium to low voltage and their losses were updated.
- Electronics: New electronic device datasets (e.g., tablets) are also available. The supply chain and its respective components are also adjusted according to the identified needs. In addition, new datasets for printed wiring boards and liquid crystal displays are also included.
- Forestry and wood-based products: New data (elaborated due to the collaboration between ecoinvent association, ETH and the International Organization for Bamboo and Rattan INBAR) regarding bamboo forestry and related products were included.
- Metals: Datasets related to metals were provided by EMPA, and they were included in the ecoinvent database. For example, the production of beryllium, ferroniobium, and scandium oxide from rare earth tailings was included.
- Transport: Air freight datasets for transport are updated due to a collaboration with INFRAS. As main modifications, the consumption of kerosene and the emissions can be highlighted.
- Resource correction for biogenic carbon: A new elementary flow (‘Carbon dioxide, non-fossil, resource correction’) is added for some processes available in the cut-off database in order to restore the biogenic carbon balances after the allocation process.
- Some of the processes and products have been renamed in version 3.8 of the database, others were updated (e.g., inputs/outputs and geography).
- Characterisation factors (CFs) have been updated/implemented.
- ecoinvent 3.8 also includes a new system model ‘allocation, cut-off, EN15804’, which allows the EPD practitioners to comply with the EN15804&A2:2019 standard. This system model is not yet available for openLCA.
- To facilitate the calculation of the emissions of electricity following the Scope 2 and Scope 3 Guidance of the GHG protocol, a spreadsheet (‘electricity emission factors – scope 2 – 3.xlsx’) is available online containing the separated emission factors (kg of CO2 equivalent/ kWh of electricity) calculated under the IPCC’s AR5 report from 2013, applying the global warming potential values.
ecoinvent 3.8 is available for download for openLCA exclusively on https://nexus.openlca.org. Please note that versions of ecoinvent 3.8 obtained elsewhere will not be compatible with openLCA. The ecoinvent licence purchased via nexus.openLCA is downward compatible.
In addition, users with an ecoinvent 3.8 license will also receive access to older versions of ecoinvent. All the different data packs can be used as independent databases in openLCA or combined together, if necessary. However, special attention should be paid to integrating older versions of ecoinvent databases with ecoinvent version 3.8 database due to the modification of the REF_ID (or UUID) of some processes and flows.
Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) methods package by ecoinvent are available via openLCA Nexus too. With this package it is possible to reproduce the LCIA results provided by the ecoinvent Association. However, the use of the openLCA LCIA method package (currently, 2.1.2) is also possible and recommended by GreenDelta.
 Slightly modified from https://ecoinvent.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Change-Report-v3.8.pdf (accessed 10.11.2021).