Forum for ecoinvent Version 3

Electronic contactor: unknown origin / energy and auxilliary inputs

Written on: 09.01.2017#1

JoDr, Johann Dralle

Dear Ecoinvent community,


I am trying to build a process for the production of an electric contactor from Romania. The main materials and chosen Ecoinvent activities are:


  • copper (Origin unknown) à market for copper [GLO]

  • steel (Origin unknown) à market for steel, low-alloyed, hot rolled [GLO]

  • silver (Origin unknown) à market for silver [GLO]

  • glass fibre/plastic (Origin unknown) à market for glass fibre reinforced plastic, polyamide, injection moulded [GLO]

  • electronic components (Origin unknown) à “market for printed wiring board, surface mounted, unspecified, Pb free [GLO]”


As the information about the different materials origin is not available I chose market activities in the first place. However I am still unsure whether this is a good idea, because I do know that the production processes of the contactor are realized in Europe/Romania. I know this does not mean, that the materials themselves are from Europe, but some of them surely are. I would be very grateful for any suggestions to overcome my concerns.


Furthermore I want to implement an activity for “energy and auxilliary inputs” for the production process of the contactor. I also don’t have information’s about production steps and energy input. Does it make sense to choose one of the “energy and auxilliary inputs” of other electronic components like inductors or capacitors? Should I use the activity “Metal working, average for metal product manufacturing” for the metal materials?

Thank you in advance.

Best regards


Written on: 11.01.2017#2

luciavalsasina, ecoinvent

Dear Johann,


You can access ecoinvent online, if you never accessed before read here. Here you can look for the activities of your concern and see all the relevant documentation and flows in the undefined (i.e. before linking and allocation) and in the three system models form. Here you can also download the PDF documentation.


For more information on markets, I would like to refer you to the explanation of market activities on our website.


For it to be clearer for your study, you can for example download the PDF documentation for the GLO market for copper and consult the list of activities contributing to it. There you will see the mix of countries including Europe, which feed into the market. You can therefore use, for example, the GLO market for copper but use European activities for the assembly of the product. 


Auxilliary and energy inputs are datasets that include the materials, energy and emissions related to the use of a machine (see the comment for the included activities in the datasets of your interest). In terms of the appropriateness of using datasets referring to other products, such as capacitors, we cannot really help you and you would need to refer to literature and experts in the field. In the end the modelling choices are a user’s responsibility.


To know more on how to use services related to working of metals, please refer to the previous answer of my colleague Emilia on the topic. 


Best regards,
Lucia Valsasina, Data Analyst, ecoinvent