Projects

Ocelot Project

The Ocelot project is a joint effort by the Paul Scherrer Institut and ecoinvent to build an open source library for applying system models in life cycle assessment.

Background

Project Goal

Get Involved

Background

Linking algorithm is an implementation of a system model - the set of rules and assumptions that include (but are not limited to) how to construct markets in time and space, how to handle multioutput processes, allocate credit for recyclable materials, etc.

 

There are currently a large number of system models used in life cycle assessment, and in environmental product declarations and footprinting.

Ecoinvent publishes three different versions, each with their own system model: Allocation Cut-Off by Classification; Substitution, Consequential, Long-Term and Allocation at the Point of Substitution (APOS).

 

However, for the general community it can be difficult to examine all the explicit and unspoken assumptions and choices that each system model includes. Intermediate steps of the linking are also not available.

Project Goal

The Ocelot project aims to provide a new approach to this problem through an open-source implementation of a linking framework.

 

Initially, we will implement the cut-off and long-term consequential system models in ecoinvent 3.2. Thanks to the structure of Ocelot users will also be able to make minor modifications on existing models or, with larger efforts, even create their own system models. The output of the project is a set of spold2 files, which can be read by software and used to conduct an LCA. 

As the importance of LCA continues to grow, the scrutiny and pressure on the scientific basis of LCA will increase.

 

Providing more transparent and easily modifiable linking algorithms will allow the Ocelot team and the research community to carry out the systematic tests needed to examine the robustness of the various system models, including isolating the effects of individual choices; the effects of different assumptions; and how appropriate certain assumptions are for various sectors of the economy.

Get Involved

We would very much appreciate feedback on Ocelot from the LCA and footprinting communities. Are there any particular choices you like or disagree with, or options that you have wanted to test but haven't had the means? Please let us know, and we will try to include it! 

 

You can email Chris Mutel directly at christopher.mutel@psi.ch.