About the project

A current trend in biomass conversion technologies is towards more efficient utilization of the biomass feedstock in so called biorefineries. One important aspect of bioenergy systems is the sustainability performance, especially energy use and greenhouse gases are at present given much attention. Life cycle assessment, LCA, is often used as a quantification tool for sustainability evaluation.

The aim of this project has been to highlight how different methodological choices in LCA, e.g, time and system boundaries and definition and choice of functional unit, influence the sustainability evaluation of biorefinery systems. Further, the project report gives recommendations and guidelines on how LCA of biorefineries can be carried out in future studies.

These guidelines can be be useful for LCA practioners in both research and industry. Following guidelines will increase accuracy and enhance comparability of studies. Also, as greenhouse gas emissions increasingly often are being regulated, this project has tried to bring to policymakers the balanced information needed for regulation and strategic decisions.


Serina Ahlgren, earlier at SLU


Hanna Karlsson and Ingrid Strid, SLU // Anna Björklund and Göran Finnveden, KTH // Anna Ekman and Pål Börjesson, Lund University

Time plan
May 2012 - September 2013

Total project cost
943 000 SEK

The f3 partners, SLU, Lund University, KTH, IVL, SP and Chalmers

A reference group consisting of Johanna Berlin, SP, Thomas Ekvall, IVL and Matty Janssen, Chalmers, was affiliated to the project.