Forum for ecoinvent Version 3

More information on specific processes

Written on: 04.10.2016#1

Christoph, Christoph Hank

Hi community,

I have a very basic problem and a search of your forum didnt offered the answer on my very fundamental problem.(If this is off-topic or the topic has been discussed elsewhere feel free to correct me)I use Umberto for evaluating the ecological impcat of chemical engineering processes I previously simulated in CHEMCAD. For a lot of processes I can find in ecoinvent I'm missing precise information on a products state of matter, temperature, pressure, purity (in some cases). These informations are very important when comparing different process chains all resulting in the same or a comparable product. As example: market for oxygen, liquid [RER]As a market acivity I expect this process to contain all the relevant upstream processes for the production of 1 kg of the product "oxygen, liquid".But the process' description lacks information on which upstream process chain is assumed and also very important which pressure, temperature, etc.Other examples would be "market for hydrogen" or the production of ethanol or methanol. Where can I find a more detailed documentation on the ecoinvent datasets and the contained processes?Thank you very much in advance!Best regards,Christoph

Written on: 05.10.2016#2

luciavalsasina, Lucia Valsasina

Dear Christoph,

In ecoinvent version 3 all documentation is reported in the dataset itself. Access the database online ecoQuery and consult the datasets general comments and cited literature (read more on how to search datasets). Some activities might still refer to version 2 documentation (read here how to access it), keep in mind that datasets might have been updated with the release of new versions (consult the Report of changes, PDFs listing the changes made between two consecutive versions of the database, find them in the documents and files section of the website).
Market datasets collect all activities with the same reference product and so they do not refer to a single production route (read more about markets). The information on production can therefore be found in the production activities.
A way to find all activities producing a product is to download the activity overview file, which is an excel file listing all activities and products in the database, and filter by the product you are interested in. Mind that you can also filter according to type of product, i.e. reference or by-product. The activity overview also lists all ISIC classifications, ISIC is the activity classification system set by the UN (link).


Ecoinvent is a background database. This means, that the data we offer are average, generic information. The level of detail you describe (purity, temperature, pressure) is simply too much for a background database as ecoinvent. This information might be very important and the environmental impacts of the production of these chemicals might vary depending on these data, but this further evaluation of the processes need to be done by the users of the database. It is simply out of score of a background database to make a distinction on such a level of detail.


Best regards,
Lucia Valsasina, Data Analyst, ecoinvent