Life cycle analysis (LCA) provides a methodology to quantify the environmental impacts of a product or process throughout its entire supply chain. However when used alone, this approach fails to account for the local variability in non-homogeneous systems. Agent-based modeling (ABM) can be used to supplement life cycle analysis to account for these variances. Using spatially-explicit input parameters, a hybrid LCA / agent-based emission modeling framework was built for a theoretical farm region. Using market and policy input parameters, the development of the switchgrass biofuel and bio-electricity markets were analyzed at the local level. Though this research is currently in an early stage of development, this hybrid LCA/ABM approach has been shown to be a useful tool for assessing small scale variability and interaction amongst variables.
CSS Publication Number:
Agent-Based Modeling (ABM)
Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
Proceedings of 2012 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology (ISSST)
May 16, 2012
Heairet, Andrew, Sonika Choudhary, Shelie Miller and Ming Xu. “Beyond life cycle analysis: Using an agent-based approach to model the emerging bio-energy industry.” Proceedings of 2012 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology (ISSST), May 16-18, 2012, Boston, MA: 1-5.